I always enjoy talking with Lettie. She laughs easily and is generous with her smile. Our recent conversations have been about my work. She asks about my exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art. She seems interested in seeing it. If you’re going to be in Arizona, I tell her, this really is the best time of the year. She asks specifically about brain related art work. As a matter of fact Lettie, my most recent installation includes a series of brain related, smaller works.
Eventually she tells me about one of her clients, Dr. Akram Mahmoud. Actually, she talks about his walls. They’re empty, she notes. Lettie is a real estate agent in El Paso and she helped the neurosurgeon find his beautiful home.
Lettie is also a long-time, family friend. We like to think of her as the adopted sister. I send her images of work, along with information, of several brain-related paintings that are in my studio. I want her to get a sense of their color and size.
Do you have any smaller ones? He also has an office, she says. I repeat myself, In Tucson…my solo…
One morning, she calls, wondering when I might be coming to El Paso. Interesting timing as my husband and I were scheduled to fly in that week. Can you bring some of the available paintings? We’re communicating via text, she can’t hear me laugh. The paintings she’s wanting me to bring are on stretcher bars and they are not that small. I was once told, some airplanes have a space for carry-on of painting-like packages. Still, I’m not exactly sure I can bring any large paintings but I do tell her I can take them off their bars, roll and tube them, if she’s serious. Explain, she says, you’re speaking another language.
After a few more conversations, she is interested in seeing two works and wouldn’t you know it, the airlines cancel our flights. I box up 2 paintings and my husband and I make the drive from Phoenix to El Paso. A few days later, on a Friday morning, I deliver artwork to Dr. Mahmoud’s beautiful home in the Franklin Mountains.
Truthfully, I’m not sure he needs any art, the view from his living room ↑ is stunning. He has a active pup so I set the paintings on the mantel, knowing he will see them as he enters that evening.
As Lettie and I continue our conversation, I learn Dr. Mahmoud is also an Osteopath. I’m further impressed. Eventually, a painting is chosen. In Lettie’s usual nature, she is pleased to be helping out two friends.
Thank you, Lettie. This has been a unique transaction. You move with ease and patience, and as always, you’re thoughtful.
Thank you, Dr. Mahmoud. Your home is lovely. Enjoy the artwork!
Lettie Intebi Velasco is a realtor and a life long resident of El Paso. We’ve known each other since our college days. Dr. Akram Mahmoud DO is a Neurosurgery Specialist in El Paso, TX.
The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.
©2023 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MONICA AISSA MARTINEZ
Lettie is one of the kindest people I know🙂 She’s always happy to help!
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I loved your work at Tucson Museum of Art. Thank you for creating.
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