Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Koffee Klatch that Turned into an Art Gallery
One of the most exciting Visioning® experiences I have had personally just happened in the last two months. I've told my story about Visioning® my home here in an earlier blog. What I didn't say in that story is that my earliest dream upon visiting Cambria the first time in the mid 80s was to have a gallery here. I'd recently started painting and doing collages again after 20 years as an art therapist.
I fell in love at first sight with the quaint old village of Cambria nestled among pine forests and rolling hills by the sea. But just as important was the fact that this breathtakingly beautiful coastline south of the craggy Big Sur coast is populated by creative people: musicians, composers, writers, artists, actors, etc. Cambria is known for its galleries, little theaters and live music in various venues in town. When I finally moved here, I joined a co-op gallery for awhile. For many reasons, it didn't last. Some dreams have a time-table of their own. I've learned to surrender to the right time and the right place.
As the co-op gallery was ending, my career as an author and workshop leader was really taking off, with international travel, book projects and workshops. I stayed in the flow of that career and put the gallery idea way on the back burner. That was the mid 90s.
Fast forward to April 2009. One of our local galleries was closing at the end of the month. It was located next to my favorite coffee house, Lily's, which has become an unofficial community center. It is a hang out for many locals and an attraction for tourists as well. I went there for coffee one Sunday afternoon in late April looking forward to visiting with friends under the umbrellas on the outdoor deck. Walking through the soon-to-be-vacated gallery which connected to Lily's, I began chatting with a friend, Charles. "Wouldn't this make a great co-op gallery?" he declared. I agreed.
"Well, you're an artist," he continued. "Is that something you'd be interested indoing?" Three other artists I knew immediately popped into my mind. "Yes," I replied. So I joined him and some others in the coffee shop. One of the artists I had in mind, Tim Mayer (cards, calligraphics and whimsical gifts) happened to be sitting there having coffee. I asked him if he was interested. He said, Yes, immediately. Then my neighbor Tess arrived. A retired mediator, she works in a nearby shop part time and has a background in art history. She offered to help in any way she could to support the gallery. Tess called another neighbor, Lydia, who also wanted to help us get started. Another retiree, she'd volunteered in museums and had bookkeeping experience.
Mary Anderson, a retired school teacher who is one of our best-known portrait artists, had been on my mind as we hatched the gallery idea. Within a half hour, she walked into the coffee house. I could see that this project was definitely supposed to happen. The fourth artist, photographer and retired jewelry designer, Sheila Hollingshead, was at home. I called her and shared the plan. She agreed to join us and exhibit her photographs of flowers, landscapes and seascapes. On May 8 - after two meetings and within less than 3 weeks from the day we got the idea - we opened for business. Our gallery is called The Painted Lily. We are on Main Street in Cambria, CA.
It took 21 years, but my gallery in Cambria finally manifested! This one was destined to be. The three of us who are seniors invested our Obama rebate from social security into the gallery start-up fund. Yes, we are investing in Main Street, Mr. Presdient!
I am selling my art work - collages and paintings - and my life-long collection of rare vintage and antique kimono from Japan, as well as jewelry collected on my travels. And of course, the books and CDs I authored are also for sale. Welcome to another dream come true. Come visit us.
For more on the Visioning® process go to: visioningcoach.org and luciac.com