|April 1st 2016|
Karen and I returned Sunday evening from Charleston where we had attended the opening night reception of her solo show at Principle Gallery. She had been working for months creating the paintings for the show which was to open Friday April 1st, but the 24 hours leading up to the show looked as though the weather gods weren't going to cooperate. We were checking the Weather Channel app practically every hour prior to our scheduled 7am departure time, and it wasn't looking good. At seven the morning of the show storms were still passing through Atlanta, but it looked like there may be a window if we waited until 10am to leave.
Well, like the Red Sea, the storms parted at 10am and it was smooth sailing all the way to the gallery. Not a drop, but the meteorologists were still predicting thunderstorms to begin just as the doors to the gallery were to open at 5 that evening. We had driven up Monday of that week to deliver the paintings and when we arrived the day of the show the staff had hung the space beautifully. Principle is a gorgeous gallery.
|Michele Ward with new staff member Tabitha Thurber|
Karen and I were warmly greeted by Michele, Frank, Thomas and Tabitha, and we had a nice time getting reacquainted and walking around the space. After our hello's we left to get ready. Since we had departed so much later than planed it was nearly time for the the doors to open, so we went to our room, dropped off our bags and got cleaned up for the reception.
|the gallery fills|
A little after five, the skies were overcast but still dry, when we arrived at the gallery. The space was quickly beginning to fill and it wasn't long before the guests began to surround Karen. At that point I faded into the background, as my job now was to record the event.
|Frank adjusts after adding red dot|
I had just got my camera ready I saw Frank Russen, the director, adding the first red dot. I should say the first red of the evening, because three had been added during the week leading up to the opening.
|Frank works the room|
As the evening progressed the weather continued to remain dry, and the crowd continued to grow. Karen and the gallery staff were kept busy speaking with all the guests and of course adding more red dots to the walls.
|Karen having a good time|
Karen usually has a few butterflies before an opening, but it doesn't take long before she's having a good time and enjoying the event. All of the guests that evening were really nice and very complimentary of her work. I guess the only negative aspect of the evening was that Karen was a little horse at the end of the night from talking with so many people.
|Checking out Karen's work|
The reception was to end at 8 and at a quarter till the rain finally came. We couldn't believe the weather had held until the show was nearly over. Personally, I don't think the event could have gone any better. Maybe a sold out show. The gallery was filled for the entire evening, everybody seemed to be having a really good time and when it was over 11 of 21 paintings had sold! Michele, Frank, Thomas Provost and Tabitha did an amazing job putting everything together. They are a very hard working team that love what they do and it shows.
|Thomas Provost and Tabitha|
Originally we were to leave the following day, but Frank had arranged for Karen to be a part of an early luncheon with the Renaissance Women of Charleston held on Sunday morning at the gallery. He had asked Karen, along with two others, to give a short talk and a painting demonstration for the group, so now we had Saturday to kill in town.
Karen gave me the day as a reward for the help I had given her with the show. She asked what I'd like to do. Having an interest in history I said I'd like to take the ferry out to Fort Sumpter. She agreed, so after breakfast and some time spent walking around the city we boarded the ferry. The weather was still overcast and a little misty, but as with the gallery reception as we pulled up to the island the clouds broke and out came the sun. We had an hour there then it was back to the mainland.
I had to make myself scarce Sunday during the luncheon. Women only, so I got back in history mode and took a water taxi over to the Yorktown. A WWII aircraft carrier moored in Charleston harbor. We've been to Charleston numerous times and I've wanted to visit the ship each time, but for Karen that would be pure hell, so this was the perfect opportunity to go. I had known that this was the carrier that retrieved the Apollo 8 spacecraft, but didn't know that is was used as a Japanese carrier in the movie Tora, Tora, Tora and also played a part in the movie the Philadelphia Experiment.
I got back a little before the luncheon was over, so I packed and got the car ready for the drive home. When I was done they were wrapping up. Karen was a hit with the ladies and although she did have a little stage fright her talk went beautifully. When the gallery was emptied we said our good-byes and thanked everyone for doing such a great job setting up and running the reception. After that, it was time to head back home to continue work for our Tree's Place Show in July.
p.s. Fine Art Connoisseur's online magazine posted a piece about Karen's show.
Here's the link:
Here's the link: