Archive for November 4th, 2022

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To have all your life’s work and to have them along the wall, it’s like walking in with no clothes on. It’s terrible.

–Andrew Wyeth

I’ve employed the words above a number of times over the years on opening days for my shows. I am sure that is how I will feel at tonight’s opening of my show, Places of Peace, at Kada Gallery that kicks off with an opening reception that runs from 6-9PM.

After all, as Wyeth pointed out, your work is always personal and revealing in some way. Like family photos. So, to have it exposed to people who might not share your emotional investment or see its personal importance to you can be nerve-wracking. Even when you yourself judge that the work is everything you hope it to be, you worry that others won’t see it that way, that they won’t be able to discern the time, effort, and emotion invested.

You worry that your own judgement was wrong and that you will look like a silly, misguided fool.

It can feel like a pretty big monkey on your back on opening days. But as is the case with this show, you trust that work that moved you, that filled you with emotion, will somehow find souls who experience it in a similar way. 

It often does. And though I am filled with anxiety and uncertainty, that is my hope for tonight since I do feel strongly about the work in this show.

Here’s a bit from a post from a couple of weeks back that serves as a casual show statement:

I am coming into the final two weeks of preparation for my next exhibit. The solo show opens Friday, November 4, at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA. I have been represented by Kada since 1996 and this will be my tenth solo show there, the last having taken place in 2017.

I am calling this show Places of Peace.

It’s a simple and straightforward title because, for the most part, that is the thing I am seeking in my work.

A place of peace, of quiet and harmony.

Much of my life has involved searching for something I couldn’t envision or describe. I was looking for something that would relieve an anxiety that seemed to come from both inside and outside myself.

I soon realized that they were not to be found in the outer world until they had first been found in the inner.

What I was seeking were Places of Peace— places anchored more in feeling and imagination than reality. Places that allowed me to find an inner balance and harmony while living in an outer world that I often did not understand.

I ultimately found these places in my painting.

These places of peace have provided much needed refuge for me over the past 25+ years and in that time, recurring symbols and icons– the Red Tree, the Red Roofed Houses, the Red Chair, the inward leading path, and the ever-present Sun/Moons— have formed the language with which I describe these places to others. Over the years, that language has evolved and grown, adding nuance with the use of deeper and more layered colors and textures.

This symbol language is all there, making up the better part of this show. That makes this a show that very much speaks to and for me. The paintings from this show, such as the one at the top, And Peace Arrives, have provided me with places in which I find that balance and harmony that I sought for so long.

My hope is that it does the same for others.

The reception tonight runs from 6-9 PM. Hope you can stop in and say hello.

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