Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Watching Kathy Change Out a Show

Thanks bunches to our guest blogger, Jane Dorsey,Tails of the Painted Cats Art Coordinator.

Out with the old and in with the new…in this case, the new being works depicting cats. Little cats, fat cats, collaged cats and painted cats. Little cats coming in the front door, big cats coming in the back door…if you weren’t at the gallery Saturday the 30th, you missed a great time. At the center of the organized chaos was Kathy Berls, calmly telling people to “put your piece over there and leave now, please”, sizing up colors and shapes, moving things to the walls they might fit on. “Oh, but look at all the KITTIES,” they would say…”Not now, you have to leave” “OK, we’ll be back…”

This was shaping up to be a pretty hot show. Considering all the folk that don’t admit to liking cats, paintings were coming out of the woodwork. Meanwhile, the big Cat Care Society Painted Cats were leaping out of Subaru’s and coming in from the alley (like cats do); perching on pedestals, crates and whatever else looked suitable. “That one can go here, no turn it this way, well, maybe turn it around, let’s put it here instead”. Our show choreographer wasn’t missing a beat as she sized it all up and brought it together with experience and grace.

Do we walk into a gallery and ever really think about the skill it took to hang the show? Do we appreciate the spatial relationships between the various dimensioned works? More than likely, we just look at the work because it’s a pleasing arrangement and flows well. That’s the way it should be, but what skill and experience it takes to do that. Give the average person (like me) a hammer, some nails, a ladder and a hundred paintings, and I would run screaming into the night.

So, I was back to see it Wednesday when I worked my monthly shift. It is amazing. Not that I haven’t seen the CCS cats before, since we’ve been hauling them all over town for two months now. But here they all are, majestically placed so that a visitor not only walks past the paintings; rather, you walk into and through the entire show with cats all around you. How cool is that?

While sitting downstairs that day, here are some of the comments I heard:

“Omigosh…they are all adorable…Dad, did you see this??”
“They kind of make you smile; you know we need more of that….”
“This show has heart.”
“It’s wonderful because people get to know their cats so well and can actually paint their expressions. “
“Have you seen the Cats show yet??? I swear it’s the best show we have had in years…”

Don’t miss that Cats show……Meow!

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