It’s the heart splayed, soul displayed feeling. Vulnerable, that’s how it feels to walk into a new gallery with art in hand, even if you already know your piece is accepted into the show. And even more so in a new city. A new city, and yet an old city. I graduated from the University of Denver, but this is the first time I’ve shown a piece of my art in Denver in more than two decades.
As two of my kids accompanied me on the drive down 6th Avenue, I told them the story of another memorable trip to downtown Denver. As a brand new art student at DU and as a country girl adrift for the first time in a big city, I needed art supplies for classes the next day. The best art store was located deep in the high rises of downtown. Unfortunately a blizzard hit. Even more unfortunately, my 1973 bug lacked heat and adequate defrost. Not to be deterred, I rolled down the driver’s side window, leaned out into the open snow to see, and made my way into the frozen core of the city.
So, in a way, showing in Denver brings me full circle, to the place where I morphed from a girl who loved to paint into an artist. After school, I wandered through life for many years not painting much, but collecting ideas. Now, in the last few years, memories and impressions split my heart and spill from my soul, refusing to remain contained any longer.
Embedded in that painting winding through downtown streets yesterday, carried by my son, were tears and fears and hard-won hope. Emotions burning within me, overflowing into the world – a bird vulnerable to being shot down, but with the possibility of flight into another heart fighting to get off the ground.
Come what may, the bird must fly.
Arise was juried into an exhibition at Gallery at Studio j, located at 742 Santa Fe Dr 80204 in the Arts District on Santa Fe in Denver. The exhibition runs November 4 – December 15, including Denver Arts Week and First and Third Friday Art Walks.