Souther’s been catching up on projects put aside for the show, so I’m going to do a not-so-quick update on our NY trip. After the whirlwind of setting up the show at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, opening party and NY explorations, we are happy to be back at home in our little river world. Somehow in the 10 days we were gone, spring totally took over our backyard and we were greeted with an explosion of green upon our arrival.
The cats were very happy to have us back and we’ve been watching them enjoy the new greenery; seeing the tips of their tails and ears barely above the high grass while they navigate the backyard.
Overall, even with the late nights and little sleep, we had an awesome trip and experience setting up the show.
The staff at the LeVine Gallery were very easy to work with and we had a lot of help. When we got to the gallery, the work was unpacked and waiting for us.
We set to work building the large installation piece. Souther painted a portal on the back wall of the gallery (giant thumbprints!) while I figured out how our snail friend would fit in the space.
We’d mocked him up in our small living room, so seeing him come together in the spaciousness of the gallery – especially next to all the artwork hanging on the walls – was a nice treat. He felt like he belonged there.
We finished the installation at 6am the day of the opening. Dragging ourselves back to the hotel, we slept in and then had a leisurely day before heading back for the opening party. One of our stops was Tinsel Trading which specializes in antique trims and notions. Once we walked in the door, my jaw dropped. The walls are lined with tons of trim, ribbons, lace; with those old library rolling ladders to get to the highest shelves. The basement downstairs houses the studio of Wendy Addison.
Wendy was Souther’s neighbor when he was growing up and gave him his first drawing lessons. She makes beautiful, whimsical things. Here she is with a giant collection of vintage marbleized wooden beads she found recently.
The rest of the basement is stacked floor to ceiling with cardboard boxes spilling over with spools of antique metal thread and trim. Some of the materials date back to the 1800s and some boxes have never even been opened yet!
Souther chose a few bits of thread to add to his art materials collection and we were off to get ready for the opening.
Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. But despite heavy rain and bitter cold, there was a great turnout and many of our good friends came out. You can see photos of the artwork and opening party here. Even Souther’s mom and brother flew out from California for the opening!
The rest of our trip was filled with explorations of NY with Souther’s family. We filled our time with good food, friends, and took in the Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim… we even went on a Harlem adventure.
Dinner with the Num Num girls, Caroline & Lisa.
In the ‘African Peoples’ section of the museum, they had a display of traditional dance costumes. This one was our favorite, named the “Distinguished Devil”… according to the placard, he does “distinguished dances”.
We also loved the pottery on display from Colima, Mexico. The faces and shapes were so cartoonish and seemed contemporary, it was hard to believe how old they were.
A collector of Souther’s, Ron Dominguez, invited us to his home for breakfast and to see his art collection. He lives in a lovely apartment in central Harlem that is absolutely covered in art. Seeing and hearing him talk about his collection, I could really tell how passionate and proud he is about the pieces he has.
After breakfast, Ron took us on a tour of his neighborhood. There are major renovations happening to restore all the beautiful old buildings and brownstones. Here we are on Astor row.
Since moving to the neighborhood, Ron’s been learning all the history of the different buildings and streets in Harlem. He was a very informative tour guide.