A retrospective exhibit of the sketches I have done in Orlando will be opening on March 21st from 7pm to 10pm at Snap in the historic Cameo Theater (1013 E. Colonial Drive Orlando FL). I stopped by Snap on the final day of Flight, a group show of photographers and other artists. At 4pm the gallery closed and Patrick Kahn popped the first labels off the walls. He explained that this moment was always a bit sad, like the circus leaving town, but when the walls are bare again, his excitement builds. Its like when you open your sketchbook and are faces with a white page. There are so many possibilities.
The two interns, Emily Jordan, and Diana Rodriguez, who were at the front desk, left at 4pm and then Patrick's wife Holly arrived with their two children, Luke and Juliet. Juliet saw my open sketchbook on the floor and she crouched down to look. "You drew that right now?" When I said "Yes", she stood and shook my hand with enthusiasm. I was surprised by her adult politeness and respect. Holly had put on blue surgeons gloves and she flipped through the sketchbook to let her kids see. Their enthusiasm was the best affirmation that I've felt in a long time. They have grown up around art thanks to their parents. Holly told me that Patrick used to keep sketchbook journals as a child. He passed on this tradition to his children and apparently Luke has displayed some unique talent in his journal. No wonder the kids loved seeing my sketchbooks.
The large photos were quickly but delicately removed from the walls and packed away. Holly helped Patrick and Vince Santilli at every step while Luke and Juliet worked at their computers, but Luke became impatient. "Mom, when can we go!" he shouted. The question was repeated multiple times until Holly decided to recruit him to do some of the work. She gave him a drill and let him assist in removing some of the screws in the masonry. He climbed the ladder and she climbed up behind him to be sure he didn't fall and to help with the heavy drill. This was serious "man's work" and Luke loved it.
When it came time for the kids to go home, Luke shouted out, "Dad, we are proud of you!" Holly, next to me raised her hand to her chest and sighed. "It's moments like this when you realize it is all worth it." she said. It was heart warming to see this family working together to make a dream become reality. The next day, my sketches would go up on these walls.