I have to start by saying that my participation in the "Fresh Faces 2009" show at the Judy Saslow Gallery and the Inspiration Cafe's "One Inspired Evening" event in Chicago on March 13th wouldn't have been possible without the help of a long list of people. First, I would like to say thank you to Jeff Goldstein, his wife Lisa and his daughter Jess' for opening up their home to me while I was in Chicago. Jeff shared his family and wonderful friends, and basically "handled" the entire weekend. The kindness he and his family has given me is not anything I've ever experienced, and I am deeply grateful. Jeff also introduced me to some of the nicest and most interesting people I've ever met ( we'll get to that in a minute).
I would like to thank Judy Saslow, Will, and Madison for having me in their wonderful gallery and allowing me to participate in their show. The gallery is absolutely gorgeous and in one of the best spots in Chicago. Everyone was super nice even though I know I was a pain in the ass about getting images to them in a timely manner, and getting my actual work up to them before the last possible second.
Here's "Mr. Comedy" with Judy and... Dr. Jean Beau ( blocking my stupid little Marcel Marceau routine ) who I also have to thank for both taking time out to come to my show, AND... spending hours on the phone with me helping me with my little epileptic dog Peanut. I've had a hard time finding a good doctor down here that deals with canine neurology ( imagine that...), and she totally helped me when I was in a seriously low place.
That guy is totally workin' that beret. Seriously, I'm slightly jealous about the fact that I could never pull that "look" off.
I think I overheard one of those guys say, "Did you see that idiot over there with the shaved head and the sweater vest re-enacting one of the paintings?". "Shhh , I think he might be special".
Okay, later on that night, this is at the One Inspired Evening benefit for the Inspiration Cafe. Here's a cool video that was shown during the Academy Awards that explains about the organization. I entered a piece in the 16th annual juried exhibition and won first place in the emerging artists category. This piece was then auctioned off that night with the proceeds going to the Inspiration Cafe.
This was held at the River East Arts Center which is an absolutely stunning place.
We finished up the night with a fantastic meal at Club Lago with a group of Jeff's friends who came out for the show. I met Victor ( in the back near the kids) who told me technically how to construct a tattooing machine if I ever got "sent up" ( a valued skill if you ever get thrown in the joint for an extended period). The guy talking next to me is Jeff's buddy Jim ( a Chicago firefighter, i.e a real superhero). The following day, Jim gave me the "B tour" through the city ( all the pretty stuff), and told me next time I'd get the "A tour" ( this would include the less "tourist friendly" areas). Not only do I want to thank Jim and his family for giving me the tour, but for getting me to the airport on time.
I would have to say the whole experience was, in a word, perfect. The show was great and it had a big turnout ( even in, and I hate to use this current phrase, "this economy"). Every single person that I met in Chicago was genuinely warm and friendly, and I feel lucky to have made some pretty nice friends.
Oh, and the food was killer!
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