I felt a bit guilty the two weeks after my dad died, feasting so well on the culinary kindness of friends and neighbors. Jeannie brought delicious chicken casserole, Molly a killer quiche and cookies. Mallory’s twice-baked potatoes and Em’s soups all hit various spots on various nights, when my kids would otherwise have had to settle for scrambled eggs and toast. If an offer came, I graciously accepted, and grief began to taste like homemade bread.

This past Monday night, during the supper hour, I accepted a different kind of feast. I had helped organize an art show as part of a Sophia Institute conference, and Monday evening from 5 to 7:30 was the designated time for artists to drop-off their goods.  Paintings bubble-wrapped and boxed, canvases shrouded in brown paper, larger pieces draped in bed sheets arrived as artists unloaded their trunks (and in one case, a motorcycle compartment, two-wheeled from Ohio) in the rain. The gallery room looked like a UPS store before Christmas. And then we started unwrapping, tearing tape off boxes, lifting the sheets. A creative smorgasbord lay before us. It was as if the artists had brought delicacies to a pot luck supper, and we were tasting everything. Hearty ceramics, yummy oils,  collages layered like lasagna, an accordian-folded book as delicate as a five layer cake.

And after Andrea, our keen-eyed aesthetic mastermind, arranged and hung the diverse assortment, packing big servings and tiny morsels in every inch of space, the room was overwhelmingly delicious. Inspiration worked its unnameable magic, and the artists’ individual interpretations — in pastels, oils, twig, fiber, clay, photograph — and their personal creative passions all morphed into a collective, humbling, robust awe.

The show was titled RealEyes, and artists were invited to contribute pieces that represented what it might mean to look at the world with our real eyes, to realize transformational possibilities. What I came to see is that each of our life experiences, those of illness and health, joy and sadness, wonder and frustration, breakthrough and breakdown, can be made beautiful. I want to put a handsome burnished frame around all that has happened this past year, hang it in on a prominent wall, and wait for the flavors and textures to blend, the colors to emerge, the realizations to continually surprise me.


Rotunda of Thought, by Bobbi Kitner
part of the RealEyes exhibit, 103 Logan Street, Charleston
through Oct 7

~ by Stephanie on 10/03/2010.

4 Responses to “Art.Luck.Supper”

  1. This blog is a realization.

  2. This is a great show – what a celebration of the unique interpretations that artists can envision one theme in a beautiful myriad of ways!

  3. Sorry about your father Stephanie but thank you for a lovely reflection

  4. This blog is a feast of words and images. thank you.

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