It’s been an exciting week. Dave had his first show open at the Viewpoint Gallery in Sacramento. He’s gotten prints into many other shows, but this show displays a majority of prints from his “Marking Our Place in the World” project. It’s been quite an experience for Dave because he is displaying with another artist and a couple of the initial possibilities didn’t work out. The final choice, Stephen Johnson, was wonderful because Steve was the first photography instructor that Dave ever had, is a good friend, and taught the class where Dave and I first met.
Last Monday, we drove up to Sacramento to bring up Dave and Steve’s prints to the gallery. That was interesting because it rained gently all the way up (about a hundred miles from San Francisco). That doesn’t happen much in June around here. The Viewpoint Gallery is run entirely by volunteers and they did a hang-up….excuse me, bang-up job of quickly hanging Steve and Dave’s prints. I was impressed by how good the prints looked, spread out on the walls and well lit. It allowed me to see details I had missed before. We returned home after lunch and the rain clouds were moving off. The clouds were incredible, with different patterns and colors in their layers. Unfortuately, the great view we had on the freeway was not going to be readily visible if we got off, so all I got were some snapshots and an iPhone movie.
Dave’s opening was on Friday, June 8. We booked a room for 2 nights because Saturday was Sacramento’s “Second Saturday” which is a a street event where galleries and stores stay open and many offer food and wine to the public. We were told that the June “Second Saturday” is usually the busiest night of the year for the gallery, so we wanted to see it.
We headed up Interstate 80 pretty early, so we would have time to relax in the hotel. But no, we got a flat tire halfway there. Dave noticed the warning come up and we pulled into a gas station. There was a large round metal item the size of a bottle cap dug into the edge of the tire. We’ll find out what it is when Dave replaces the tire. Luckily for us, Triple A was just a phone call away and our spare was in working condition. Forty minutes later, we were on our way.
What made the event extra fun was that quite a few friends and family came up to see the show. Dave’s parents and one of his sisters drove up and our friends Rick and Mary also came to party. It was great to see Steve Johnson and Fiona McDonnell at the gallery. The wonderful volunteers arranged the food and wine, brought people over to talk to Steve and Dave, and ran everything smoothly. Around 7 p.m., Steve Johnson got up to speak. He talked a little about his projects, then spoke about meeting Dave in 1979 and recognizing in him a “…gifted eye and a sensitive soul”. In return, when Dave began to speak, he credited Steve with inspiring him in his first class session by drawing a camera viewfinder rectangle on the blackboard and stating: “This is your world and you control everything in it.” Dave then went on to talk about the conception and evolution of his project. I was impressed. Although we’ve discussed the project various times, I never heard him speak so cogently about it.
The gallery started emptying out at 8:30. We tried to entice Dave’s parents and his sister, Kathy and and her husband, Mike to meet us for breakfast the next day, but everyone was busy. But we enjoyed a celebratory dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant with Mary and Rick and Steve and Fiona.
After a relaxing breakfast at the hotel , Dave and I went to the Crocker Art Museum. The last time we were there the museum was contained within the Crocker Mansion. Now there is an enormous modern addition. We skittered through it, wandering into the areas of art we were interested in. There was a special exhibit of work by Mel Ramos, full of naked ladies, seductively posed with Cracker Jacks, Junior Mints and other goodies. We wore ourselves out and returned to the hotel for some down time. Having eaten so late on Friday, we had an early dinner at the Spanish Aioli Bodega Espanola with Mary and Rick and Jeff and Betty. We enjoyed Paella, various tapas, good wines, the bossy manager who made sure we got what we needed, and each other’s company.
After dinner we returned to Viewpoint Gallery, where “Second Saturday” was getting into full swing. The weather was warm and windy and the streets of midtown were filled with bands and people enjoying the evening. We spent about 90 minutes at the gallery and then went off in search of dessert. The Dessert Diner had too long a line so we ended up at a nearby bakery, Trey B Cakes. Oh yeah!
Sunday morning, we met again in the hotel lounge for breakfast, and quickly got some fresh air outside when the hotel fire alarms started buzzing. Eventually, the fire engines showed up, determined it was a false alarm, and we returned to our food. The ride home was uneventful, although it took us about 15 minutes to get past the toll booths and metering lights on the Bay Bridge. We haven’t experienced bridge traffic much and it’s a shock to see how slow it is.
For those who are interested, Dave’s show will hang at the Viewpoint Gallery until July 7, so if you’re in the vicinity…..