Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Celebration

Our artists' group met last night for an end-of-season celebration at the home and studio of Lynne McDaniel, one of our members--a beautiful hundred-year-old craftsman house in the Altadena hills.

As usual, though we had the camera with us, I was not picture-conscious enough to bother with exterior--or even much in the way of interior pictures.  I wish I had paid more attention to the architecture than the furniture, but perhaps the above will give a flavor...

We enjoyed hors d'oeuvres in Lynne's studio--I'll have more to say about one of her paintings in a later post--and an alfresco potluck dinner with extraordinary artist-designed cupcakes by Midge Lynn...

... as delicious, I have to say, as their outward appearance.

We will not be meeting over the summer months, but will start again as usual in September.  Ellie and I have lost track of the number of years we have been working together with this small, select, and ever-evolving group, but some of our number say it is at least fifteen.  We have certainly treasured--and continue to treasure--the experience, and the artists who join us appreciate the benefits of a shared community of interests and, always, conversation that takes us thoughtfully, often deeply, into matters of mutual concern.  

It is easy for an artist--or a writer, for that matter--to get isolated in the studio, particularly at a moment in our history when so many truly talented people are starved for the response their work deserves. I have always disagreed with those who say that we make art primarily for ourselves. It is an act of self-examination, for sure. But making art--writing--is also an act of communication. And in a world where communication has been so thoroughly commercialized, those who get seen and heard are mostly those who are ready and able to get swept up in the march of commerce. All the more need, then, for communities like ours, where we can show and speak with the assurance that we will be both seen and heard.   It's a necessary part of the creative process.


John Torcello said...

My 20-something son recently held his very first exhibition of his photography and graphic design.

It was an impressive event; a display of across-the-board creative effort that impressed the broad and diverse attendees.

He was happy to share his work; no expectations. Sadly, though, many who were invited failed to attend; and, after-the-fact, after viewing a QuickTime movie of this event, they expressed regret for not having come.

It was all free and available... yet, for some for whom the door was opened...they avoided it, had excuses, perhaps a fear of the unknown?...were apathetic...feelings of regret....

Sound familiar?

PeterAtLarge said...

Oh, yes, John. All too familiar. So many artists are experiencing the same!