Saturday, October 3, 2015

Like a Beacon Through the Storm

I am truly shocked and humbled by the turnout to the opening reception for my show at The Gallery at 122 Main last night. The weather was horrid...torrential downpour, cold, windy, flooding...just flat out nasty. I had resigned myself to the fact that many people would not come out; afterall, I didn't even want to travel and be out in that mess and it was my show! During the day, I received many messages and texts saying people were canceling because of the weather. Heck, even Havre de Grace cancelled their First Friday celebrations due to the weather. The Darlington Apple Festival was cancelled. There wasn't much hope for a good show.

And then 5PM rolled around. I stood with my twins in the gallery, freezing cold in my dress and sandals (Clearly I did not consider the weather when packing my dress for the evening. I had been at Homeschool Co-Op since 9AM that morning teaching 2 high school photography classes, so had packed my clothes to change for the gallery event.) The owners of the gallery were there and no one else. The foot traffic was nil. It was pouring. This was not going to be good.

Slowly, ever so slowly, rain-soaked people started showing up. One and two at a time, people marched into the gallery with smiles on their faces and warmness in their hearts. First, one of my photography pieces sold to another photographer I had the pleasure of meeting. Next, a print sold. Then, my husband's co-workers showed up carrying a surprise in an envelope for me...a $500 donation to the National Capital Lyme Disease Association. I began crying. Such generosity just struck me to my core. Then another donation was received from another co-worker. Just as a set of dominos tumbles into the next, so did the hours...people coming in and buying art, discussing the art with me, meeting and greeting the Harford Lyme Advocate representative at the informational table. My kids proudly wore Lyme disease stickers and greeted all the guests with hugs and reminders that everyone needs to check for ticks.

It was such a pleasure to have this opportunity. I met so many wonderful photographers and artists, other local gallery owners that stopped in to greet me (and to buy art!) and local art lovers from Cecil and Harford County. I met a couple who shared their very personal health related story with me and in turn bought one of my largest pieces in support of my Lyme journey and Lyme disease research.

It was such an emotional night for me. In the stormy weather, all of these people...friends, family, and strangers alike, were a beacon of light for me, drawing me closer and closer to the satisfied, filled-to-the-rim feeling of success. To me success is not defined by how many pieces of work I sold or how much money was raised, but success of getting the word about Lyme out to the public, meeting so many new kind, artistic souls, and gathering with friends and family celebrating my determination to speak out and bring light to this terrible problem.

I can't thank The Gallery at 122 Main owners (Carol, Ki, and Paula), Kimie Rankin, Dawn Bayer, Holly Hood, all the people at KWM, Janet from Harford Lyme Advocates, my family (immediate and extended), the people of Elkton, and all the other guests for making this night one of the best of my life. I am truly thankful beyond measure. None of this could have happened without all of you.

Here's to continued success the rest of the month. If you were unable to make last night, please try to stop into the gallery during the month of October to see the remaining pieces of art and to pick up a brochure on Lyme disease. There might even be another mini-reception planned for sometime before the end of the month...we'll see.

Stay warm, dry, and with love in your heart. Thank you again.


1 comment:

  1. Yes it was a nasty night but the folks who turned out were very warm and just plain nice. Janet caught my attention and she told me the story of her Daughter having the Lyme disease, sad. Then the folks from KWM arrived and they were so excited to be there. their donation was great.It was a good night and I'm glad I was there even though the drive home was scary....Very good Tracey you did good. :).


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