My friend Laura Calling Bennett is a gifted artist. I've mentioned her here before because it always seems if there's some cool art event I've found myself at, it had something to do with her. So it was with
Today's New Activity: Exhibit Opening at Firehouse North
The Firehouse North, in Berkeley, is a very small gallery. That's kind of what I liked about it. Check out the musicians up top!
I was there because Laura had a few paintings featured in this showing of the Silicon Valley Artists Collaborative, of which she is a member.
I arrived just in time to hear the introduction from Tom Franco, the gallery's director, who looks like he could indeed be related to everyone's favorite modern-day renaissance man, James Franco. He was friendly and appreciative for the support, and generous in inviting the featured artists who were present to talk a bit about their collaborative and their mission.
I was glad I made it out tonight. I kind of had to force myself into it since by the time evening rolled around I was tired and starting to feel a little bit lonely. Going to this opening, at a gallery I'd never been to before and by myself, seemed to only have the chance of highlighting that lonely feeling coming on. And it did just that. I was heavy with a kind of sadness I rarely feel, and being out among people in pairs and groups caused me to feel, at times, awkward and self conscious. But those are feelings I tend to be able to talk myself out of, on good days. And though I didn't feel comfortable enough sticking around to try and mingle and make conversation, I left the gallery feeling better than I'd felt when I got there. I considered that a success of sorts. And I was feeling content enough to spend the next two hours writing at Starbucks before heading home.
One other reason I was grateful for having attended tonight (as I have been grateful for many of these new activities) was that it dispelled a myth for me; this time around it happened to be about artists/gallery openings. I was honestly a little worried I would be dressed all wrong for the event and surrounded by super cosmopolitan people who knew loads of stuff about art and would make me feel like the newb/n00b (a word that is relatively new to me (thanks for breaking it down, Brian, but that is the perfect, perfect word. I almost feel like it could be an onomatopoeia, representing the sound of humiliation your brain makes when you realize you are totally unqualified for, just, everything) that I am in that department. But no such thing happened. It seems people who attend gallery openings are just people after all. And they weren't dressed any special way or holding their wine cups (humble plastic ones) in some especially sophisticated way. I won't have second thoughts about attending another one in the future. :)