Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue shorts, and brown flip flops. Romeo is wearing white fur.
You guys, you’ll never guess where I was last Saturday — an art opening, in Eureka, CA, where I was showing a print I made of Romeo to a gallery of real-life people who came to see an entire room full of cat art.
My printmaking teacher told me a few weeks ago about this art show called HumCats, which was based on a bigger show that had happened in LA a while ago with a bunch of big-time artists, and the Humboldt version of which was accepting submissions.
“You mean, like, I could submit one of my Romeo prints?”
“But this is only the third print I’ve ever made.”
So I did it! Because why not?
And that’s how, last Saturday (or should I say Caturday), I ended up going to a little opening in a little gallery, where I saw a surprising number of patrons dressed in cat ears.
The gallery had 150+ pieces of cat art, ranging from beautiful oil paintings and intricate drawings to some of the craziest bullshit I’ve seen since leaving my BA studio art program. It was a profoundly weird experience.
I thought it would be thrilling to see my art up on the wall — something that hasn’t happened since college — but in a way it was actually pretty anti-climactic.
First, I went by myself, and so in the moment where I actually found Romeo up on the wall, I instantly realized that I wished I had brought someone to point at it with and say, “Hey look, that’s mine!”. I don’t usually like to be the center of attention for stuff like that, which is why I didn’t invite anyone, but I kind of wished I had someone there to tell me how truly amazing it was to see this black and white monotype that doesn’t really look like Romeo but which has really cute ears up on the wall.
And secondly, after I found my print I also discovered that the exhibit organizers had lost my art tag, so my Romeo print didn’t have my name or any information with it. So I had to spend my first few minutes there trying to get the attention of the organizers, waiting for them to find my tag, discovering that the tag they had made for me didn’t even have the right information on it, and then having to write one myself.
So that was anti-climactic too.
This is normally the kind of thing I get a huge kick out of — and to be fair, it was still really fun to be at an art opening with my very own art on the wall — but I was surprised by how un-thrilled I was by the experience.
I think I would do something like this again in the future, though. But differently. And with different expectations.
I took pictures of some of the most interesting cat art I saw, which actually reminds me — I did still get a kick out of going to this weird event. I mean, “cat art” has got to be, traditionally, one of the lowest forms of art.
“Oh, you drew a picture of your cat? How interesting.”
But making it intentional, and the focus of an actual we’re-taking-this-seriously art exhibit is kind of funny and draws an interesting collection of perspectives and ideas together.
Here are some things I saw at the HumCats art show:
And that’s it! The show closes next week and after that Romeo’s brief time up on the gallery wall will be over.
His framed print will be move back to my dining room wall where I can stare at it while I eat breakfast, which is where he is really meant to be after all.