Lost Night Time Connections

I went to the monthly Lost Artists Colony show in Chicago tonight (last Saturday, as I rewrite this) by myself, running late (perhaps I should have driven). I wanted to get down in time to sign up for the poetry reading slots, as there is a limited amount of time available. I got down there almost two hours after the readings began, and the door to the reading room was closed while someone was reciting. So I socialized for a bit, saying hi to people and enjoying the atmosphere, as there was a good crowd. J. said I could get into the poetry at the end, so when the door was (finally) opened (maybe letting some of the depth of sound ease out) to show a young man kneeling out his verse to a solo trumpet accompaniment. I scooted in, stood (chairs all taken) against the back wall of the small room and listened to them, and then the last six readers. Right after the last reader, the organizer went up and stated that there wasn’t any time for other people as there was to be live music played next. I was out of luck. I’d spent all evening last night and all day today working on my new poem, finishing, polishing and finalizing it so I could recite it at the reading. Ah well. K. later said I could read it in his room/studio, and I thought that was a good idea. More socializing and wandering from studio to studio, engaging in conversation and relaxed refreshment as the crowd gradually thinned out. Although I’d only brought my Ornamental Bounce balls and did not have anything to hang, I was able to garner attention and appreciation of them, selling one of the mushroom village designs. Most excellent. A few new artists were exhibiting, and I enjoyed their work. One had a couple of absolutely amazing paintings which pulled me in and wrung me high and fly. Wonderful depth, motion, detail and balance in a white on black, and another of blues on black. I liked them. I spoke with the artist, B., for a while, and he eventually asked if I had any work there. I took him back to K.’s, where I had my balls (so to speak) and he thought they were really cool. I showed him the ABC Coloring Book and he thought that it was cool enough to buy one. Most cool, indeed!
People meandered in and out, here and there, with the party atmosphere increasing. I had placed my Camel and Duck (plush toy animal props for the poem) on the small folding table I’d brought to use to hold them when I would recite the poem. There were five other people in the room, drinking and chatting, when H. pointed at the stuffed animals and said something about them being kinky strange, so I said they were props for my poem. I asked if she wanted to hear it and she said sure. (Ah ha!) I pulled out the writing, picked up my buddies and started reciting. A couple snickers at first, but I was smooth and sincere in my delivery, letting the words carry to them. By the time I got into the third stanza they were quiet and listening. More people started coming around the door and into the room until there were a good dozen or so. A few chuckles at appropriate times, offset by the rapt attention in the faces I could see, as I knew there were people in the corridor outside listening. At the end of the five-or-so minute recitation, I almost choked up (again) during the last stanza, even though the emotion I evinced was moderately contrived. But I made it though okay. Grand applause and cheering filled that end of the building, and I was thrilled! I had a good delivery and I knew it was a good poem, so I was really glad that I was able to perform it for a group of other creative people. A wonderful experience. K. couldn’t stop telling me how cool, how fitting, how amazing and how perfect it was. He was quite humorous in his massive appreciation! The crowd thinned more and as K., B., J. and I were enjoying stimulating conversation about different creative endeavors, when another guy I’d seen earlier came in and joined us. He wore a coat and tie, which was unusual but not at all strange, and looked quite a bit like my brother, and I told him so. He humorously asked if I liked my brother, and I said yes, very much, and he said good, because then we could get off on a positive note. We introduced ourselves and fired off good vibes as the turn of talk kept spinning creative. He said he had come from listening to opera singers and Symphony Hall downtown. Culture. His name was A. and he began describing how he was creating a Tree of Life sculpture out of carved animals and insects, somehow affixing them around a sphere made from a basketball molded shell. As he was speaking, another, older (around my age, if you measure such things) gentleman I had seen with A. earlier, came in, who. He joined out group, and spoke at great length with K. about K.’s paintings, showing great appreciation and consideration. A. had earlier enthusiastically commented on the single piece K. had on the back wall, stating that, as an architect, he really liked the perception of depth that the piece projected. We all sort of gathered in the middle of the room and the newcomer, R., showed us (from an i-pad) some of his work. Beautiful, interesting and colorful creations. He related that he has had commissions for many places and has been a part of the Chicago art scene for many years, with many connections and much knowledge concerning it. I thought that he would be a wonderful contact and I wanted to give him a business card, but I didn’t’ want to interrupt his talking, so I thought I’d wait and see if an opportunity arose.
We mingled and conversed a bit more, then, as almost everyone else had gone. I was speaking with R. about something or other and he asked if I was an artist. I responded affirmatively, and he asked if I had anything to show. I pulled out my 5×7 mini-portfolio and he began paging through it, immediately liking and commenting on what he saw. He blew by the sports art, and the portraits, but he really liked the abstract work represented. He gave me several suggestions for making a better portfolio, and told me I should submit to an Illinois Cultural art group, of which I now can’t recall their actual name. He said they would probably like my work. Nice. He then asked if I had a card and I gave him one (yeah!), scoring big on my ego-meter. A. came over and requested one as well, doubling my pleasure. He read, “Writer in the Sand” out loud from across the top of the card, and I took that as a cue to pull out Endless Shifting Sand and show it to him. He opened and randomly read a bit, then read some more and then quoted some and thought it interesting enough to quote to R., who made the observation that it was stream of conscious and was very Joycian. Finally! Someone who SEES that! They inquired about publishing and I informed them that we had our own company and that ESS was printed through a subsidiary. They were impressed, and A. encouraged R. that this might be good for a project of his.
We all shook hands and expressed mutual appreciation of our meeting, then they left, and I picked up my two bags and small table (humping to duck the animals into a bag) and followed them down the hall. They turned left and continued on out, while I stopped at the ‘T’ intersection of hallways and chatted with the remaining few folks of the evening, who were all situated there. Mutual cheers and salutations, then off I plodded to make my late night way home. A good night. A good crowd and a great connection for the Lost Artist’s Colony in A. and R.
I was so inspired that I came home and put on ‘The Naked Piano’ by R. A. …Play. I made it to bed by 4am.
The energy I garnered from that evening, and from the wrest of the creatively active weekend, carried me on a positive level of energy (keeping me going Sunday night until midnight), which lasted well into Monday at work, even without a caffeine boost. Maybe this is the tipping of the iceberg toward finding my recognition as an artist. Shivers up my back. This coming Saturday is the Art Walk show in Waukegan, and I’m aiming for a similar kind of evening. I’ll be showing small art pieces (limited space), signing books (ESS and the ABC Coloring Book… and HOPEFULLY my two new book that the printer hasn’t gotten to us yet), and reciting poetry, including another flight with Duck and Camel. Several of the Lost Artists will be up and showing at that particular venue as well. See you there?

Swerve Random Specifics

Swerve Random Specifics

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