Saturday, August 8, 2009

1st Friday with Frida was FABULOUS

I'm exhausted but so happy with the results from participating in the City of Oakland's First Friday. During the first Friday of the month, Oakland galleries and museums open up their doors to the public showcasing the work of artists and crafters. Giovanna Tanzillo, owner of Uptown Body and Fender garage and a tireless supporter of the arts, transformed her fabulous auto body repair shop into an even more fabulous gallery. The old brick structure, beautiful overhead lighting and twinkling white lights lining the walls, made for a wonderful environment to sell. Top that off with a beautiful Trio performing music that sounded like a cross between French "cafe society" music and Mexican ballads. Round tables were set in in the center of the garage so First Friday revelers could sit, chat, drink wine and sample snacks. What a great scene!

Sales were fairly steady for me (yeah, yeah, yeah)!!! A big surprise came when a male customer (didn't get his name or card) came up to me and asked to buy my Te Amo Mucho purse. I gave him the price, wrapped it up and he gave me one bill. He said to keep the change. I assumed it was a $50.00 bill and thanked him for the extra amount. He left and when I looked at the bill in my hand...it was for $100.00!!! I was beside myself. I immediately went over and thanked him again and gave him a big hug. He said he's an artist and gallery owner and knows how difficult it can be to pursue a career in the arts. WOW...this has never happened to me before. Afterwards, the same guy went around buying items from various artists and leaving his "tips" with everyone.

After he left, I spoke with Rachel Anne Palacios (the curator of The Many Faces of Frida) and we decided he was our guardian angel. The most interesting thing about all of this is that at the beginning of the event, I had a chat with Rachel about how difficult our life is as full-time artists. I said to her how all consuming our work is from the creation of each piece to the promotion of it and hopefully to a sale. We were both expressing frustration at how consistent hard work does not always payoff in the immediate. The gist of our conversation was that building, challenging your art plus expanding your customer base is a long term effort. Both of us expressed the feeling that we didn't want to do anything else and these efforts were what it took.

Well, lo and behold Mr. Guardian Angel came in that night to raise our spirits and confirm we were on the right track.

Do I really believe he was a guardian angel who heard our laments? Well, he looked pretty real to me. I do somehow feel that someone, somewhere heard our concerns and sent him as our gift. Call the experience whatever you like but it was definitely otherworldly!

I do believe we are not always in control of our reality.

There you have it!


  1. What a great event! Congratulations. I'm so glad you got that visit from the guardian angel -- somebody up there likes you! And, of course wants you to keep on with your beautiful work, Martha! - Marianne