First Friday #20

First Friday was a few days ago now and I’ve had some time to reflect on the evening. It started out strangely for me as I was considering not going to the open house at all. That afternoon I had a long lunch with Michelle Neifert and quipped that we should play hooky for once and just spend the evening hanging out together. She took me seriously while I was only kidding. And so I attended First Friday and she went home, which was unfortunate because I think she had the better evening. With that said I did manage to enjoy the night and received several visitors who gave me much food for though about my paintings.

The night started with a visit from my friend and Muhlenberg colleague Emily Orzech. Emily had a show on the first floor which was excellent and gave me ideas on how to install my own show in the space she exhibited in when I have my show there come January 2017. Emily’s only been to the Banana Factory a few times and I think never on a First Friday so I took the opportunity to show her around and visit artists spaces on the first floor. It was good to show her around because she’s relatively new to the valley and not quite integrated into the artist scene here. I’ve been trying to extend my contacts to her to help her to get tenure at Muhlenberg, which with this show in hand I believe she’s well on her way to getting.

When I returned to my space I settled for an evening of light conversation. The turnout for this months open house was on the light side compared to January and February, which had fabulous turnouts. My first few visitors showed interest in process behind the drawing for Pilot 6 and the drawing materials I used for it. These first few folks also seemed to like Pilot 5 , the large painting in my space and were keen to hear me pontificate about the story behind it. As the evening carried on I received a visit from David Sommers and we talked Diana Ross and Chaka Khan. Diana Ross is featured on my Pilot 4 painting and I plan on fitting in an image of Chaka Khan in my new work. David and I talked about these two divas being fixtures of our youth and how music is so different today.

Shortly after David left I received my monthly meeting from Tyrone Webb. Our conversation went all over the place though I’m hard pressed to recall any particulars. We did talk some about a plane crash he was involved in during his youth and how he only managed to survive because he was sitting in the smoking section in the rear of the plane. I wonder what a harrowing encounter like that does to a person as they grow older. Do you appreciate life more because of it or do you forget about it and only bring it up when asked? Well anyway I managed to snag a studio sitter again and walked around the building with Tyrone. We visited the space of Khalil Allaik and talked about Tyrone’s now ex-wife. She’s apparently having trouble paying him child support and he’s contemplating his next move. After some light banter with Khalil we headed back to my space.

I had a few more visitors that night but wound up spending most of the time talking with Tyrone. I’d snag a person now and then who peeked into my space to get them to engage in the work more. What I mostly talked about with these last few visitors was the energy in my paintings which I think is code for something like the works are overwhelming. These last few comments made me think I need to consider lighter less energetic paintings which is why after I’m done with these Pilot paintings I’m going to return to some landscapes again.

The evening concluded with me visiting Marlow Rodale And Darrel George’s space and chatting about beer and our partners . My last notes on the evening involve me talking with some furniture designers from Allentown about the works o Frank Gehry, and that was First Friday for March 2017. As I said it was a light evening and I ended up thinking maybe I should have gone with Michelle to hang out, but I’m glad that I stuck around because these events help me keep my work alive and engaged with the public. Here’s what my studio looked like for this First Friday. I mainly showed my progress on Pilot 6:



Since were talking Chaka Khan today I thought I’d play for you Chaka Khan’s 80’s hit. “I Feel For You”!

And because I feel for you here’s Marvin Gaye’s “After the Dance”.

Okay that’s it for this post. Next I think I’ll update my progress on Pilot 6, Hopefully I’ll be about half way done by weeks end. Until then do be well!

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