The new show, “What Did the Rock Say?,” opened last week at the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery in Jericho, VT. My friend and fellow artist, Dianne Shullenberger, and I mounted it as part of our larger project working together to encourage and support young artists.
Don’t get me wrong! The framed pieces on the walls—my photographs and Dianne’s work, both colored-pencil and fabric—are stunning. We had not planned in any detail how our works would look together, so when we arrived last week to hang it, there was no formal plan. We laid the pieces out and within five minutes it was clear where each of them “wanted to be,” and, amazingly, each perfectly complemented the those surrounding.
Yesterday’s opening reception was similar. We arrived early to set up chairs and food—openings must have food, right, so as to feed soul and body?!—and, in short order the Gallery filled with people many of whom I’d never met but clearly all having connections to art. What a joy to spend time talking with people and watching the way they interact with the art and hearing their thoughts. Of course, I had to have a bit of “tech-talk” with the several other photographers attending. It was two hours of art coming alive!
Dianne had arranged to have two friends, local poets, read, and a your woman who had been involved with the project played French horn. The room buzzed with warm conversation and the pleasure of simply being together with each other and great art on an otherwise cold and windy day with the air full of March snow.
As I stood listening and watching, I was overwhelmed with the whole of it—how so many people had the date on their calendars, had gotten bundled to come and then driven through the snow to the Gallery; and how much history we all had, with each other and with art, and how all of that considerable, yet not obvious, weight had come together for a couple of hours all as a result of some beautiful work hung on the walls of a lovely little gallery. The art Dianne and I made for this show is beautiful and, as I’ve said here before, art only comes to life when there are people to enjoy it, and enjoy it we did.