Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Lovely Evening at The Gallery

Mud Spun Arts Center - The Gallery's Grand Opening was last weekend and I had such a great time. So much so, that I took only one photo. Not like me, the "crazed paparazzi", as I'm known in some circles.

Here's where the evening began. Out front, before we headed in.

I had a mini posse with me, which made me feel very special - my mom Peg, my mother-in-law Pat, my sister Deborah and my brother-in-law Wayne. Later on, my friend Brooke Lacey, came out to our little town of Belcher-tucky (as my friend Malinda Lastowski likes to call it).

We walked into a buzzing room full of artists and art admirers. We split up to browse and after about five steps, I heard my name being called. It was Andrea Filipkowski, a woman I befriended on Facebook. She's a fellow writer and has also written for our local newspaper, the Sentinel. She currently has a column on, which is owned by another Sentinel alum, Michael Seward. I mention this because I was able to meet Mike that night too. Both Mike and Andrea are Facebook friends whom I had not met in person until that night. I've trusted them to proof my work, we've made comments on each others Facebook updates, photos, etc. and we all try to help promote/support each other. Very cool to see them.

Also in the house was owner Becky Laliberte. I was able to introduce her to my family and we all had a nice chat. She is such a sweetheart. Becky has been working very hard toward this end for quite a while. It was nice to see her in her element and enjoying every second of it. Her husband, Martin, built The Gallery space by extending her original footprint - p.s. they own the building.

Sketch artist Wayne Gagnon was in the back room (where clay workshops are usually conducted) with his son, who was playing the trumpet for a nice little bit of ambiance. Set up next to the snacks and beverages, Wayne was offering his own "visual hors d'oeuvres" - business card sized works of art. Very clever Wayne!

Andrea's daughter was at the prom that night so Wayne created her a custom hors d'oeuvre featuring a dressed up young couple titled "2009 Prom."

P.S. Wayne's depiction of Mario Cuomo (above), was published in The New York Times. You can learn more about this exciting illustration right here.

I also got to chat a little bit with metal and glass sculptor Katie Richardson - very talented young lady who lives on Stone Soup Farm in Belchertown with her boyfriend, attends graduate school and teaches preschool - wow!

Another person I saw at the opening was a big helper to me earlier that week - Andrea Zax. She has a bridal boutique, ZaxWear, in town. I interviewed her for the Sentinel a while back. Andrea did some last-minute alterations to my daughter's First Communion dress, which I picked up earlier in the week. In fact, my daughter's First Communion was earlier that day!

We enjoyed a glass of wine, chatted with folks and then my Brooke-E arrived. We worked together back in my corporate days. She is one of the best people I have ever met. I was so glad she made her way from Springfield to our little town.

Several of my pieces (pictured above) were sold that night - very exciting for me. In fact, I think many pieces were being snatched up by many of the art fans in the room. My sister purchased some of Becky's work - beautiful wheel-thrown bowls.

My family went on their way and Brooke and I went to a local establishment, the Grapevine Grille, to enjoy a drink or two. While we were there, we got to chat and laugh with my friend Malinda, who manages the place.

Like Andrea Zax, Malinda helped me out earlier that day. She delivered all the food for the dinner we had at the house to celebrate my daughter's First Communion. The Grapevine has excellent food - everyone raved!

I had such a wonderful (day and) evening. It was so nice to see my family come to the event to support me. And it was awesome to see Brooke. Seeing Malinda at the Grapevine was fun too, even if we did shut down the bar before 11 pm.

Who says you can't wrap up an incredible girl's night out before midnight?

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