Champagne Summer Soirée #1
It's the summer, it's a recession, it's time to try new things. I envisioned people getting together here, sharing the art on the walls, networking as usual, and corks popping. And charge money for this. I decided that the first one would be the show that is still up since the 14th of July (for those who hadn't gotten to the vernissage), the second one (August 7) would be my own collection, and the third one (August 22) would lend the walls to a new young artist (originally from Alabama) who is in town for the summer helping out at Galerie W.
So the first installment took place last Thursday evening. I got ready by outsourcing the canapés to my dear American neighbor Beth and bartending duty (to above mentioned young artist, Richie Fine), waxing the floor, and making lots of ice. First guest at the door, the irrepressible Terrance Gelenter of Paris Through Expatriate Eyes. He was on his way to a dinner party, but came to check out the art and support my little experiment meanwhile cracking jokes and meeting the next guests, neighbor Dick d'Ari and author Susan Israelson and her friend Philippe. We went back and forth between English and French.
Soon enough there were Pamela Grant, of Paris Perspectives, Nancy, an editor at Agence France-Presse, a software engineer/trainer who speaks four languages and his French teacher wife, two Americans from California doing the museums and galleries here for three weeks, an art appraiser, an antiques dealer, an artist who paints on the cobblestones of Paris, Stéphane Jaspert, and Irish artist Tom Byrne who is working on the second bird painting, this one he says, is an allegory for Christ.
Critical mass was reached at about twelve people, when the group broke into smaller conversational units and chat ranged from work to summer vacation plans to gossip about Michael Jackson. New friendships formed, email addresses exchanged, and for those who were all talked out, I'd left a book on the coffee table of the prize-winning photographs of the "Prix de Paris," Hossein Farmani's artistic baby, whom I'd seen the night before at Espace Dupon. Duane Gautier of Honfleur Gallery in Washington DC had also left a book with me of the work of Spanish artist Gustavo Días Sosa, who'll have shows there and in Paris next year.
I got a chance to enjoy my guests too, which was an aim, and not usually something do-able during an opening when too many little issues keep popping up! But Thursday night, a delightful buzzy energy abounded and consensus was - success! (Thank you to all who came.)
Pictured above: Walkind Rodriguez's three paintings (here til the end of the week).
Below: Geneviève Flament's "Mousses" which will appear in a forthcoming book on contemporary French painting.
Some websites to peruse: