Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ava's First Gallery Show . . .

When I was a kid - I fancied myself an "artist" (and a poet, and an actor, and a world champion basket weaver. And a Grammy winning vocalist (best male artist, Contemporary Pop Standards, 1987 - to be exact). And a happy, well adjusted adult despite all of my fame and artistic success).

My parents were all too happy to nurture my creative side. I can remember, from a very young age, taking all sorts of arts and craft classes and then, later, painting, sculpting, fabric arts, pottery, photography and even human body sketching (I was 14 and saw boobies. Real ones. On a real woman. In person (giggle, giggle, smile, blush)). I can also remember getting very frustrated when my artistic urges didn't quite come out as I wanted them to on the paper in front of me. Picture tears, tantrums, ripped up pieces of work, my mother being "scolded" on the drive home (like it was her fault). This self-deprecation and pouting is a weakness I still suffer as a professional - just ask my colleagues that suffer me when I can't get exactly what I want out of a client proposal, viral video or posters for a tree giveaway.

I eventually got the whole thing in check. I went to college. Started just "being". Stopped doing anything that I felt too much pressure to be successful at in terms of my creativity. I did a few plays in college but that was about it. By the time I finished graduate school I had a shrink asking me if I had "ever considered" artistic expression as a way to deal with my depression and issues. "Uh, yeah, I scoffed at her." - and then ran to the Art Store in Georgetown and spent hundreds of dollars on materials to give me some relief.

Worked like a charm, right? Right.

So - fast forward nine years and Ava is taking her first formal art class (to go with the dance, music and tumbling classes she is already engaged in). Ava is "enrolled" in Monart here in Wichita and she LOVES it. She seems very impressed by and fond of her teacher, Miss Pepper (who I can only assume is somehow related to Sargeant Pepper based on her creativity and general presence) and she seems to be really enjoying it.

I put this all in the context of "from what I can gather" as I have never actually seen Ava in "action" at art school. I get a new piece of work for my office every week and I see the new pieces showing up on the fridge and Wifey gives me a debrief each week but - until today - I had never seen the magic that could exist when the "art world" didn't consist of Ava, me, the playroom and whatever arts and crafts supplies she was in the mood for on any given day.

Ava had her first "showing" today at the Monart Open House. We put Ava's hair in "soft, flowing waves" (No, I don't know what that means) and Wifey, Gamma, Gampa, Grandma Terry, (Aunt) Stefknee, Lexy, Ava and I all went and enjoyed the art work, the free cookies and the outstanding blue sand.

I was so very proud of Ava and I can't wait to see the creative things her life might be full of (yes, I'm that Dad - I am convinced my child is magically blessed with artistic brilliance (so sue me)).

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