Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Magic box
The day unfolded like a circus act, with friends arriving early in the day and continuing throughout until it was time to make our way to the gallery. “It’s your day” was the tag line so many uttered when offering me encouragement for a good day and great show. Like from a magic box that holds unseen wonders, beach chairs, umbrellas, music, food and drinks appeared in amounts unimagined moments before. A constant influx of friends arriving on island for the show descended on the house turning it into a full-fledged beach party. The wonder of it all was that it was completely unplanned. Because many artists suffer from anxiety on opening nights, my friends sought to make sure that it was minimized for me by celebrating our lives together all day.
As a result, when I walked in and saw the colorful paintings arrayed about the gallery it was a continuation of the fun, light and color that had been my life for the last year. The festive colorations worn by so many of the guests, suggested by the shows title, Vineyard Colors, filled the rooms and overflowed onto the outside garden and street. Color radiated from friends like Connie and Preston Williams and later the McLaurin family that had just returned from meeting with President Obama, wearing that inevitable glow that comes from proximity to the pinnacles of power and celebrity. Zita Cousen wore the same luminosity for the same reason, as she graciously greeted me at the front door.
The many faces of friends warmed me as they shared abbreviated conversations, well wishes and admiration for the new work. Stories of how, where and when they became collectors allowed me to see more clearly how welcomed the work has been over the years. These created children of my mind and spirit had found homes that they were loved in and somehow, for some, begged for new siblings to share wall space with. It is hard to let go of your children but one must, for by giving them the gift of life you give them the power to enhance other lives and spread your influence further than if you did it alone. To touch a life with love, is all we need aspire to, for a happy life.
At the end of the night as the last person walked out the gallery, and we said good night to Zita and her wonderful husband Michael Brown, the circus of light, fun and love, magically went back into the box, but the memories remain.