Archive for October 19th, 2012

As this week winds down toward the opening  of my show Saturday night at the Kada Gallery in Erie, I am reminded of how I first came to show my work there.  I’ve been working with owners Kathy and Joe DeAngelo  for well over 16 years now meaning that they have seen my work evolve from the very first incarnations.  They have offered nothing but encouragement over the years, always eager to see any new developments.  Just good people.  But I probably would not have found them had it not been for a chance meeting that would lead me to them.  It was a bit of true serendipity.   I wrote about  this fortunate event on this blog  back in August of 2009 in a post that featured a painting, Interloper [shown here],  from about the time I first encountered the folks at the Kada. 

It’s not my best writing but here’s how I came to show at the Kada Gallery:

It was in  late summer of 1995 and I had been showing at the West End Gallery for several months which was my first experience exhibiting in public.  I was still waiting tables at the local Perkins Family Restaurant full-time, working on building our house and painting every other available minute.  Man, I had a lot more energy then!  I still had no idea that I would or could have a real career as a painter.  My work at that time was very small in size for the most part and was just starting to gain some notice locally but I really didn’t know if it would ever transfer outside our local area.

One Saturday morning, I was at my job waiting tables when a family with a daughter about 10 or 11 years old sat in my station.  They were very nice, smiling and talkative.  Typical chit-chat.  I took their order and that was that.  After a bit, as they were eating I was going through my station checking on each party and I stopped at their table.

The daughter, Hillary,  asked, “Are you a painter?”

I was a little taken aback by the question.  Nothing was said about painting or art, to them or any of my other tables and that was the last thing on my mind at the moment.

“Well, yeah. I am.”

“My mother said you were.  She said that anyone that happy doing their job had to be a painter.”

I just stood there with nothing to say.  How do you respond to that?

It turned out that the mother was a painter as well who lived, for the time being, in our area.  Her name was Suzi Druley and she was on their way out to a gallery that sold a lot of her work in Erie, Pennsylvania.  They had me run out to their vehicle to take a look at her work, which was very interesting, particularly for our area.  It had a sort of Southwestern/Native American feel with with vivid, deep colors and a lot of symbology.  Turns out she was from Texas originally and they had moved here for a job her husband had taken.  She asked what my work was like, saying she would like to see it.

A few weeks passed and I decided to take her up on her offer and went out to their home.  I took photos and some pieces and she really seemed excited by the work.  She said I should show the work to Kathy at the Kada, that she would really like it.

Long story short, she called Kathy and a visit was arranged.  I hauled my bits of paint and paper out there and I’ve been showing with them for going on 14 years.

I’m glad I was in a good mood that Saturday morning at Perkins- I most certainly would not have found made my way to the Kada Gallery without Suzi’s simple observation that I must be a painter.


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