yep, a gala!
artist, glenn ligon, was honored at the 18th Annual Medal Award Gala at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this past monday. i was there to celebrate, in the new-american-wing courtyard, where i had been just the day before- for the smfa commencement ceremony- i graduated with my MFA.
this night, it looked not so very different (they didn't remove the chihuly) but it certainly hosted a different crowd: all supporters of the arts in one way or an other, but fewer fah-klempt parents. a painting of mine was selected by a jury to be part of the silent auction at the fundraiser, and i was invited to drink, mingle, dine, and represent moi and my alma mater. neat!
basically, i wore a favorite dress, drank gimlets, and butt into conversations all evening. i met hou hanru (curator, and commencement speaker, the prior evening) and some nice people who were interested in my work in general, and some who were interested in buying it. hoorayyy
the greatest take-away of the evening was mr. ligon's sentiments, from his address to the room of donors, but more specifically, to the hand-full of students/emerging artists present that night. he spoke to us about the rigorous relationship one has or must have with their [art]work. using the simple comparison of art-to-"a friend- an extremely high maintenance friend," he spoke of the work it takes to sustain that relationship. without butchering his words too, too much- he noted that the "friend" is one that supports you and allows you to say everything that you need to say; but one who challenges you at every turn; one that makes you feel the highest highs and the lowest lows but that you stick with because of the rewards and lessons that it teaches you; one that requires patience and perseverance and time... and one that is very difficult, but not impossible to come back to when you've been missing each other for too long; one that gives you the hardest time, but keeps you going; and always requires your attention and care.
it wasn't trite. it resonated.
and as weird as this sounds, when my work was sold at the auction that night (!), i was both proud and frankly, pretty somber that i had just lost a friend. chin up- i'll make more.