Just back from the gala launch party for the new book, Stark Arthology, which showcases 69 of our county’s most notable artists. In all due fairness, quite a few well deserving creative comrades were not included this time around and for those who are familiar with the local art “scene” (I hate that word), those omissions are obvious, but for those who aren’t, this short (in duration) show will certainly impress!!
Writing about the work would be pointless. It is in this book and show because it is good stuff. Every type of media can be found here along with just about every topic, subject matter and style. What held my attention were the people and the “performance” associated with being a participant. One of my favorite past times to deal with awkward social situations (believe it or not, I am rather shy in situations where others all seem to know each other….) is to “cast” those whom I am watching, into some type of play. This event was like high school all over again in a way, people going around signing each others’ yearbooks and groups of like minded friends clustering into different parts of the school…umm…gallery.
First I must say thank you to those who asked me to sign page 38, I was very flattered. Your caring is genuinely appreciated. I consider myself humbled to be included with so many talented and visionary people. Some of you are just beginning your journey to notoriety and some of you are nearing the end of long and productive careers, able to be who “you” are. But right now… let’s revisit good old Everywhere USA High School. However….I won’t reveal who is who in this posting. I like my tires inflated. So if you wish to know who got a part in my “play”, come by the Snarky Art studio (and please sign my book too).
The superintendent and the principal should be pretty obvious. The athletic director was there. I saw the head of the Guidance department now referred to as student services in current HS vernacular. There were many tenured teachers discussing the new student body and a cluster of teachers that have to admit that they are probably closer to the tenured set then to the new kids on the block. The men of the faculty tend to wander the hallways in a more solo fashion, stopping to chat with favorite students and fellow members of their departments. A couple of assistant principals walked past, while one must have been off doing his job as well as a few female guidance counselors. Some of the new teachers are hard to distinguish from the students at times. There is the teacher down the hall who everyone thinks is a bit odd but they love her class. There is the equally odd theater guy who nobody really understands but who always produces a great show. Off in some wing of the building are the woodshop teacher and the home ec lady. As far as the student body is concerned, we are all familiar with the cliques, good or bad, as happy or as miserable as they made us. The tough guys are well represented as well as the weird or nerdy guys that everybody really wanted to hang with because they were ultimately more interesting. So too are there the girl groups that I won’t even define here because we all went through that phase of our lives and NEVER want to revisit those days again! That being said, there were those girls who were probably very nice, really shy or even lonely, but because of the outside packaging, nobody bothered to look inside and find out the truth. And finally, we all walked the halls with people who went to the same school, but whom we really never knew. We may have known their accomplishments and their clubs, but names were not exchanged for one reason or another. Looking back, those are the people we should all get to know. With the publication of this wonderful book, perhaps we can all learn about the other kids in our class and hold reunions a bit more often than every few years.