ALL IS WELL and WILL BE IN SPITE OF PRE-EXHIBITION EXCITEMENT
“Colors of Autumn” was about to open at Hyde House presented by the Four State Photography Enthusiasts and generously underwritten by The Country Caboose Wedding Chapel and Railroad Museum and The Print House Fine Art! This was no time to be losing my digital sidekick. There were still phone calls to be made and a gazillion last-minute details to be put in place. What was a woman to do? Having a melt-down wasn’t an option.
The last couple of weeks leading up to any exhibition opening are always a tightly choreographed stretch of twirling as final preparations are made and pre-exhibition excitement builds. By this point in an exhibit’s roll out graphics have been long since created, posted on artCentral’s website and sent to the printer for production. Posters are up. Postcard invitations have been mailed to artCentral members and delivered to public venues in the area. The reception’s impresario has been tapped. Board members and volunteers have been enlisted to help on opening night.
For “Colors of Autumn”, photographer and artCentral board member, Jane Ballard, serving as exhibit co-curator, had reached out to her community of photographers, soliciting their photographic works for our gallery walls. Prior to the Friday opening night, photographs came in on a Sunday afternoon. That’s when the installation magic happened!
Prepitor (art handler) for artCentral, David Greenwood-Mathé, who happens to be my can-do husband, went into action mode. First hanging all the downstairs photographs in places I’d selected, he next touched up the gallery walls to pristine perfection. Simultaneously, Jane was in the upstairs gallery mirroring David’s downstairs installing and wall prepping. In my office I generated the gallery signage—wall labels for all 68 photographs, the exhibition statement, list of presenting artists, thank you to our underwriters and award winners recognition.
Our juror then made his selections. As an artist himself, a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and former owner for fifteen years of the Upstart Crow Gallery in Kansas City, I asked David to take on this daunting task. After much reviewing and considering, followed by more reviewing and considering, David named the “Colors of Autumn” award winners to receive cash prizes: Gold to Ann Butts (“Quaking Aspens in the Sun”); Silver to Sharon Ketchum (“Taking Flight”); and Bronze to Linda Ralston (“Autumn Palette”). Honorable Mention recognition and accompanying gift certificates for lustre prints, donated by Diversified Lab Services, went to Ann Butts, Bob Essner, Koral Martin, Steven Strauch and Linda Teeter.
With this seasonally beautiful exhibition complete and in place, I began to chant, “All is well and will be.” I had plenty of time to do the final Hyde House tweaks for opening evening—hang the autumn door wreaths; set up the reception table; put libations in the frig to chill; and give the floors a last sweep. “All is well and will be,” I chanted through my tasks.
My run-around to-do list would be easily accomplished, too, if I just kept moving—put out the event banners around town; seasonally transition artCentral’s window display at Cherry’s Art Emporium on the square; pick up artCentral volunteer Lora Waring’s most recent finished project; gather and drop off the recycles; and purchase mini-spotlight bulbs for those needing replacement in the galleries.
All through the afternoon I made one successful stop and then another: around town, on the square, in mid-town for recycling (twice!) and finally the light bulb store. That’s when I made my discovery. No phone!
I emptied my purse and searched everywhere in the car. No phone! I retraced my stops, once, then again, even looking in the huge recycle bins. I stopped at Lora’s and we tried to do a trace on her laptop. No success. We went to the phone store. “All is well and will be,” I kept chanting.
The phone men used www.icloud.com. They found my phone sending a signal from the square. Now after 5:00 p.m., all the businesses and the courthouse were closed! Lora and I parked and started searching on foot. We discovered my phone resting silently beside the parking spot I used when I went to Cherry’s. The phone case, the same color as the pavement and hence previously overlooked, showed the tire tread marks left when I backed out. Miraculously, the phone was totally unharmed. In spite of my rushing around pre-exhibition excitement, “All is well and will be”. Lesson learned: slow down!
“Colors of Autumn” is on view through September 23, 2018, during weekend gallery hours. Do visit this spectacular, exciting exhibition! For more information call me at (417) 358-4404. I’ll answer on my found cell phone!