Sunday, April 29, 2012

Work and the Art of People-Watching

Last night was the opening for our new juried art show, so I got to work some overtime. I worked from roughly 8:30 AM until 8 PM. The first part was pretty chill, though, so I didn't really feel completely worn out from the 11 hour workday. Plus, I'm still hourly so yay overtime!

I've already got the books I plan to buy with the money picked out on Amazon. Maybe I'll just go ahead and buy them and call it good.

It was really just me, my one coworker, and the caterer for the first little while. People didn't really start coming in until like a quarter to a half-hour after the paper said the exhibit would start. This gave me plenty of time to sneak off with the delicious chicken salad croissants our caterer made, and some of the veggies from the veggie tray.

Once people started filing in, though, things got kind of manic.

There are two doors to the museum, and people were coming in through both. While I can technically see both doors from my desk, it's hard to really keep track when people come in both doors at the same time... as they are wont to do.

I was supposed to keep track of how many people came in.

I did my best.

Crowds like that, especially when entirely full of people I don't know, tend to be overwhelming. I clung to my desk like a life raft, even though I was technically allowed to go out and mingle if I wanted to.

I was... ambivalent about mingling, to say the least.

It was fun, though! I met my predecessor for this job, who is fun, and his lovely wife. I had some good conversations with some of the partygoers. It was actually really interesting - it seemed like all the artists and townsfolk over the age of 40 all knew each other and were having a good time socializing, hanging out, trying to meet anyone they didn't know yet, discussing the work...

All the artists in my generation group, though, came with a few friends and didn't talk to anyone but their friends that I could see. They clumped up, sticking to the same people they walked in the door with. It wasn't that they only spoke to artists in our generation, it was that they didn't want to talk to anyone new while their (slightly) older counterparts were fluttering around being social butterflies.

I thought that was pretty interesting, from a people-watching perspective. I guess it's a generational thing about the art world? I also noticed that the older artists and townspeople would come talk to me, say hello, meet my eyes... and the younger people seemed to think I was just a part of the scenery, even while I was trying to tell them where their nametag was.

The art itself... some of it I adored, some of it I could have cheerfully lived without ever having seen. That's true across the board of any open-media art show, though. There are just some genres of the art world I'm not interested in at all, and I tend to go for craftsmanship over concept when it comes to what I like, anyway. I'd rather have an excellently woven basket over a hastily-assembled bit of paint on canvas any day.

So today is going to be fairly lazy. We've already had breakfast, and sort of ambled around. I might buy books, might not. Who can tell? We'll have to leave the house eventually, though... it's just too pretty not to.

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