River Feale, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland ...part of the Ireland Gallery
Exactly a year ago tonight the lovely folks of Lovely Listowel came out to celebrate - my visit, my art, perhaps even me. I was and still am touched by all the wonderful friends I made in just a short month during my artist residency at Olive Stack Gallery. And, I countinue to be grateful to Olive Stack who invited me here. Celebrating in Listowel is a community affair. And, it took a community for the exhibit to even happen. Just the week before I wasn't sure if I would even have an exhibit. And, then the magic of Listowel took over when I simply said "Yes" it is done, it is to be, with an open, loving and expecting heart.
The morning of the week before that last Friday I would be in Listowel, the night of the exhibit, I didn't have a printer, access to mats, media coverage, invitations, refreshments planned or anything else one needs to hold an exhibit. By shortly after 6 pm that night it was all in place and I was off to enjoy friends at the 6 - 9 Club at John B. Keane's Pub.
It all came together organically. Even though I had taken over 5,500 images by months end, professional photography labs weren't to be found in Ireland. Thanks to Mary O Flaherty of Chic Boutique the solution walked through the gallery door one morning, as the saying goes, just in the nick of time. Mary had sent Dillon Boyer, who had founded the local photo club many years ago, to drop-by and say hello. Dillon, a kind soul, is a wealth of knowledge about life and photography. He shared his contacts for printing and cutting mats to size who just happened to be in England. Miraculously everyone turned the orders around in about a half a day when it should have taken five. However, no one would guarantee the delivery date simply saying it was out of their hands and up to the Royal Mail. Again, what was to take days took only one or two. That same day I went to the Friday Farmers' Market in the town center and saw Caroline Rigney of Rigney's Farm and Bed and Breakfast. She told me which newspapers to purchase and who to call at the local media. Calls were made and press releases emailed by the end of the day and by the following mid-week the article was in the weekly paper. Two days before the exhibit opening photos and mats were delivered and now it was up to me to mat, sign and package the 35 prints. Earlier in the week Invitations were printed at the local printing and computer repair shop. Store owners graciously agreed to display them on their front counters. I called the manager of the local grocery a couple days before, gave him my budget and left it to him to decide what wine to deliver.
It's the afternoon of the exhibit. The matted prints are on the wall. The wine and glasses are delivered (with the promise to pick-up glasses after the event). And, three lovely ladies stroll in like sunshine. It's Mary Lynch and her girls of Lynch Bakery (home to my daily cappaccino) all smiles as they deliver trays of fresh baked goodies and finger sandwiches. Then there is that moment when you wonder will anyone actually show up. And, by 5 pm the gallery is filling up. Laughter. Hugs. Good cheer. New dear Friends, who I feel I've known forever, show up one after another. Many take a little bit of my heart with them through photography sales. And, even sweet Ann, who has gifted me with wool scarfs, a photography book of Listowel's history and never enough chats, and who has just delivered her latest sweet "hero", comes directly from the hospital to be there.
And, on this anniversary of being blessed with so much love I want to continue the blessings. For one week only, though November 4, all photographs in the Ireland gallery are on sale, 20 % off plus $2 shipping. Normally $60 all 8X10 and 8X12 (size depends on the image) are a total price of $50. For those in Listowel, your orders will be delivered to Mary O Flaherty, who has already placed her order and graciously offered to receive the shipment. Orders will be shipped in plenty of time to give as Christmas gifts.
Now there are 66 images to select from in the Ireland Gallery. A year ago there were only 25 at the exhibit. Hope you find one or a few that touch your heart as you all have touched mine.
Love, From My Heart!
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