Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friends through the years

This week I've been sorting through a series of notebooks documenting my art career, and this postcard was the oldest item in the oldest notebook: my very first exhibit! It was a two-person show with an artist who, almost 20 years later, is still a dear friend.

Painter Carol O'Malia and I met as first-year graduate students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's College of Visual and Performing Art in 1995. She is a very friendly and outgoing person, so I felt an instant sympatico during the first day of the graduate seminar class we were both taking, when she introduced herself and reached out to shake my hand.

During our second year of grad school, I invited Carol to join me for a two-person show at the university's student gallery, which was then located at 1213 Purchase Street in New Bedford. It was the first time I had ever displayed my artwork in public, and I was so glad she agreed to share the experience with me. Shown here is the postcard from our exhibit. (Hey, remember when the best deal in town was a pack of 500 postcards for $95 from Modern Postcard?! Times have sure changed ... )

Many years have passed since then, and over that time, Carol and I have kept in touch through each other's ups and downs, both personal and professional. She's one of those people who, no matter how much time goes by between meetings, you always feel like it's only been a few minutes rather than a few years when you see each other in person. Coincidentally, we now find ourselves to be teaching colleagues at Framingham State University. And last fall, we showed our work together for the second time, at the Framingham State gallery, nearly 20 years after our first show together at UMass Dartmouth!

Carol, old buddy, here's hoping for another 20 years of painting and friendship together!

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