An Opening Reception
The gallery is an artist cooperative with 23 (I think) members and each month it hosts a guest artist. I’m the guest for the month of October.
I’m fairly shy and don’t like being the center of attention, but even though I often get tongue tied, last night it was easy to talk about what my work means to me.
Yes, it’s about flowers and plants and nature, but it’s also about beauty and connection and love.
And joy, of course.
The first painting that sold was bought by someone because the irises made him think of his mother.
Again and again my customers tell me about plants’ connections with loved ones. Parents. Grandparents. Children. Friends. It’s so moving to me to hear these stories. And to be a part of them in one small way.
We live in dark times (looking at history perhaps every generation has thought so, too). Some people fight the darkness by becoming activists and running for office. Some people write books or teach or march to shine a light in the darkness. I paint to share beauty and joy and love.
I certainly felt surrounded by love last night and was so happy to be able share the evening with my parents and Matthias*. They have all encouraged and supported me over the years as I’ve pursued this crazy dream and I am so grateful.
During the evening my Dad asked me if, when I first visited Viroqua before moving here, I had dreamed about having a show at Viva. Back then I hadn’t yet begun to paint and my creative dreams were fuzzy. But if I’m honest, deep down and unarticulated this is what I wanted (even if I didn’t dare imagine it was possible).
Hold onto your dreams my friends. Nurture them. Honor them. Work for them. You’re capable of so much more than you might be able to imagine.
Next door to the gallery is the Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table a catering space and restaurant (which you might remember from earlier in the year when my art hung there). It hosts a special dinner each month as part of the gallery openings with a meal themed around a different country. Last night’s inspiration was Sri Lanka.
It was delicious and festive.
And on this side of things it’s all a blur.
I’m so grateful to the artists of Viva Gallery and everyone at The Rooted Spoon.
And thank you, too, dear readers, for encouraging and supporting me throughout my journey. I Can’t wait to see where we’ll go next!
*And thanks Matthias for taking all the photos except the one he’s in (thanks, Mom, for that one).