A few weeks ago I talked about going around to the Open Studios on Cherokee Street and one of the places we stopped was a gallery space called Ft. Gondo. At the time the gallery featured an amazing assortment of found objects, antiques-art etc. We picked up a postcard for a gallery show happening Friday night, and as part of our goal of getting out and involved in the art community we went. And had a blast.
This community of artists is all about putting work up and throwing a party around it. We were told by several people that everyone into getting their work out there. Which says something about the community as a whole. It takes a lot of nerve to put your work up on a wall and invite people to criticize it. However, the vibrancy of this group of artists makes me want to see more and more art, and it also makes me want to work harder so that I can show them my work too.
There were a lot of people at the opening and (after a couple glasses of jug wine) Xina and I got up the nerve to start talking to people. And the really excellent thing is that everyone is remarkably friendly and seemed pleased that we were there on our own, not just because we knew one of the artists. We ran into new friends that we’d met at the Open Studios and became better friends with them, and in turn they introduced us to even more new friends. Xina and I are very excited. Social contact! With real live people!
After several hours of chatting in the gallery, the party rolled outside to the street, where everyone hung out drinking cheap beer on the sidewalk. I don’t know how many times I can say this, but seriously, I love the fact that this city is casual enough that the cops allow a peaceful gathering of people drinking on the street without getting all fussy about open container laws. I guess the other theory is that the cops have greater things to worry about based on some crime stories we heard that night. Interesting side note: people rarely talk about crime in New York in anything other than an abstract way. Here the crime is a bit more real for some reason.
Eventually we moved the party up the street to a Mexican bar which oddly was converted from a German bar without much decor change and was amazing. I loved the discordance of a mural of the Alps along one wall with a broken neon Corona sign on the other wall. Also carpet in a bar. Crazy concept. Anyways, we spent the next couple of hours getting to know our new new friends, and then to top the evening off we all went down the street a bit for a midnight rummage sale that someone was throwing. Love it!
It was one of the best nights out Xina and I have had since we arrived in St. Louis and we would like to thank all of the wonderful people that welcomed us into their circles. We hope to see all of you soon!
End note on the photographs above: I’m STILL trying to make my bulky G9 useful, and have found that I like making B&W images from it, and I like using the craptastic viewfinder rather than the LCD mainly because I like shooting with the camera on my eye, not at arm’s length. I’m enjoying the crazy unpredictability of the images that I’m getting using this shooting method. An interesting fun fact I discovered about the camera: when you shoot in B&W mode, the camera still captures the image in color, retaining all three channels of info. Basically this means that you can preview the images in B&W on the camera, then treat them how you want when you process them. I find it helpful even though it’s just a preview/review function. I’m determined to get my money’s worth out of this camera, although I’ve spent two years trying and only have a smattering of good images to show for all my effort with it. Also, I suck at snapshots and documenting my own life (I don’t want to miss reality while hidden behind my camera lens, I’m not that type of photog) but I want to work harder at shooting when I’m out and about, especially with friends. It doesn’t make much difference now, but it will when I’m older and looking back at the images…