Sunday, September 13, 2009
Art Shows are Strange Things
Last night was the opening reception and presentation of awards for the Moreno Valley Arts Council second annual themed exhibit. The theme was Illusions to tie in with the first ever paranormal conference being held in our valley at the same time. Art shows can be a bit strange to begin with but then add a whole group of people that had been studying alien abductions all day and you are in for a wild ride as you mingle from conversation to conversation.
The opening reception is also a culmination of lots of hard work if you are on the board of the sponsoring organization. And if you are an artist that was juried into the exhibit. I was exhausted and just wanted to go home and light the season's first fire to take off the chill of a day of rain and hail. But I got to see my sister staring at her matted and framed photographs displayed in their first ever exhibit. Been a while since I was at that point but there is still a thrill of my own as well as shared with her.
The judging was done in private early in the day and only one person knew the results as we all mingled with each other and discussed the merits of every piece. And after the awards we all second guessed the judge's opinion. Well, unless like me, you got best of show. I figured he was spot on. Though I must admit I had doubts about his first place designation. But judging is just personal opinion backed by some knowledge of art. Different judge and I might not have even gotten honorable mention.
So I am standing before my winning piece: Lamentation of the Spirits (viewable in the blog below) and discussing it with one of the patrons attending when another artist in the show comes up with his wife. She assumes because I have painted a church I have "met" Jesus. I and the patron had just been sharing the history of Catholic missions in this area being built over the graves of the Indians they killed to settle the area. I think I said something flip like, "No, he died before I was born." At which point she proceeds to try to save me there and then and show me the way.
I followed the escaping patron across the room to my sister's photographs after explaining I was a Buddhist. The wife, with her husband the artist, were now teamed up on a mission to put me right in my wrong thinking and ambushed me all night long. I really did not want to be rude. I was there for art, a possible sale of said art, and talk to friends and fellow artists about art - oh, and aliens. I was buffed and fluffed and groomed and on my best behavior. I was the gracious winner of best of show for a painting about spirits abandoning a Catholic church!
As a side note the success of this painting amazes me somewhat. Every once in a while I feel the need to make a statement with a painting and generally it makes people feel uncomfortable. So I figure it is a "for me" work and rush to get it into an exhibit where it can garner awards if not a sale. But everyone likes this painting historic statement or no.
This blog is too long and I have reached no conclusions. Find your own.