A some time ago, I was approached by our local Arts Council and asked if I would be willing to do a solo show at our local college gallery. I was very honored by the request, and happily agreed. As soon as I finished my new artwork for the Federal Duck Stamp program, I quickly set to work on a few new small paintings so that the solo show would have some fresh work.
|"Allegheny Roots" - an exploration of things I love, with a homage to where I grew up and currently live.|
Fast-forwarding to April 10th, which was the exhibition opening and open to the public. This could be considered a bit of a 'sleepy' area, where most of the county is quite rural, and until recently I thought that my work was relatively unknown. I imagined a few friends and family showing up, and readied myself for a relaxing opening.
Imagine my surprise when it was amazingly busy for the whole evening! I am still touched that so many would come. I was engaged in conversation nearly every moment that night, so I don't have a good idea of the numbers, but my husband said it was probably close to 100 people that came through. My heart soars, thinking that so many people would come to see my paintings. I don't know what to say, as words really can't begin to touch how tiny I feel and how unreal it seems for people to enjoy what I do.
|A panoramic photo of the exhibition an hour before opening... Click the photo to see it larger!|
At one point in the evening, Patricia Briggs, Director of Galleries/Curator of Collections approached me and had me speak in front of everyone gathered. I was feeling very overwhelmed and touched by the turnout of folks coming to the opening, and I stood nervously while she introduced me.
|I was feeling very nervous to speak, while Patricia Briggs (right) introduced me.|
It all went well, though, and I suspect I didn't say anything too zainy... though the local paper snapped a photo of me in a very strange pose with my arms up, at the moment I was describing how strange it felt that my original duck stamp painting was currently with the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior!!
In the end, it was a lovely evening and I connected with some fantastic people. I even reconnected with some of my high school teachers-- ones that I hadn't seen in 15 years! It was wonderful.