The evening of January 9th (the reception for the show at St Francis College), arrived in a flurry of activity. I decided ahead of time I needed help to hang the show, help on the night with food and drinks, and also help to create a playlist for the music. The catering I'd do myself.
With Joseph Lucas' expert assistance most of the exhibit was hung on Monday 5th. AdoramaPix graciously agreed to reprint one image that was way off (#5 - the driver in Front Seat View II had some large odd blurs dancing in front of his face). Via my daughter Annabelle's piano teacher, Matt Schlatter, I found John Ragusa who put together a killer Afrobeat soundtrack.
Between Monday and Thursday I designed a book for the show, ordered catering equipment, dispersed postcards, found recipes for traditional Kenyan food (ugali and sukuma wiki), bought ingredients, collected a wide range of craft materials for the kids' table, designed the catalog, and picked up the last prints.
Quite suddenly, Friday arrived and I needed to prepare the prints for hanging, cook the ugali and sukuma wiki, make sure the drinks where chilled (thanks, outdoor terrace!), load up the car, pick up the catalog from Minuteman Press, and make it to St Francis College by 4:30 in time for the catering equipment delivery and to meet Joseph and Annabelle.
After the mega-schlepp of stuff into the car, I managed to leave home at 4:35, was stopped by a cop for turning right on a red at Underhill and Vanderbilt (oops - those Californian habits are hard to kick when you're in a rush), graciously let off because I still had a Cali license plate and license, sat in traffic for a good half hour and was 45 minutes late when I pulled up in front of the college with a very full car. I left the lights on and put the four-ways on while everyone helped unload.
Then we launched into full prep mode for potential arrivals at 6:30pm. As it turned out, there were already some interesting guests who'd caught wind of the free food and drinks and were eagerly awaiting start time. Iwona and Imani were at the ready to set up the bar and food. Joseph set about hanging the last few prints.
It was a freezing cold evening and I was a tad worried that no-one would show up. But my main concern was getting John's playlist hooked up to the sound system. Annabelle helped set up the playlist on her laptop but alas the techies at the college were unable to get the sound hooked up until 7pm, which was right about when people on the guest list started to arrive.
It was a heartwarming turn-out. They all seemed to arrive around the same time – many I hadn't seen for a while (including some Kiwi friends who were passing through on their way from Cuba).
As the initial stress began to wear off I was so excited to see people, so consumed with ensuring that everyone try my traditional Kenyan fare, and that the soundtrack was actually playing, I totally spaced on taking photographs of the event. All I can remember is a blur of animated chit-chat with my fascinating friends, including with two of my patrons (well, one patron, one matron); José and Patricia, and showing them how close I get with the camera when doing portraiture … so those are the only two images I took (you can see them below, along with the works they purchased).
I also forgot to move the car, or at very least turn off the four-ways and headlights. So you can imagine what happened at the end of the night, once we'd packed up and everyone had left. Yup; the car wouldn't start … not even with a push.
Would I do it all over? Definitely. Would I do things differently? Fuh sure.
In any case, I was rapt with the turnout and am hugely grateful to all those who helped me pull it off. That includes huge thanks to my husband Oscar, most especially for saving the day when the car battery died (he was the hero who stuck around waiting for AAA to arrive while Annabelle and I got an Uber home - it was SO cold). Also to José for helping out with schlepping the aftermath back to our apartment, to Imani and Iwona for their super help with the food and bar, to Joseph for his calm persistence and ingenuity with the hanging, to Annabelle for her help with the playlist and managing the kids' table, to the good people at St Francis College, especially Dominic, Rhonda and Joseph A, and to all of my dear friends who braved the cold to come out and see the show.
Thank you all!
PS … There was plenty of interest in the book; the next step is to get that off to print with Blurb.
Turkana > Into the Light || Viewing Dates/Times:
Tues Jan 22, 2015 4-5pm | Tues Jan 27, 4-8pm | Weds Jan 28, 2-5pm