(originally written February 11, 2016)
Mid January, James and I, two thirds of the Twilight Angel Team, find ourselves navigating a complicated freeway system in Dallas, Texas as we wind our way to Arlington where The Twilight Angel is to be screened at the Arlington Museum of Art, following a lecture on James’s work by fellow painter Donray.
James and I participated in a show in this museum some four years ago. That’s how we met Donray. Since then, museum director Chris Hightower and his staff have developed a large and loyal following with an active and diverse schedule of programs and exhibitions. We reap the benefit of this the night of our program. All chairs are filled. James and I sit in the back, gauging audience response and feeling self-conscious. Donray gives a 30 minute careful analysis of James’s various series of work, dissecting it in ways neither of us ever dreamt of. The movie follows.
The audience is uniformly enthusiastic and positive about the film, some say it should be shown in every art school in the country, some focus on the soundtrack, all are moved by the story, James’s performance, artwork, and John’s editing and cinematography. It is exhilarating. Discussion of the movie is spirited at an after show party and we leave Arlington with an invitation to participate in the museum’s annual film festival in September.
After a week or so at home, we find ourselves on the road again to Lubbock, Texas, where the film will be screened in conjunction with a two person show of both our paintings at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. Our artwork will be on display for 2 months, the opening is part of a First Friday event the center hosts monthly. On a blizzardy morning we leave Santa Fe in a truck loaded with 20 paintings, a DVD of the movie crammed into in my purse.
LHUCA is a fabulous art oasis in Lubbock. The main building contains three beautiful exhibition spaces and a state of the art movie theater. Outbuildings include a print studio, glass studio, welding shop, four artist in residence spaces, a performance space and art gallery. Linda Cullum, the center’s curator, informs us that several thousand people will attend First Friday. We don’t believe her. Yet it is true. The center is packed solidly with people from all walks of life, age, etc., in Lubbock, including many students and professors from nearby Texas Tech for the entire three hours and more of the opening, and this on a cold winter night.
James and I watch as viewers discuss our work among themselves. In the many shows in which we have participated over the years we have never seen art lovers with such depth of interest, nor in such numbers.
The Twilight Angel screens the next morning. I have never seen it in such a theater with a huge screen and great sound system. I watch it as though for the first time, seeing details that had escaped me before.
As always, I am amazed at the end that we actually created this work all together with the various obstacles we faced. I miss John and Linda and wish they could have shared this viewing with us in this theater.
The director of LHUCA loves our movie and says she will try to get it into the Flatland Film Festival next October at LHUCA. Another artist film is apparently to be shown and ours would provide a counterpoint.
I guess we are going back to Texas this fall.