FALLING INTO PLACE is a Full Circle
A circle was magically completed as a beginning became a returning with last Friday night’s Opening Reception celebrating Jim and Diana Bray’s Exhibition, FALLING INTO PLACE—the title a poignant description for the Brays art-making in the context of their many-seasoned marriage, as well as for my own life in Carthage.
At Friday’s Reception, while the lovely notes of jazz guitarist Tristan Royster filled the galleries, beautiful hospitality was abundantly presented by artCentral’s creative gourmet, Judy Goff--
ably assisted by Pat Goff; Jackie and Alex Boyer; Jane and Allan VanDenBerg; and Kelly Heidlage—all for Jim and Diana and artCentral’s guests.
I first met Diana at artCentral some three years ago. Twelve months before, when I crossed the state line from northwest Arkansas to Missouri, I settled outside of Carthage with high hopes for putting down permanent roots, but alas, disappointment set in. Unexpectedly, I found myself looking for a rental cottage and moving into town.
Feeling alone and disoriented, my heart aching for art and art-lovers, I submitted a painting for artCentral’s annual June Membership Exhibition. Looking for connection, sustenance and friendship, I attended the Annual Membership Event staged in Hyde House and spread on the lawn.
Three years ago I ventured inside Hyde House and found my own painting beautifully displayed in the good company of many admirable artCentral artist-made works. Moving through the galleries, I was soulfully nurtured as I took note of the Award recipients and nodded in agreeable response. Having found my bearings, I stepped tableside to fill a plate and seek a seat amidst the sea of strangers.
Fatefully, I sat beside Diana. I congratulated her on receiving an Award for her painting. A pleasant conversation followed. Introductions were made to nearby others. Meaningful moments were spent returning indoors together to look at the Exhibition, while we spoke of our individual artistic aspirations and offered encouragement to one another.
My own aloneness and questing, carried into the midst of artCentral’s art and art-lovers, have brought the satisfaction of all that I sought on that first visit—connection, sustenance, and, yes, friendship.
FALLING INTO PLACE is a full circle. Today as artCentral’s DirectorCurator, I have the privilege of presenting Diana’s and Jim’s art makings offering nurture to me and to all who visit. Come. Enjoy!
FALLING INTO PLACE is generously underwritten by