The Vendue is a cool art hotel in Charleston that has rotating shows. Opening this month is Cats Vs. Dogs. For this show, artists had to declare themselves Team Cat or Team Dog, and create a work.
I'd had this Day of the Dead kitty hanging around my studio for more than a decade. (It's crazy, but I found him in Lexington, Kentucky.) I knew this was his moment.
It's so much fun to be part of a show at The Vendue. The energy is lovely and it's fun to have a steady stream of visitors as a captive audience. I was also excited to speak about my piece at a private preview dinner. Actually, I was scared to death but I was promised a Xanax martini after. When I walk in the hotel the first thing I see are two prints by photographer Sophie Gamand. (If you don't know about Pit Bull Flower Power, you are about to get very happy.)
I say to myself "Holy sh*#!, my art is in a show with Sophie Gamand." And then I see her. Sophie Gamand is in Charleston. I was too shy to introduce myself, but I was happy inside my heart, and that was enough. I sat at a fun table with some wonderfully tipsy women from out of town, and a couple in their 80s on a first date who did not care a fig for assemblage art. That was nice because I get tired of talking about myself pretty fast.
When it was my turn to tell the story of Strange Cat, I began at the beginning: With how much I love Sophie Gamand. So much for not being socially awkward. Sweet Sophie ran up and hugged me, and I just hoped that my fangirl energy would help her keep doing her good work. Because her work is hard.
She gave me her card, and I keep it with the special stuff: Cards from friends, Race Week shore passes, and the running list of my fastest 10k and 5k times. (I am slow but happy, please don't judge.)
I had such a great time hearing stories from the other artists and talking with collectors. On opening night, it was a treat to hang back and watch reactions to the piece. I know from experience that not everyone connects with assemblage - but when they do - they really do. It's usually people who think they don't like art, too. That's my favorite.
Oh, by the way - the show ended up raising $15,000 for the Charleston Animal Society. Incredible what people can do when they decide to use their super powers for good.