I had to wake up early, very early. I had a feeling that this day was going to be a fun one. It was August 31st...near 100 degrees....and I had a 3 hour drive with a Jeep full of art to get to Aberdeen. We (meaning me and my girlfriend) took our little daughter out to my sisters home in Brandon SD (a suburb of the town I live in)...It was our first time being away from her. We set out on our adventure not knowing what we where getting ourselves into.....a familiar town but a new gallery!
A quick little background...the Aberdeen SD area is farm country, often thought as a town that really has little going on and maybe a bit boring and out of touch. It is far off the interstate highway system and is close to next to nothing. It is a state college town though, with a great art program (I actually had plans to go to college there but life made other choices for me). My family roots are buried deep in this area though with many members of my extended family still living in the area. My heart has a place here! Yes, it can also be noted that this was where I born many moons ago.
Well, we made the drive and pulled up to the front of Gallery Go, Located in beautiful downtown Aberdeen. I commented on the great location and vibe of the whole scene, the stereotype of downtown Main Street USA. The other thing I noticed, and had heard wind of, was the fact that Gallery Go shared the large location with a Mattress Store...Yes you can buy a bed and some great original art all in one stop! I thought this was the coolest surreal combination ever!!! When we walked in...I smiled!..The walls of the gallery where filled with wonderful, beautiful original artworks...The place was huge...to the right 1/3rd of the place was 2 rows of mattresses and beds set up and the walls covered with kick ass paintings. Now when I say covered...I mean covered! This gallery has so much great art for sale by so many awesome talents that it made me honored to have a wall for me to put up my humble paintings....The folks there where so friendly right off the bat. Matt Schaefer (the curator and main man in charge of the art) met me at the door and proceeded to give us the tour of all the art and artists. I was told that the newspaper had given me a full front page story on their entertainment section....Wow! Aberdeen blew me away in the first 10 minutes of being in town....
So I got all my work brought in, Matt Schaefer did a great job getting it hung up and I spent the next hour or so visiting and meeting a bunch of cool artists and folks that where getting the place ready for the opening. Food being prepared and set-up...Beer and wine chillin'....and smiles everywhere! like I said before "I knew it was going to be a great day!"
I was sharing the night with 2 other talented artists...Paul Thompson from the Twin Cities and Chad Smith from Sioux Falls SD....both had work that took the entire show to a new level. It was a scene of color and movement....an almost fantasy groove. I felt honored to be sharing the night with these guys.
|The Work of Paul Thompson|
|The work of Chad Smith and a piece of mine|
The reception started early, it was set to start at 6pm but the place was a buzz with patrons hours before and did not let up until they closed the doors at 8pm...A real great crowd was there the whole night. Lots of folks from young to old, hip to refined. Some local musicians played great music and the food was amazing! Wine was flowing to the delight of everyone....and again the music was awesome. Acoustic guitars, keyboards and great voices. It was truly a night of talent and Love!! I love to look around at a reception and see lots of smiles and folks visiting, laughing and talking about art. This filled the bill! I kept thinking Wow this town has it going on!! A packed gallery, music and smiles!!
I have to say that for any artist what really makes the difference when working with galleries is the folks who run it...Matt Schaefer is one of the best. I have been to many reception and some are very stuffy and not so much fun....that was by far not the case here at Gallery Go. I also have to mention that within a few days of the show...Matt had sold one of my pieces, "Peace in Blue" was now in the hands of its new owner...thanks to Matt. He continues to move lots of pieces from many artists in the past couple weeks...he is on a selling frenzy!!!
I was real blown away by the gallery and its patrons. With the help of folks like Matt and many other cool folks I met, Aberdeen could be the art Hot Spot in this area.....Us folks in Sioux falls should take a lesson in what is going on up there. I thought it was good here in Sioux Falls (and it is actually pretty great here) but we need some Matt Schaefers down here!!! What is comes down too...is the people. Since Aberdeen is a smaller city (population like 24000) and it is in the middle of nowhere....Folks actually love to have events to go to....and they do!
All in All...Gallery Go was awesome...awesome everything! I cant wait to go back at the end of this month to pick up my work and attend the reception for some other artists that night!! Going to be a great time....Peace and Love to you and thanks for reading this quick story