So when I moved, I gave my host mom little prints from my concentration, because it’s a good way to show her what New Mexico looks like through my eyes. Plus, everybody loves the art. However, when my host mom saw them, she didn’t believe they were mine. She asked me several times, “Is this one of the post impressionists?” She’s an art historian, so she was really perplexed that there could be a post impressionist she hadn’t heard of. But once I explained that yes, I did draw them, and yes, there were more, she decided that we should have an art show.
I assumed we’d make a few small prints and put them up somewhere at the university or something. But when I showed her the rest of my work, things started snowballing. We downloaded half the pictures from my website, and made prints in multiple sizes. I came home one day and my host mom pulled me into her room and excitedly shouted, “Look, I framed all of them!” She then introduced me to a friend of hers, Lada, who is part of the national artists association and has a gallery. It was all incredibly exciting.
The actual show was a huge success. It was my first solo show, and half the group came, as well as several friends of my mom’s and Lada’s. My friends brought me flowers, and then my host mom and Lada made little speeches saying how interesting and exotic my work was, and they compared it to the work of Nikolai Feshin, who was born in Russia but lived in New Mexico for a while. I also made a speech thanking everyone for coming and especially Lada and my host mom, without whom the show wouldn’t have been possible. Afterwords, I signed some posters that we ended up giving away. It was a great afternoon!