Friday, January 06, 2006

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Yesterday, Thinking About the Art Industry Again

Bach Composing (and the Emperor's new clothes)


Yesterday, I picked up my friend Nancy where she lives in the Rittenhouse Park/Wissahickon section of Philly and drove into Center City. Our purpose was to meet Nancy's friend Mike who runs the Plastic Club on Camac Street, an 150 year old artists club. There were no parking spots available so we parked in a lot and walked to Mike's tiny two hundred year old house on a picturesque Philadelphia alley. Both Nancy's apartment and Mike's house have every wall decorated with mostly wonderful paintings and it took a long time to get through Nancy's and then Mike's because I wanted to see each painting. (Nancy just moved and put up paintings that had been stored for years.) All the paintings and Mike's charming house then the Plastic Club.... Mike set up an exhibit of his mother's work over two floors of the club. It's a beautifully done exhibit with excellently crafted drawings and paintings.
Mike's mom died recently but she and other members of the club are in their eighties and their work is often really wonderful. It feels reassuring to see old women who'd be totally ignored under many circumstances creating unforgettable paintings.
I have a tangible distrust of galleries and art organizations. The Plastic Club runs weekly life-drawing workshops which I'm not all that interested in attending, but I love going into town and I feel it's very important for me to get out of the house regularly. (Of course it's ending up that I'm hardly home.) Nancy and I are considering going to workshops together because it's easy for me to pick her up on my way in town. The Plastic Club has exhibits too and despite myself, I'm always interested. And very negative.
I haven't discussed the exhibits with anybody probably because I'm so apprehensive. Today, I drove over to Cousin Jerry's in East Falls and we went out to a late lunch at the Cracker Barrel. I love Southern food and up here, that's pretty much the only place to get it. I was glad to see there were African-American servers because Cracker Barrel, although they had lots of Afro-American customers were accused and they paid a settlement, I believe, because of discrimination in hiring. I don't want to give money to businesses who discriminate or support conservative agenda--Like Hallmark who gives money fighting against the Family Medical Leave Act. Ugh. People with illnesses or sick families couldn't work without that.
I overdid yesterday and ended up with a tenacious migraine that never went away despite my being heavily medicated. So I really can't do everything a normal person can do. Oh, well, that's not so bad. I still got to go out today and see all the artwork yesterday. It really was exciting for an artist; I always forget what a thrill it is seeing other artists' work.

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