Thursday, August 4, 2016


This is the North East gallery on the second floor in the Historical Site museum/gallery that I work at. I am only there three days a week, but I do enjoy it. Until September this gallery has an exhibit that I absolutely love. On the wall are mixed media sculptures done by a Chicago artist by the name of Cass Copeland. 

Her father was an entertainer in the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Though her training comes from more than one place and she practices many different mediums, she did train in the B&B program as well. 

The pieces in this exhibit are all built from found objects. Every piece tells a story and you can feel the "circus roots' in the pieces. It is hard to explain, but I connect with each piece and feel like I am encountering the childlike imagination of a young one with the complexity of storytelling that only a master of her acumen could deliver. 

When I am taking point on greeting visitors to our space, I always highlight her work with enthusiasm and try to encourage them to see this gift to Lockport that we will only have for another month. Something I connect with is something I want to share with kindred spirits. When they come back from viewing her exhibit I always ask what they think. Many kinda shrug and say it was nice or they do not get it. I have had one gentleman criticize it and say "I don't get how you can superglue shit together and call it art and charge $1200 to $1500 a pop." I may or may not have said that people who buy mass produced prints at the Holiday Inn "art" sales could never understand in reply. Then came one magical day when a teenager with his parents looked at me and said, "This was the best part of the tour. I love her. My favorite was the bird outside the cage, it made me want to cry. What was your favorite, sir?" From there we talked about 10 minutes about not only her pieces, but art in general. We connected. A few days later a women about my age saw it and when she came down she commented on how much of her story she saw in the pieces and wished she had the resources to buy 2 or 3 of her pieces. I reminded her that she could visit them anytime she wanted for the next month, just like me. Then, we talked about the things we relate to and shared our stories.

In some manner we are all that way. There are things we love and treasure and value and we are sending signals out to others. Most of the time it feels as if they do not care and are indifferent. Sometimes they mock that which we love that are a part of us. Those moments we connect with another are moments of wonder and beauty and we bond with another soul. 

The only way to experience that beauty found in connections is to risk the indifference and the rejection. 

Connections. They are worth the risk and the pain because the pleasure of that moment is beautiful. 

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