Building a gallery from a shell has its moments of satisfaction, such as finding a contractor during a pandemic, hiring an internet company that has the capabilities to run wireless in a place that might as well be in the Sahara as far as connectivity goes. However, these milestones do not have the emotional satisfaction that comes from finding artists who agree to cover the walls with their hearts and soul.
Realizing, I had miles of internet to scour to find artists who would be at all interested in collaborating with a guy from Bakersfield with the crazy idea to open a gallery in an outlet mall. It helped that I declared this was not a scam! I must admit, it did take a while before I began getting responses. With the responses came their stories. Each time I hung up the phone or closed the video screen, I sat with each artist’s journey, success story, even heartbreak that followed their expression of appreciation for being considered for Bird Dog Arts (BDA).
We would set up a call or FaceTime and once I finished my honest BDA’s sales pitch, artists opened up about their lives. They shared about being gay in college, growing up in a small town, length of marriages, sometimes length of their multiple marriages. I heard about how terminal illness required art to deal with pain and loss. I spoke with an animated painter who built a factory that made her pins to raise money to battle homelessness. I met a beautiful lady, who while painting outside during covid, set up live video streaming music for folks walking by to view and tip the musicians.
I am not saying that artists are the only people that feel or have a story. Everyone has a story to tell, however, not everyone finds how to tell it.
What I am deducting from this experience is, those that hear what we at Bird Dog Arts are doing agree it is brave, exciting, risky, and frightening. BDA is putting itself out there in the middle of all sorts of dangers and unknowns. The artists that have come onboard, I believe, have overcome the same very thing along their journeys. They tell me what those experiences have been and still are and how, they too, made success out of risk, out of fear. The artists want to join our gallery club and it seems that the initiation is a tale of self, of their journey thus far to Bird Dog Arts. With this being the first step in our relationships, I welcome the future with honest open arms.