As I approached the gallery, people were already inside and out awaiting my arrival greeting me with hugs and kisses. Looking through the windows I saw the interior filled with light and color and my works displayed for the first time. They danced on the walls like musical notes, each piece flowing into the other like a choral group intoning songs of happiness. Zita Cousens had used her magical touch to array them beautifully once again.
The opening night at Cousen Rose Gallery held the lightness of a birthday celebration where the giddiness of friends and loved ones lifted me. The overwhelming crowd gathered early and stayed late taking in both the work and one another, as old friends and new acquaintances. The astonishment in the eyes and quick questions of discovery were a joyful experience for me. Newness was in the air. Viewers, who were seeing my work for the first time that night, stepped in at a point in the arc of my creative expression, and long-time supporters expressed joy in seeing a new me on canvas.
In prior years I may have been filled with nerves and apprehension, but this time I was free of them and happy to share a new birth in my work, and a renewed relationship with those who have been supporters for so many years.
The ebullient smiles, hugs and cheers were a symphonic chorus of approbation; and the guests, as colorful as the works themselves, became extended canvases. Many old friends were hugged and many new ones met. Joe Steele held court as friends from all over came to support us on that special night.
The success of any venture, whether it’s a union, move, job, rearing children or an opening, depends on the support of friends and colleagues who assist you directly or indirectly in shaping those goals and implementing them. Many of those same folks were there that night doing what they do best…supporting a loved one.
Photos by Jelani Bandele and Joe Steele