The Fayetteville Underground, which is a group of four galleries and fifteen working artist's studios. The first Thursday of every month we debut our new exhibitions and have our studios open from 5-8pm. It is a wonderful night of art, community and fun. I love getting to interact with so many people coming into The Underground on this one night each month. I pretty much smile and talk the entire night. We have been having First Thursday since April of 2009, and I must say I feel so much more connected with the community at large because of it. I enjoy recognizing the regulars and becoming friends with many new people each month as well.
Every now and then, there is a conversation or an interaction at one of these events that really sticks with me and fills me with such hope and enthusiasm. My job as an artist is of course about making the art, but then it is about sharing the work with others and receiving feedback; it is about connecting and creating relationships. I am very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people because of my art.
Last night, I met a lovely couple who came into my studio. They are both artists and they were really taken with my work. The wife of the couple seemed almost giddy with excitement to be viewing my work and talking with me about it. I can still see her smile plainly in my mind. I told them about myself and my work and they told me about themselves as well. About how they had spent some time in Arizona where they discovered so much art that they found exciting and how thrilled they were to discover The Underground and especially my work. They seemed truly moved by the whole experience, almost as if the whole world had opened up for them in Arizona and it was continuing to expand as they looked at more and more art. They seemed to really understand my work on an intuitive level and very appreciative of having discovered it. I can't tell you how this feels exactly, but it is a beautiful moment, almost an out of body experience.
Their smiles and words of encouragement and understanding will stay with me forever.
These conversations we have with each other about art, they are so powerful. Sometimes they can be the reason the artist works the next day and continues on this uneasy path. Thank you to all the people who have supported me over the years with your words, connections and sharing. It is a wonderful gift you give me.
Next week, I will be sharing some new work and that is a promise!
Until then, keep fighting and remember every day we paint is a victory.