2004-06-02

Opening Day!

For three days before I could hardly sleep. I didn‘t feel nervous but rather anxious. The morning of the show, I ran into my own door. Many emotions clouded my thoughts. This was one of the goals I had been working toward for nearly two years ? if not a lifetime. I didn‘t want it to be a big deal but it was. On the other hand, I was simply a little fish in a little pond and making plans to become a little fish in a big pond (hmmm, sounds a little fishy).

I had taken the paintings to be framed more than three weeks in advance. A week before the show I added two more just completed paintings (Iris in Pamplona and Afternoon in Sevilla #2). I worried about ending up with empty space in the gallery and figured I better be sure to have a few extras ready to go. A few friends of mine helped me pick up the framed pictures on the Friday before last Tuesday‘s June 1 opening. One of them, who had worked for the Museum of Cadiz, helped me in the afternoon to hang the paintings. By three o‘clock Friday afternoon the most important part was complete. Over the next several days, I picked up a number of bottles of Champagne, Manzanilla, and Rioja and a variety of foods to make some snack trays.

We arrived at 5:45 but had to wait for the door to be opened at 6. A number of friends had already arrived and we chatted in the street. While my friends helped set up the drinks and food, I chatted with the director who had helped me set up the show. He was pleased with how we had hung the paintings. A camera crew arrived and from what I could understand, they were part of the city of Cadiz. They filmed the paintings and left but never stopped to ask me any questions although I followed them around and tried to imagine what kind of answers I would give. More friends arrived and after drinking a few glasses of Manzanilla. An advisor to the city of Cadiz arrived and we toured the paintings and talked about the meanings behind them. She seemed content and informed me that there was a good chance that the mayoress would stop by after a meeting finished nearby. A short time later, the man paid to watch the gallery informed me ?She‘s coming now!? A mix of fear and excitement ran through me. She was relaxed, with slightly esoteric dress. Later I would learn that Teofila was also one of the Vice Presidents in the political party PP (Partido Popular). I gave a tour to her and her assistant and we chatted about the state of art in Cadiz as well as my paintings. She seemed to like the bright colors and sense of movement. They told me about some plans to offer studio space to artists in one of the fortresses of Cadiz and I expressed my interest. Returning to the ground floor, she explained to me and my friends some of Cadiz‘ plans regarding developing an art scene. She signed my guest book and let me know she planned to stop by later when she had more time to look at the works. More friends dropped by and also a few passers by from the street. Before I knew it, nine o‘clock rolled around. We picked up and locked the doors. Six of us went out for tapas afterwards and exhaustion began to catch up with me. My visitors, mostly friends, during the opening came from Spain, Slovakia, Italy, Germany, France, Ireland, and England.