Art Show, January 31, 2016
There was an art show at my house two weekends ago, my deceased father's first. My husband and I just returned the last of the borrowed paintings and ceramics. I won't lie. I was sorry to see them all go. For a few brief days the house was full of art, floor to ceiling. Walking the circuit from the foyer and through the downstairs rooms was an inspiring journey through one man's life work.
Fifty or so guests crowded our home. Old friend Yvonne Hunter took photographs. My daughter-in-law provided the beautiful food, a sister wine and drinks. My youngest daughter and her friend sold books while my husband and sisters greeted guests and the grandchildren emptied all the toy baskets that had been relocated to the upstairs landing.
A cousin whom my sisters and I hadn't seen since early childhood travelled from out of state to attend. That reunion lent an emotional weight to the day, family reunited by the bonds of a unique, shared history and also by Joe Rice's art and legacy--for the meeting might never have happened without it. With each passing year, these connections to the past become more precious. Now is the time to share stories and memories before they fade.
The day before the show, I stood in the front room with my daughter. Three large canvasses, all borrowed, filled the walls. "I feel like I'm in a museum," my daughter said. "They are all so unique. I've never seen anything like them." The paintings were Queen, Tam Valley and Shaft of Blue Light.
She was right. Regardless one's taste, and any judgement as to whether the art is "good" or how good, Joe Rice was a singular artist. Many of his images are like no others.
I hope he sensed the respect and appreciation that his work elicited and that he so richly deserves.