Last Saturday evening was the reception and awards presentation for the 1st Annual Juried Exhibit at the Spartanburg County Public Library. As the name implies, this is a new event created by Miranda Sawyer, the graphic artist at the Spartanburg Library main branch. Miranda is also responsible for coming up with the Collegiate Art Exhibit hosted by the Library each spring. She's to be commended for linking the public library with art exhibits and creating new venues for people to experience art in their everyday lives.
Since we were making the drive into civilization, we decided to make the most of it. We buckled the kids in and headed to Sparkle City and made our way to one of our favorite BBQ restaurants, Southern BBQ. This place is located about 30 seconds from our old house. Talk about convenience.
The kids have always called it "The Pig Place". In fact, they call almost all BBQ places "The Pig Place". You know, they're always decorated with pig characters and pig paraphernalia inside. We have yet to explain to the 4 and 7 year olds why the pig is used for BBQ decor.
Being 30 seconds from our old house also required that we drive through the old neighborhood. We lived there for 16 years so I guess we got pretty attached. All the old neighbors are still there, the house is still red, and our flowers are doing quite well, if you were wondering.
Soon after that we were downtown. We drove past Krispy Kreme where we were taunted by the "hot now" sign. For the poor souls who do not speak Krispy kreme, the "hot now" neon sign lights up when there's a fresh hot batch of glazed doughnuts coming off the rollers. The hot doughnuts melt in your mouth at this elevated temperature and it's possible for one human to ingest exponentially more doughnuts when they are hot than when they are at cooler temperatures. G and I have been trying to eat healthier this summer so we tried not to notice the bright orange neon sign. Silently each of us vowed that if the sign was on when we left, we would stop.
With the doughnut close call behind us, we walked through the exhibit and viewed the art. Keeping energetic kids well behaved at events like this can be a challenge. And since we do this a lot, we've developed some activities to help pass the time.
We make faces and act goofy (as you see in the image above), we walk around and pick our favorite pieces in the show, and we people watch. "People-watching" sounds so much better than spying or creeping, doesn't it? It's my favorite thing to do at these events. And if there are no artist name tags involved, I love to stake out a position near my art and watch people as they view it and talk about it to other people. So I picked up my sticky name tag at the front and promptly stuck it on Blue's shirt. Problem solved.
There are only so many photos you can take of strangers before you're escorted out by security, but here are a couple. The image above shows a guy viewing my drawing "Dog" with a friend. He leaned in close, cocked his head sideways and started laughing. He said something to the friend but I couldn't make out what it was.
I would love to know what these nice ladies thought about it but they spoke in whispers. They seemed genuinely perplexed, but they gave it a respectable amount of their time before moving on. Well done, ladies, well done.
And the night got even better as it went on. During the awards presentation upstairs, each of my two drawings received awards.
"The Green Grabber" was given the Library Purchase Award and will go into the Library's collection.
And "Dog" was given the Friends of the Library award.
The juror for the exhibit, Will South, is the Chief Curator of Art at the Columbia Museum of Art. In his video juror's statement, he was kind enough to mention my work and to call it "hysterical". I take this as a huge compliment as one of my goals with my work is always to make people smile. I will attempt to either post the video or at least a link to it below.
OK, you'll have to settle for the link. Sorry.
On the drive home we may have driven a block out of the way to drive by Krispy Kreme again. Why we did this is not important. The important thing is that as fate would have it, the "hot now" sign was on.