“In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone.”
“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Sometimes, there is something you know you need to do but you don’t really feel up to it and almost don’t go? When you finally gut it up and trudge out the door – you are really glad you did. That happens all the time, doesn’t it.
From the Facebook Description:
“For the Love of Kettle” is one of the most highly anticipated events of our year. This One-Night-Only, annual fundraiser keeps Kettle Art Gallery operating in the black, allowing us 51 weeks a year of eclectic, North Texas based, cultural programming. Over one hundred and fifty, 9 x 12 works will be available for just $50.00 each, created by artists who exhibit & support this gallery. There are no previews or pre-sales available to anyone, so please get here early and grab a place in line, as the doors open at 7:00PM sharp.
I have gone to this event every year since 2014 – I’ve written about it a few times:
2019 was a difficult year and I’m trying to spend as little money as possible to recover. Even fifty bucks for a painting was more than I wanted to spend – so I was thinking about not going (why go if I’m not going to buy anything?). But then I remembered that I have an envelope stashed away that I put extra cash in every now and then – saving to buy a fountain pen. I checked the envelope and I had the fifty bucks I needed already saved – so off I went.
In years past, I arrived at the event a little over an hour early and was usually the fifth or sixth person in line. The Transit Gods were good to me this year and the train deposited me in Deep Ellum a good two hours plus ahead of time. I was shocked to discover folks already in line. So I joined in. One of the things I like best about the “competitive shopping event” is talking to people in line – especially about strategy on getting the painting you want and looking through the windows at the art on display.
I picked up a new technique this year. I had brought a mild telephoto lens and was able to take photos of the art on the wall – then blow the pictures up on the camera screen to read the numbers under the artworks. This is key so you can write down the numbers of the art you want – dash to the desk and order it before someone else does.
So I wrote five numbers (130, 128, 129,133, 2, 156) down on a 3×5 card and decided to rush to the front desk as soon as the door opened. I know that limited my choices and there were so many good things there – but I could only buy one and I have this very bad habit of overthinking and getting too excited when those doors open. I need to make a choice and stick with it. With five numbers I was sure to get one of them – there were only six folks in front of me in line. A seven sharp the doors opened and I rushed right to the desk. The folks in front of me were buying multiple artworks, but the number highest on my list – 130 – was available, so I bought it.
I love walking around, pushing through the crowd, looking at the art, talking to folks about what they bought and what they wanted and didn’t get.
The event doesn’t last too long, the art starts disappearing from the walls and moving out the door. I picked up my art and headed out – running into the artist on the sidewalk outside. I realized that I had met her before at a poetry reading for the White Rock Zine Machine at Deep Vellum Books.
I carefully lugged my assemblage through the Saturday Night Deep Ellum crowd of drunken millennials and darting rental scooters to the train station. It’s always weird riding home late at night on the DART train with all the crackheads while cradling an artwork.
I love the piece I purchased. It’s an assemblage by Lisa Huffaker named “How We Measure Our Days.” It’s made from various pieces of mechanical and electrical equipment, lenses, and insects – decorated with gold paint. I tried taking a photo of it – but can’t really do it justice.
So I smiled as I rode the Saturday late-night train back to Richardson, sitting there in the miasma of crack and weed smoke floating off the denizens slumped over in their seats. I was worried that my collection of strange items looked vaguely bomb-like – but nobody seemed to give a damn – lost in their own private disasters. There was also a healthy gaggle of families returning home from a cheerleading competition in my rail car. The DART train late at night is a weird agglomeration of groups representing wildly divergent aspects of the evil city. The cheerleaders were especially sullen and teenagery-angsty – they must have lost their competition. I, however, wasn’t. I was just happy that I had found those two twenties and one ten in that forgotten envelope and gone downtown after all.
The cowboys cry, “Ki yippee yi!”
Deep in the heart of Texas
The dogies bawl and bawl and bawl
Deep in the heart of Texas
—-June Hershey, Deep in the Heart of Texas
Four Corners Brewing in the Cedars has some great graphics/logos to represent their flagship beers. They are based on the concept of images from the Lotería – it makes me want to buy a card (or a few), frame it, hang it as art.
“Sometimes, when one is moving silently through such an utterly desolate landscape, an overwhelming hallucination can make one feel that oneself, as an individual human being, is slowly being unraveled. The surrounding space is so vast that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a balanced grip on one’s own being. The mind swells out to fill the entire landscape, becoming so diffuse in the process that one loses the ability to keep it fastened to the physical self. The sun would rise from the eastern horizon, and cut it’s way across the empty sky, and sink below the western horizon. This was the only perceptible change in our surroundings. And in the movement of the sun, I felt something I hardly know how to name: some huge, cosmic love.”
In November, on a bike-ride version of the Cedars Open Studio tour we stopped at an exhibition called Hyperlocal, by The MAC. There was a lot of good stuff there – but one in particular stood out. It was by Shawn Saumell and was called Shifting Landscapes. A small diorama of dried moss and flowers sat on a pedestal. An IV bag hung from the ceiling – slowly and steadily pouring out, not liquid, but a stream of sand. This was building up on the tiny landscape until, eventually, it would drown it in dryness.
Pretty cool stuff.
“I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely.”
“The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagles own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.”
“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
“There is a tree in California, a Great Basin bristlecone pine that was found, after an intensive ring count, to be five thousand and sixty-five years old.
Even to me, that pine seems old. In recent years, whenever I have despaired of my condition and needed to feel a bit more mortal and ordinary, I think of that tree in California. It has been alive since the Pharaohs. It has been alive since the found of Troy. Since the start of the Bronze Age. Since the start of yoga. Since mammoths.
And it has stayed there, calmly in its spot, growing slowly, producing leaves, losing leaves, producing more, as those mammoths became extinct,… the tree had always been the tree.”
“Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour.”
“Country life has its advantages,’ he used to say. ‘You sit on the veranda drinking tea and your ducklings swim on the pond, and everything smells good. . . and there are gooseberries.”