outflows and inflows of creativity

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Dream Realized

Yesterday was an important day for me. A milestone. I hung my work at my first gallery, the Rita Smith Gallery in Columbia, SC. RSG is a small co-op of very diverse and talented SC artists, who I am looking forward to getting to know. Rita Smith is a real person, a very talented artist in her own right, who has owned and operated several galleries over the years. She genuinely cares about all the artists showing, and has developed long friendships with many of them. I am fortunate and honored to be under her wings.

After the grunt work, Jean Bourque came by & we had lupper (a meal between lunch and supper). We talked and laughed - go to her blog and ask her to describe how she adopted her chihuahua Toffee - it's a story you won't forget! I described a part of my long journey getting to my first gallery. . .

I grew up in a hardworking family whose members had lots of love for each other but very little economic opportunity or education. Having a daughter who wanted to pursue art was frowned upon by almost everyone, except my brother, Ron. Ron was the middle child, I am the baby, with a big age gap in between. I was probably a "whoops". Ronnie moved to NYC soon after high school, and became a successful cosmetologist. He and I stayed in close touch. He saw a latent talent, and encouraged and expected me to ardently sketch and mail him my work. He came home several times a year, with gifts of art supplies for me. He nurtured and cared for me, and respected and understood my dreams.

In my 16th year, Ronnie had an accident, falling from the 3rd floor of his apartment building. He survived, but was in a body cast for 3 months. We talked on the phone every week while he was laid up, sometimes more. We made plans. I was to apply to colleges in NY, and live with him while I went to art school.

I remember him calling with the news the doctors were letting him go home - he was doing well. Would I come and see him? I had never flown, he was making arrangements for a friend to escort me. Hesitantly, I said sure.

3 days later his lungs collapsed. He died in his sleep.

Yesterday was his birthday.


cooper said...

Sadness and happiness all rolled into one.

Congratulations to you.

I hope it continues to be grand for you.

Alison said...

Hi there, i added you to the artists blogs a while back, cant remember if i left you a comment to let you know, if not here it is :)

happy art making and blogging

Ebb Tide said...

Congratulations for having your art works inside a gallery. I had never tried this venue before. Must be exciting. Been a viewer of your blog lately and I'd like to invite you to be one of my blog-mates. Can you also link my blog to yours?

harriett said...

Thanks Cooper! Thank you also, Alison and Ebb Tide - consider yourselves linked!

Princess Haiku said...

This is very moving.

Michelle said...

Thank you for opening up your soul.