Sunday, September 25, 2016

65th Birthday Open Studio Celebration Report

I am just getting around to dismantling my display from last Saturday’s 65th Birthday Open Studio Celebration. I have been putting off taking the work down. Although I’ll always carry all the joy and good feelings of that day in my heart, I can still feel them in the air here. I know it’s time to bring our first floor back to working and living mode, but I will miss the palpable emanations from the gathered work. 

The celebration could not have been better. Both my children were here, one from Seattle and one just before leaving for a new chapter in her life in New York. They have been such a part of my work from their childhood days in the studio to their advice and support as adults. It was so right to have them be a part of the celebration. There was a steady stream of people all day. My son said it had an Our Town kind of feel and I think it did. Two of my kids’ preschool teachers, their pediatrician, a candidate for state government who came in on his campaign walk, friends that have become family, fellow artists with whom I have shared the journey, as well as people I did not know but felt an immediate connection to.

It was so gratifying to have so many people come to see the work, and to really look at it carefully. There was plenty of conversation but it was not like some art receptions where it seems that the social aspect is the dominant one. In my promotion of the event, I tried to stress that while there was work for sale, that was not the purpose. Sales were better than they have ever been for me (friends and family took care of that so I could enjoy the day unencumbered by such concerns) but people who came to just look seemed very comfortable doing so which was my intention. Many people (both familiar and new faces) thanked me for sharing my space, my work, and my birthday with them. To quote Kurt Vonnegut in his book of advice to the young, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

If you have been reading my 65th year posts, you know I have been working through some things related to my work and its interaction with the larger world. As I prepared for the Open Studio, I confirmed my commitment to acceptance and joy. I had prepared the text of the 65th year posts to publish in a hand-sewn simple book. As the time drew closer, I decided not to do it. I wanted to start my 66th year fresh as the artist who is content with her choices and her work and ready to embrace the future. 

Another change I made as I prepared was to only show my art. I had originally thought I would share some examples from my most recent teaching with adults, some of my commercial calligraphy from the past, and my solstice cards over the years. As I started to put up my art, I realized that I wanted it to be center stage. While I believe in the value of all creative endeavors, a lot of my 65th year has been about claiming my identification as artist. Thank you to all of you who have read my words over the years and supported me in my life and work.

I am considering putting some of the easier to ship things on my etsy site. You'll be the first to know.


Mo Crow said...

thank you for sharing Susan, you are a treasure on the planet!

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord said...

Thanks Mo! Crow Book arrived yesterday. Love it and look forward to listening to the CDs. I'll do a blog post about it soon and send you an email.

Cathryn said...

Thank you so much for sharing the images of your special display. It sounds like it was a wonderful day for everyone!

Lorraine Whelan said...

Thank you so much Susan and I am so delighted the day went well. Your decisions around the event are totally sound. I am so lucky you have embraced your identification as an artist -- lucky because you and your work are such an inspiration. All the best! Lorraine (an internet fan, a continent away)

Velma Bolyard said...

susan, i am so moved by your celebration and your thoughts about your art. thank you for your candor. and thank you for the spirit books.

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