Finally. after almost a year of planning and preparation, my work is on display at Gallery 194 in Lapeer, Michigan. It feels like a huge accomplishment! And, though the artwork is mine, this would never have happened without the support and assistance of many others.
My sisters, Cheryl and Brenda, worried – when I hadn’t had the foresight to be concerned – how I would get my work from my home studio on Beaver Island down to the gallery in Lapeer. They formulated a plan, and put it into play. It involved Cheryl taking care of two of her grandchildren, so that my nephew Bob and his wife Casey could drive up north and bring their truck across on the boat. Cheryl also covered the round trip passage.
The ferry has gone down to its limited fall schedule. Bob and Casey came over on a Monday, and couldn’t leave until Wednesday. On Tuesday, they came to my house, and helped load dozens of boxes into the back of the covered pickup. It went back on the ferry the next day, and they drove it downstate, to be parked in Cheryl’s garage until we could deliver it to the gallery.
If this hadn’t happened, I would have made at least a dozen trips to the airport, to get all my boxes there. I would have paid freight on each one. On the day I flew across, I would have come to the too-late realization that they would not all fit in the Envoy that I use on the mainland. That would leave me scrambling to rent a trailer of some kind to get the work three hundred miles down the state. If I could find a trailer to rent. If there is a hookup for a trailer on that mainland vehicle. If I could manage the nightmare scenario of that long drive on the freeway with a trailer, having never pulled a trailer for even a short distance.
Then, of course, the trailer would have to be unloaded and the artwork stored for three days until we could deliver it to the gallery. The trailer would have to be returned somewhere downstate, or else I’d have to bring it back with me a week later, having paid to keep it all of that time. Then, the artwork would all have to be transported to the gallery. By the time it got there, those boxes would have been moved and handled a dozen times!
That’s just one example of the help I received. My grandson, Patrick, rearranged his work schedule in order to drive up north to take care of my dogs, so I could get away. Brenda and Keith put me up in their house, fed me, entertained me, and put up with all of my comings and goings. Cheryl delivered the artwork to the gallery on set-up day, and helped unload the many boxes.
The gallery crew was exceptional. Though I’d had some pretty specific ideas about how I’d like the work hung, Katie quickly demonstrated her advanced knowledge of setting up shows, and the space we were working with. I bowed to her expertise.
Then, there were friends and family who came to support me and give me encouragement, and many others who sent good wishes from afar. The work looks good on the walls of the gallery. The opening reception was well-attended, and fun! I made a few sales. It was a whirlwind of a trip following a very busy year, but all well worth it.