Yesterday May 1st was First Friday at the Banana Factory in South Bethlehem so once again the artists-in-residence were on display. I tried something new for this FF and tried to actually do some artwork during the open house. I actually got a little work done and appreciated having a distraction from the crowds. Several moments popped out at me as interesting last night. The first was a black mother and her two kids who came into my space early on. I was working with hot wax and was concerned her kids would get burned so I don’t believe I was all that friendly when they came in. However after a moment I had a nice conversation with this mother and I felt like a role model of what a life as an artist could look like for her kids. That’s arrogant I know, but I certainly wish I had someone tell me when I was younger that a pudgy queer poor black kid could be an artist when he grew up. It would have saved me a lot of heartache over my choices.
Anyway the second moment occurred when I geeked out with my girl Michelle Niefert’s husband Keith. Its rare I meet an unapologetic nerd, and loved talking Battlestar Galactica, and Game of Thrones and coding with him. Being a bit geeky has only recently become fashionable in our culture I think and so I feel a lot of us are still a bit in the closet when it comes to our nerdy obsessions and are reticent to share.
My last observation last night importantly dealt with how I talk about my work to strangers. A co-worker at the horrible part-time job I have, listened to my spiel regarding my “Pilot” series and wisely suggested that for next First Friday I simple type out a statement that I could point visitors to. It would certainly cut down on my often verbose explanations of my inspiration. So I’ll definitely do that for next time.
One last bit about last night. I noticed on several occasions folks stopping by my studio space simply to eat my food and drink my hootch. At one point Michelle’s husband Keith just looked at me and said, “man that’s a losing battle”. He’s probably right. But if your reading this blog and want to stop by my studio on a First Friday – and let me emphasize all are welcome – at least say hello and look at the work before you get your grub on.
Here’s the studio right before the crowds on First Friday May 1