The Phoenix Art Museum, along with Latino Perpectives Magazine held a press reception and membership drive this last week.
Most of the artists, from the Locals Only exhibit, are present. We’re asked to come up and we’re introduced one by one. I haven’t been presented with the group, in this fashion, prior to this. Not all of us are on call, but the majority are. I like the experience. It’s informative. I don’t know most of the artists, but I would like too. We are different ages and backgrounds, there are 2 other females, but I am the only one present this evening. I’m in a line up of men. We bring variety of experience, and education, and we use a variety of mediums, and we make a variety of statements within the context of the exhibit. I enjoy standing among all this…variety. Truth be told, I’m a bit removed to the fact that I’m a part of it, at all. For one, I hope to remain objective about the whole art gallery/exhibition/review experience. And two, it’s a bit surreal.
Up in front of the crowd, I scan the room…lots of people. Lots of people. Some are paying attention, some aren’t. Some I know, most I don’t. So many cameras, so many flashes, it amuses me. There’s not a rock star among us…but one could sure think it. Or…maybe there is and I just don’t know it.
I listen to speakers as they stand at the podium and/or walk the room. They talk about being Latina/o, and then they comment about art and on being an artist. I try to be objective about all this too. Someone defines the artist. I have to smile. I don’t exactly see myself in the manner described. I learn something.
Is the audience taking it in as fact? Do they agree or disagree? The commentary isn’t good or bad, nor is it right or wrong…it’s a point of view.
Do people take the comments and use them to judge us? To judge our work? Maybe. Do I pass? Do I flunk? Who knows. I consider taking some of the commentary to another viewing of my work, that evening. Will it make sense? How will it affect my experience? By the time I get down to the work, I’ve let go of what I’ve heard, and what I had been thinking. There’s too much going on.
I’m not looking for an etched in copper response, not now and not then.
I’m just observing a moment of time and sharing it, one experience, with you. People categorize, label and expect…they can, and they do. One can inform themselves with various opinions and thoughts and still remain curious and open…question…and decide. And then come back another time, start all over, see something different and change their mind.
See the work…share and make comment, talk, label, categorize, question, and then let it all go, and be open to new experience. This is the advantage of the creative process, and a creative setting. It’s fluid. Enjoy it. I will.