Saturday, August 23, 2014

the reception, oh my

It has been three weeks since the reception. The response has been beyond any I could have imagined, and has been multilayered.

People have reacted to the diary in many ways -- thoughtfully, inquisitively, self-reflectively, emotionally. And those adjectives also describe some of the reactions to the artworks that were inspired by the diary. I have spent much time in reflection, first, in thanks, and second, in pondering what my goals were and how these responses have exceeded and encompassed any goals I set.

I will share photos over the next few days. As you might imagine, I am a bit (or not a bit) overwhelmed by this experience, in a good way.

The first set of photos shows the textile installation. This is about 25 feet long and has photos from my dad's Greenland voyage through the ice, as well as pages from his diary, both in his hand and transcribed in type.

The shape of the installation -- waves -- of course was intentional. When I bought the white base fabric, the sales lady marveled at its color, which she described as "pure Arctic white." That sent happy chills through my body.

But people's responses were more concrete and insightful than my intent -- "an Arctic wave, frozen in time," "liturgical," "reverent,"  "still."

I had put diary excerpts on the wall behind the wave -- those excerpts provided the titles of the glassworks inspired by the diary. The glasswork in the middle has an image from the Life magazine cover story on the expedition, as well as a page from the diary.

People asked so many questions about the diary entries, good questions. I had not thought that so many would actually take the time to do this. They were intrigued by the Greenland expedition, intrigued by the history this reflected, intrigued by what my dad wrote. This level of involvement was a sweet gift.

I had worried that this exhibit might be seen as too personal -- but one friend wrote me that though it was a personal exhibit, it was not too personal to make her uncomfortable. How lovely she wrote me this; how lovely she took the time to write at all.

The woman in pink had asked that I remove the acrylic riser from underneath that vase, so she could see its interior. I happily complied -- she wanted to be able to see how the glass inside the vase was different from the glass outside. I loved that she asked!

The beauty to my left in the last photo is Katherine Cooksey, from Studio Channel Islands Art Center, where the exhibit is showing. She just left to begin work on an MFA at Pratt Institute in New York. She is as sweet as she is pretty.

More to follow...


Linda A. Miller said...

Thanks for sharing this, Pam. Looks like a fabulous exhibit, congratulations!

Pamela Price Klebaum said...

It was a spectacular experience throughout. Thank you, Linda.

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