Archive for September 9th, 2013

Principle Gallery - Talk 2013Well, this year’s Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery is over, having taken place this past Saturday.   I have done this talk for the past eleven years, always in conjunction with the Alexandria King Street Art Festival, which fills the well known street in Old Town with artists and artisans from around the country.  It was an absolutely beautiful,  sun-filled day in Alexandria  so I was so grateful for the group of folks who took time from their day to stop in.  I think the talk went fairly well although in the aftermath I felt, as always, that I missed many vital points that I had wanted to touch on.  But hopefully I made some cogent points and everyone came away with a bit more info about my work.

The highlight of the talk was, of course, the giving away of the painting Ode to Whitman, a piece that I have featured here in recent days.  For the last six years or so, I have given away a piece every year at this event and an interesting phenomenon has began to take shape.  I normally ask someone to come up and draw from the container of entries.  The first year went without incident with the chosen person reaching in and picking a name from the assembled audience.  However, prior to Saturday, the person chosen to come up and draw has pulled their own name in two of the last four years.  I am not a mathematician but the odds of a person reaching into a contained held above their head and pulling their own name from a group of 50 to 75 entries seems as though they might be kind of high.

So, when the time came for the drawing I asked if anyone felt lucky and explained the history.  A young lady in the front row agreed to come up and I jokingly asked her to show me her hands so that I could make sure she wasn’t cupping a slip of paper.  We all laughed and she reached up and drew a folded slip of paper.  As I opened the slip I heard her gasp, “Omigod, that’s me!”  I thought she was kidding then  realized that it was indeed her.  I joked that she better show me some ID before I hand over the painting.

But the painting was hers.   She was so grateful, claiming that she was one of those people who never wins anything.   Well, things change and I hope that that painting which holds meaning for me comes to have meaning for her as well.  If that fortunate person is out there reading this, I am sorry  but your name evades me this morning so drop me a line to refresh my memory.

Many thanks to all who made it to the talk.  It was an honor to be able to talk with you all and a pleasure to hear your thoughts and stories.  One of the great rewards for me as an artist is having people share their life experiences with me, feeling comfortable in doing so  because of the bond they feel through the work.  It is a humbling affirmation of the power of art.  Again, many thanks for all that you have shared through the years.  It very much enriches the work.

Many thanks to Clint, Jessica and Julia at the Principle Gallery for taking care of the details and making me feel comfortably at home there, as always.  And thanks to gallery owner Michele Ward  (actually, now gallery mogul as she recently announced the acquisition of the M Gallery of Fine Art in historic Charleston, SC) for her continued support of my work through the years.  Though my work is wildly divergent from the typical work in her gallery, she has always maintained a belief in the work, something which has carried me through the peaks and valleys of what has turned into a career.

Hope to do it again  next year!

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