Despite no electricity, despite detours, and despite the heat, the art must go on.
Last Tuesday night, our area was tossed about by severe thunderstorms with consequent wind damages and major power outages. On Wednesday, I was scheduled to give a painting demonstration at the reopening of a local bank. As most of my town was out of power when I woke on Wednesday, I was sure (and kind of hoping) the event would be cancelled. Spotty communication with cell and phone systems, no electricity made communication difficult. But when I was finally able to make contact, I was surprised, to learn they were still planning the event as they were lucky enough to have maintained their power.
My car was packed, subject matter selected and planned out, but the disruption in my home (we have well water….no electric,, no water) was serious. Now convinced the event would be poorly attended due to numerous statewide outages I, nevertheless, threaded my way through downed trees, detours and non-functioning street lights in time to set up and be ready for the event.
My subject matter was a local rural scene. Most who live in my neighborhood have to pass this coming and going through town. While the crowd wasn’t as large as expected, they were appreciative, supportive and just plain curious. Several of the guests were neighbors or people I had met through my art before. I painted (happy to be in an air-conditioned space), chatted, ate, gave out brochures and business cards. And best of all, I got to encourage those who were brave enough to talk about their own creativity.
In addition, the bank made a lovely contribution to the Medford Arts Center, and I sold two small paintings.
And, no the power wasn’t on when I got home that night, nor the next day, or for half of the following day. But, for those three or four hours, I was creating, interacting and having a good time. Not worrying about the food in the refrigerator, or the dwindling battery life on my phone, or who’s house I was going to shower at, or the inconvenience of going into the closet only to have to go out again to get the flashlight.
The power was off in my home and most of my community, but somehow that had not affected the power of art.
“Did You Art Today?”