Relaxing Between Gallery Talks

Completed Watercolor of Palimpsest

“The Club was always misunderstood. We didn’t want to have anything to do with art. We just wanted to get a loft, instead of sitting in those goddamned cafeterias.”

Willem de Kooning, interview with James T. Valliere in Partisan Review.

Willem de Kooning and the Greenwich Village artists of the 1940’s finally chipped in their hard-eaerned money to rent a loft near the Rikers hamburger joint and Cedar Tavern where they used to gather for discussions. 39 East Eighth Street is now mentioned with reverence in art history as the Eighth Street Club. They were glad to leave the cafeterias and bars in favor of having their own space for creative discussion.

For years I have longed for a special place to gather with kindred spirits to discuss ideas. My last place was a La Madeleine restaurant in north Arlington, and I still cherish memories of time spent there with other artists before COVID closed things down. Elaine Jary, one of The Twelve, participated in those talks, and I’m happy that she now is heading to Palestine to chat with us this evening.

The Gallery at Redlands is now a haven for The Twelve along with anyone else wishing to gather with us for serious discussion of the creative life. We are not a Club; the door is open, even if you only wish to listen in. Last night was our first scheduled gathering, the next is tonight at 6:00. We only plan to discuss an hour. Last night we went two. I’ll say this at the outset–anyone wishing to depart early is free to do so. No one is constrained to stay the hour, or leave after an hour.

I am still dizzy with the memories of last night. Painters Cecilia Bramhall and Kathy Lamb attended along with theater director/playwright John Lamb, radio disc jockey and musician Kevin Harris, and creative social media experts Wayne and Celia Polster. I finally had to snatch up my journal and begin scribbling, because the ideas were so electric I feared I would forget some of them in the days following.

In the heat of the discussion, John suddenly had a flash of inspiration for a new play, and he could already see the set design and hear the dialogue among the characters in the plot. It is going to involve artists, and we are ecstatic to see how this one develops.

Kevin, Celia and Wayne simply smoked me with all their ideas and insights on ways to use media to bring the spotlight to Palestine, revealing this city as a genuine creative arts hub. Throughout the discussion, all I could see in my mind’s eye was a reincarnation of the spirit of the Eighth Street Club which would usher in the era of Abstract Expression and wrestle the art capital of the world title from Paris, transferring it to New York City. We already have The Twelve. Now we are expanding our circle as we listen to the ideas of musicians, dramatists, writers and creative media experts.

Sandi and I still have our home in Arlington, Texas, but we love spending Thursday through Saturday working in The Gallery at Redlands here in Palestine. And for the past four years, I have enjoyed individuals dropping in for an informal visit, this door is always open. But finally I am happy to offer opportunities for gathering the way we did last night. Tonight at 6:00 Elaine Jary will join us, travelling all the way from Bedford, Texas, and Grace Hessman from nearby Elkhart will be here as well. Anyone else is welcome as well.

It has been my dream for years to have a special place to gather and dream with other creative spirits without fear of rejection or ridicule. So, if you hunger for this kind of communion, please join us tonight. And as for the future, we will be advertising our schedule for further Gatherings in the Gallery.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: