Returning to our place, from the beach, on the second crystal clear day since the rains, we rushed outside to wave to the helicopter, flying along the route of the lagoon out back, bearing our President's arrival to the island. The discussion all day on the sandy beach had been about when the Obamas would finally arrive, with people reading the tea leaves of parked vans, helicoptors, secret service movements, etc - divining his imminent arrival amidst reports of last minute scheduled economic meetings and redundant right wing objections to his vacation. On an island of otherwise nonplussed residents, the frenzy, albeit much calmer, could still be felt. Though some of the enthusiasm has been dampened by decisions made and on-going challenges on the financial and global scene, the support for him and hope for the change he represents still exist, though with a more realistic awareness of what's capable by one man and one branch of government. Universally agreed, however, was the fact that he needed a break for regeneration as much as any other person.
Having dropped off my work to the Cousen Rose Gallery for the show earlier in the day, I was relieved of anymore responsibility regarding it. A sort of floating on freedom sensation took over momentarily. I don't know if it was not having something to do or no longer having my creations around me, who have kept me company for the past year, with their individual demands for attention. With this emptiness in mind we made our way to the opening of Jeanine Primm Jones' portraits at the Featherstone Gallery. Her reception was well attended by her subjects, soon to be subjects and the culturally heeled residents of our community here.
Since arriving five days ago, it has been a nonstop flurry of events that started with Myrna Morris' modern dance themed paintings that opened the day we arrived, and the Faith Ringgold presentation of her famous quilted artworks at the gallery next door, and Carole Simpson signing her new book, News Lady, that same evening, as we spoke of a painting I had started of her. Though the heavy rains dampened outdoor activity for a couple of days, it was back with a vengeance with the Illumination Night celebration in the campgrounds that brought thousands of people out to ogle at the lit lanterns festooned along the bric-a brac detailed Victorian cottages. Starting with a crew from Bill and Brenda Cavette's BBQ we made our way through the festivities to Wesley and Judy's annual party. Everyone seemed to be warmed by the nostalgic impression of a bygone time when summer evenings glowed by candlelit porches and happy greetings from passer-bys. The Disneyland like atmosphere of this experience today, however, only allows for the dimmest idea of what it once was.
Leading up to my show on Saturday has been yoga and beach visits, meeting many friends, like Nancy Boxill and Dennis Thompson from Atlanta, a bid-whist party we threw and going to the Charles Ogletree panel discussion on race and the media that started with a tribute to Berry Gordy at the local high school, along with Amy Goldson, and my partner Joe Steele in tow. Adrienne Childs was astonishing the jewelry loving women on the island with her original creations, among her many talents, at a trunk show she held at Cousen Rose Gallery.
Notwithstanding a few road blocks for the Presidential caravans that are likely to occur, we are venturing out for the many other events that will culminate in my own show on Saturday. Forging ahead with confidence in a future we collectively build one by one, on the wings of ancestoral dreams - today will be even brighter tomorrow.