Sunday, January 26, 2014

Installing an Art Show and the Lessons Learned

Early yesterday morning, we headed off to Miami's design district, off to help our librarian artist friend hang her MFA show at O Cinema Wynwood.  We only had from 8 to noon.  We had to make every minute count.  Or so we thought.

The woman who was supposed to be there to let us in didn't show up and didn't show up and didn't show up.  Eventually our librarian artist friend contacted somebody else who didn't live far away and could let us in. 

And thus, another wrinkle.  Only part of the space was available, the back, black room.  The rest still had someone else's show, which was to hang until Sunday.

Our artist librarian friend consulted with her MFA director about what to do.  Ditch the other space entirely and hang the whole show in the available space?  Keep all the pieces?  Downsize?  Wait until Monday?

In the end, we installed what we could.  We hung the snow wall made out of batting.  We installed the shelves that were going in that back room.  My spouse will go back Monday afternoon to help with the shelves in the front room.

It was interesting to look at the crew assembled in the early part of the morning, all of us at midlife, most of us with physical limitations.  Two people really couldn't use their dominant hands (thus the need for the rest of us to hang shelves).  Several of us aren't safe on ladders.  One of us can't bend over without getting seriously dizzy and disoriented.

But together, we managed.  We're all artists of some sort--we help each other out.  That was lesson #1 from yesterday.

Lesson #2 was to have a back-up plan and a back-up plan to that one.  When the younger MFA folks showed up, my artist librarian friend said, "We're on back-up plan F right now."

But I don't know that's a bad thing.  I love to read about creative people:  memoirs and interviews and autobiographies.  The one thread that runs through is the even better work that comes about on the way to overcoming adversity and set backs.

My friend's show has some installations which were fun to assist with.  It took me back to my undergraduate theatre days when I actually got paid to build sets.  I miss that.

You might ask, "Well, why not play with installation art?"

It's a simple answer:  where does one store the installations?  I already have a lot of belongings which have no good storage solution.  I'm not adding more.

Plus, I know that I have very little time left on this earth, comparatively speaking.  The time I spend creating installation pieces is time I won't be writing.

I had hoped to take some pictures yesterday, but my camera batteries died.  I've been carrying around an extra battery for months, except for yesterday, of course, when I needed one.  Sigh.

Luckily, my Hindu writer friend was along, and she took pictures with her phone.  She's promised to send me the batch.  So perhaps more pictures will come later.

In the meantime, here's one to whet your appetite. 

And a close up of the shoes that you can't see that are between the chairs above:

If you're in the South Florida area, you can see this show.  The opening reception is Friday, Jan. 31 from 2-5, and it will be up until Feb. 24.  It's at O'Cinema-Wynwood 90 NW 29th St., Miami, FL 33127.

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