Yes, my life is fancy. Well, not really, but it sounds fancy. I go to art openings and gallery receptions at least once every 4-7 weeks. You can too! In fact you should. Check out your local arts council websites or publications for details on local cultural events. Many cities even have semi-annual or monthly gallery walks. Twice a year in downtown Olympia, WA we have the “Arts Walk” which briefly converts a hundred businesses, restaurants, and retailers into exhibition spaces. The event in April also features the Procession of the Species, which is the grassrootsiest, quirkiest, least commercial, fun parade ever.
At gallery receptions you can often meet the artists, and believe me, most of them love to talk about their work. In turn, you will learn to appreciate all different styles of artwork. You will begin to see the world around you differently. When it comes to gifts, my husband likes to purchase or trade work with artists that he knows. It is always something surprising, unique, and I love it. One of my favorites is a photograph of Icelandic Sheep by Mallory Kappmeyer. Put some art in your life, you wont regret it. Gallery openings often have yummy bites and free wine. Ninevah Assyrian catered an event and provided baba ghanoush and rose lemonade. There were other things on the table as well, but I can’t remember anything beyond the garlicky amazingness of the baba ghanoush and the gentle rose aroma that nudged its way into my olfactory to make me forget that it was raining outside (again) and that I have children at home.
One particular evening I was sporting my new salon-fresh bouncy curls and sunkissed Aveda hair color. (I will always be blonde) I dressed in my typical black with a lovely long brown light-weight cardigan. I hoped that my curator husband would be proud to have me as his wife because I looked so good. I mingled with friends, business owners, networking acquaintances, parents of my kids’ friends, the juror, artists, artist partners, college employees, and had a lovely evening.
It wasn’t until the gallery was shutting down and I was waiting for my husband to congratulate him on the successful event and maybe steal a kiss before I returned home, that one of his colleagues told me that my sweater was inside out. If that wasn’t awesome enough, she was telling this to me second hand, because it was Mama T, a woman with the heart the size of Washington, who asked her to tell me. Apparently she didn’t want to embarrass me, so she sent someone else to tell me. But why didn’t you tell me earlier? Like when you saw the tag at the nape of my neck- the one that showed especially well because of my new cute short haircut; or at the site of the secondary tag hanging on the seam? Ideally before I spoke with 50% of the people I know in this community.
Ugh! For sure, I felt silly. But at this point, what could I do? I fixed my sweater and had a good laugh. I can spot a wardrobe malfunction on my children from a room away. But now, before I leave the house, I also give myself the once-over, up-down, turn-around, double check. Do my shoes match? Zipper up? Sweater aligned and not inside out? Mascara streaked? I keep a stash of fix-me-ups in my car and in my office, just in case.
Ladies, please tell your sisters when we have spinach in our teeth, bats in the cave, undone buttons showing off our bras and cleavage from a gape, or our sweater is inside out.