Monday, August 17, 2015

The last paintings, the installation, the opening and the farewell.

90  F, thunder and torrential rain
28 paintings from this year's Salem2Salem and 22 paintings from last years' exchange (the ones not sold or given away) for a total of 50 paintings.

I organized the paintings by date,  starting top left, and disregarded the year, merging the German paintings in with the New York paintings.

The Salem, Germany exchange stared on the 5th of August, last year, this year we started on the 26th of July.

At the end I was pleased (or as pleased as I could be) with the body of work I produced, I think my new paintings are better than the older ones, but that's just my opinion. Many of my German friends recognized the places I painted last year, which is why I included them, and to merge the two places in time.

At the opening there was music and singing that touched the soul.

This is Laurel during her performance, while I can't exactly explain her work I am moved by it and I hold the integrity of the form.

     I had wanted to write a statement about the conclusion of this year's exchange, the last few days have been a blur, and I've been exhausted, so here it is now.  My personal goal going in this part of the exchange was to make the most and best work that I could and to participate as much as possible in the group activities and interactions.   Now I don't want to make any excuses, but I felt as though I fell short of my own expectations.  My life at home is wrapped up with my family, taking care of my wife and kids' needs; shopping, dinners, car repairs, paying bills etc.... usually I balance this with painting every other day for a few hours.  While I cleared up some carpentry jobs, and put other repairs on hold,  car repairs, shopping, meals and an occasional trip to the movies were not as easily dropped.  I used my "wall" at Salem Art Works to put up paintings as I did them, I would paint in between here, there and wherever I went, then put the work up.  I would otherwise split my time joining in with meals and other stuff at SAW.  I had Emma and Hope with me when It was my turn to help with dinner, and of course they came to the opening. Alane and the girls were able to meet some of my artist friends and we learned that Hope in German is Hoffnung, so I call her that sometimes.

     Having said all that, I would be remiss not recounting the beauty of the endeavor, to be among artists making art, to share and witness first-hand creativity in so many different forms as there were of us: to be a part.  One thing you realize is that commonality and friendship are not bound by language or media,  What a joy, an honor, indeed a privilege!  Many of this year's participants were also there last year so we got to know each other and each other's work over time, saying goodbye was difficult, would we meet again, by chance or other wise or not?  so here is a huge THANK YOU!!!  to all those that made this possible, Anthony and Stefan, to SAW and Salem Bodensee, and too many others to list here, they are the people that put this endeavor on the map and it wouldn't happen without them.

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