I had two wall hanging, a bunch of potholders and 8 or 9 scarves for sale at the Open House. When both wall hanging sold and most of the potholders were gone, I decided up hang a wall hanging that I made a while ago and never put up for sale. I was sure no one would buy it and told Kim so. She just laughed at me like she knew something I didn’t.
A few hours later a woman walked up to me and said she wanted to buy the wall hanging. I imagine I had a strange look on my face, mostly because I didn’t really believe her. Then she told me that she was buying it for her daughter. Her daughter had some troubles and was now finding herself again and the piece spoke to her of that. She didn’t go into details, but her eyes got red and watery as she talked. no more words were necessary. I felt my own eyes tear up and we stood there together understanding without language, both of us wiping our eyes, unembarrassed by our emotion.
This is what the Open House is about for me. Making connections. And it’s not always so dramatic. Often it’s just meeting, for the first time, someone whose comments I’ve been reading on my blog for years. Or hearing the voice and seeing the face of the artist whose work I’ve admired on facebook. Sometimes the connection comes when someone buys a piece of art from one of the other artists in the gallery and it’s one I would have bought for myself. It’s the deepening friendship between Kim and myself as we work side by side in the gallery.
I’ve found that the more open I am, the more honest my work, the easier it is to connect with people. And it’s not about being best friends. It’s about finding that one thin place inside of me that reaches out and finds that same thin place inside of someone else. And although we may have never seen each other before or will ever see each other again, in that place, we know each other. This is always what I’ve wanted my art to be able to do, now I want to be able to do it as well.