A Pair of Wilde-ings – as exile to the storage room looms
Nov 12, 2018
For two of these shot on consecutive days, I found these results interesting. It was about the same time of day, and lighting seemed similar, but the difference in reflections in the glass is striking. In the shot above Chip Paradis poses with a good part of the gallery (The Artists Emporium) as a background. In the image below, Thomas Ebel is framed primarily by the opposite side of Washington Street.
Again see the album on the Havre de Grace Street page for larger, on black background, downloadable versions of these. Pam (Pamela Wilde, the artist painting this series) informed me that after the next portrait – next posting – she would be moving to the storage room in the back for the holidays – making way for Christmas decor. She'll return to the window in January for her last month.
At the risk of ticking some people off – a talent I seem to have – and in the tradition of my old friend and hero the late Mary Woodward, who didn't believe in avoiding stepping in it, I have a couple of observations:
1 – Stores, galleries, places of business benefit tremendously from demonstrations in their window areas, to the degree that it is traditional to PAY for that service – except of course with artists who often are asked to either pay for the privilege or do it for free. And a window "display" like this that becomes an ever evolving community happening, is priceless. This will be lost for the entire Christmas season.
2 – Stores and especially art galleries, all too often empty, benefit from live bodies being visible to passer-byes, raising considerably the odds they will opt to come in. Expect a downclick in walk-ins.
3 – Decorating the window for Christmas, while in the community spirit, hardly attracts customers as freaking everyone will be doing just that. Hey, having an artist working in costume should be worth a bonus next to everyone else's comparatively lame efforts.
4 – When subjects signed up for getting their portraits painted in this period, they did so with the understanding that they were taking part, as previous subjects, in this innovative project. Now they will be shuffled off to a very dreary, isolated storage area. This includes both our Mayor and the head of the County Cultural Arts Board. Is this starting to make a little less sense?
I've wracked my fairly experienced brain and can't seem to come up with one positive, for anyone, to this move. On the other hand there are some pretty solid negatives. Just sayin'.
My suggestion would be to simply and gracefully arrange to set up and hold sittings during the Christmas season at various locations up and down Washington Street. It's pretty much a gimmie that a number of establishments would be glad to ablige – and I'm thinking that the Mayor, Coordinator of the Cultural Arts Board and others might be grateful.