don’t struggle against the irresistible: the answer to surviving a fall into a whirlpool.
A small madness took me, and now I am back from Chicago. Four hours in a line stretching around a city block, a five minute interview and a thank you very much and I’m out on the street again, glad I didn’t haul a lot of crap up with me. It looked like somewhere between 1,500 to 2,000 artists were there in line. All genders, sexes, sizes, ages, colors and probably the whole human range of maturity, ability, native talent and training, attitude, aptitude, genius.
Informal portfolio reviews were happening all down the line as people got to know their neighbors and shared their work. I stood in line with theresa handy, who showed us beautiful, evocative painted landscapes with structures, figures, bare trees and other elements drawn from nature, placed in her pictures and half concealed by her washes and stark design and muted colors. She lives in St. Paul and shows in Chicago and Minneapolis. I would trade work with her. With any of these artists, actually.
Wading Boy, by Theresa Handy
christopher stuart, of Noblesville, IN, was next to open his portfolio to us there on the sidewalk. Multi-talented, capable and brilliant; well known as a product designer as well as a sculptor and a hell of a painter. Check out his website.
Noblesville Co-op by Christopher Stuart
Nancy Pirri, Chicago artist, and a spirited magnet, draws and prints on ceramic vessels and large sculptural pieces and figures. Textured and evocative work by one waiting in line with the rest of us.
from Ancestry series, tiles by Nanci Pirri
Chicago Artist, Rodney Swanstrom showed us prints of paintings based on geometric skylight shapes, using interference colors which do not read well in this photo but shimmer in life.
Skylight Forest, by Rodney Swanstrom
I wish I had collected more contact info as others around us were equally interesting and accomplished artists. Up and down the three block line people spontaneously divided into groups and clusters and shared their work with each other. Too bad the energy and talent could not have been further mobilized by the event organizers to somehow offer a larger show and share event.
So, while my trip was impulse driven and still strikes me as and absurd thing to do with my time and money, it was also an exercise in following through with something new. I met and enjoyed people outside my circle, pulled together my portfolio and prioritized my intention to move away from film work and back into my studio.
Also, I saw a little bit of Chicago, and I want to see more.