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120: Unrelated But Disturbing Nemeses: Art Openings and Untruths

I write as I await arrivals to my very first “First Friday” Art Opening in Maine. Widely advertised throughout the county, in shops, at tourist stops, B&Bs, via mailings, internet, newspaper ads, cards, and posters ($700 spent) I eagerly anticipate visitors.  A lovely spread of home-made hors d’oeuvres and fruit punch awaits them. The 4:00 to 7:00 PM event includes my touring guests through three stories of my 400 paintings plus my husband’s convivial guitar music and story-telling,

It is now 4:15 and no one is here.  At 7 PM will I still be writing this blog instead of greeting guests?  If no one comes to First Friday or if I do not sell a decent number of paintings this summer, I’ve told myself I will go out of business after six decades. I’ve had four galleries open to the public in six states, won more awards than I can keep track of, taught courses and workshops in watercolor, oil, pastel, drawing, nude figure, and portraiture to adults, AP art to teens, and basic art to children. Yet, the move to Walpole, Maine–population 560–has been a flop for selling art. I once lived in a Pennsylvania village, population under 100, 75 miles from New York City–and sold paintings as consistently as I did in St. Louis. But here in Walpole, Maine, off a main route, down a wooded road–and, yes, it might take some ingenuity to find me since the home-owners association won’t allow me a sign at the turn-in (the realtor never mentioned this home was in an association), so my gallery goes unnoticed. I advertise it profusely as “a hidden gem,” playing up as an asset what isn’t.

It’s about 5:30. Next door neighbors and one from up the road came, toured the gallery, enjoyed my homemade pizzas and wontons, gave compliments to my art, but no purchases and no other visitors.

7:00 Bill and I eat leftover hors d’oeuvres for dinner. $700 worth of advertising wasted.

Is it Maine or me? Should I move again?–my 36th?–and if so where?  Unsettling thought. But I must live where I can make and sell art. So ends my Nemesis #1.

Nemesis #2:  Untruths percolate in our nation, society, social media, politics, culture, churches, organizations. I want to see honesty, integrity, and truth rise up and proclaim themselves!  We need to demand them in our living! Influenced by the former perfidious President and his misguided allies to accept lies and conspiracies, many people no longer know what truth is. Personal desires, power, greed, and cult-like fanaticism dominate. The radiance of Truth is missing, or is, too often, merely a glimmer in the dark. Not to desire true knowledge, nor to want to understand facts, keeps people stumbling in darkness. We desperately need the light of truth!

We need to ask “What is real? What is true?” and reach for it. For centuries, truth has been mankind’s goal. Men and women have regarded it as the highest or ultimate good, the summum bonum. The Roman philosopher Cicero said “The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth.” Our very reason for being, then, is to seek truth, live truth, love truth, to insist on truth and put it into action.

Will nemeses #1 and #2 be resolved? A burst of truth’s light might settle both.

Artwork:  Light Burst, oil, 36" x 36," $1,075 "Let There Be Light" by Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork:  Light Burst, oil, 36″ x 36,” $1,075 “Let There Be Light” by Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork:  Light Burst, oil, 36″ x 36,” $1,075 “Let There Be Light” was the title of the last show I exhibited in Pennsylvania and this was one of about ten paintings with that theme showing light and truth’s importance. Most sold, though this one is still available.

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