Friday Oct. 1 - the day of the opening. After a bit of dayjob work, I headed to Lowe's to get shelves, then to the gallery. For the rest of the morning I hung more Franklin work, finished some Opuntia wheatpasting and just ran around like a crazy person. Greg was calm, that was good.
I decided to make the gallery map, pricelist and didactic all hand-drawn, so I drew them.
It was fun drawing the letters of the words for the work and making a little map of where everything was. It also showed me how much stuff we had crammed into the space - there are a lot of names on the list.
After some cleaning (and heaving heavy bags of wet clay into a trailer) I headed home where I started putting books together. After about 50 I saw Franklin pull up outside, fresh from a plane/car ride from Boston. Franklin and I had only communicated online until then, but we fell in right away and became comrades in this adventure. An hour or so before the opening we headed over.
Some last minute book shuffling and some fun extra wheatpasting (thats Franklin pasting up some Oliver East with Franklin's own work in the background) and then we were ready. The opening started as we were still talking and pasting which was a great thing to start out with - working artists making things and talking big.
The opening itself was great - many many people, too many to list.
My wife and kids came over (two-year-old Ginger took her shoes off and ran in circles and five-year-old Violet helped us wheatpaste) along with many pals and friends. Franklin waded in to the crowd, meeting with a talking to everyone. Thanks to the scholar there who declared one of Franklin's pieces, "The best poem I've ever read," and thanks to the many folks who bought things big and small. People seemed to really enjoy the walls all covered with drawing and all the books to look through.
My favorite part was when I got to talk (the image above is my attempt to take a picture of Franklin while he was talking). I didn't like the spotlight and all the nervousness but I did like doing my bit to evangelize about bookmaking and DIY art publishing. Several people, some really good artists, came up to me with plans forming for books. That was the best. I want to drown in books of good images and words.
After the place finally cleared out Franklin, Greg and I went to Mas for some tapas and beer (and some strange conversation with a man named Darryl). We talked, gave food to nearby people and basked in glory.
Thanks to all the artists, Greg, Zach and all the The Bridge, all who came to the opening, to the volunteers who worked so hard during the opening, to my wife for her help and to Franklin for coming all the way down here. I've got more to write about the whole show, but when I think about the opening I think about how grateful I am for all the people involved, directly and indirectly. Thank you.