My castle mate and I are both artists. We stay up most of the night together, painting in our side – by- side studios in this old Castle where we live, sharing ideas and gossip and comiserations, suffering for our art while most (but not all) of our other housemates sleep. And then, it comes time to show.
I anxiously dread each show, all the way up until it happens, and then I embrace it. On the day of the show, no matter how big or small the event, there is always the pre- hang freak – out… the frayed nerves, the stress, the fraught logistics, the raw emotion. But then, the moment the paintings are hung, the lighting is perfected, and the doors are opened… then we’re on. For me, this part is golden, and I don’t know why. I’m not usually all that comfortable with human interactions. But, as an artist, I revel in the performance art of the show, in meeting new people, in catching up with friends and fellow artists, in learning how the pieces I’ve worked so hard on might impact the people who have come to see them.
It’s funny, but after every show, I feel something like the runner’s high that I’m told athletes experience after great exertion. Each artist is different on this point. My Castle mate feels the effects of this exertion in her own way – She gets a headache and feels spent, exhausted. But I feel a thrill that carries me into the night. And that’s what I’m feeling right now, having just gotten back to the Castle after a crowded and exhilarating First Friday event. This was a benefit show, for a lot of former neighbors who lost their homes when an entire block burned down on Madison avenue, right across the street from an apartment where I used to live. There was great art, great music, and a great turnout. And now here I am, at almost 2am, grinning to myself, basking in the afterglow. Tomorrow, I’ll worry about the next show. But for right now, on this cricket filled night, I’m exactly content. I will probably play guitar for the rest of the night.