It was beautiful amber orange-colored Sunday afternoon as I told my friend Joe I was skipping Church. I’ll find out how many object to that behavior next Wednesday night I suppose. I was comforting to hear Joe say, “I’m not afraid to miss a Sunday here or there.” REV coffee was part of my morning ritual as I visited my favorite Baristas CindyP and JessicaP for a cup of locally roasted Brazilian bean. I anticipated an 11am meeting with my artist friend Ilia, like all to often, I found myself deep into a 27-minute conversation with a new REV regular named Jack. We talked deeply into the subject of parenting and art. His teenaged sons are budding musicians of the drum and guitar flavor and there was a gentle excitement as Jack proclaimed how into their music he was. He really connected with what they were doing, as no doubt their expression grew out of his deep love for the old school rock and roll tunes. Not only that, Jack loves the INDIE radio stations too, so we became friends quickly. It didn’t hurt that he had a copy of Oswald Chambers on the table too and wasn’t shy to acknowledge that the creativity that his children possessed came mysteriously from God alone. What a day I thought, I’d never have that conversation inside the plain colored walls of a traditional aging southern Baptist church. Ya know what, Jack said he’d tried all the sports activities and they just didn’t take. It was music and art that were knitted deeply in the inter-weavings of these young men’s souls.
Ilia and I scurried off to a wide spot in the road in Buford, GA, a place to this day I’ve never been to on purpose, so I’m thankful to Steve and Amy Slotin for drawing me out of my routine in Smyrna, GA. It’s quite amazing that their auction magazine is published and distributed for free; an obvious collectable value in itself. You can tell the serious art collectors at an auction easily. They are the most interesting characters in their creative fashion. I spoke to a couple from Scottsdale, AZ and asked how they arrived at the auction and what art they were interested in. American Indian works were their flavor, but also drawn to the curious prayers for hunters featuring a dead hunter on a painted on section of tin. We exchanged pleasantries and they moved up to the front row enjoying all of the auction experience and keeping an eye on the things that might be added to their collection. These two were no slackers to the folk art scene as they had personally visited many notable artists and purchased directly from them complete with the stories of moonshine, alcohol and craziness.
There’s something about folk art that I find so compelling and I’m sure you will too once you’ve walked into the world of it. I chatted with regional art collector Barry Huffman from Hickory, North Carolina as she shared excitement of a purchase work by Joe McFall from the late Howard Campbell collection. She proclaimed, “This is the perfect place to get Folk Art, the entire experience is authentic to the work itself.” I’m so thankful to Ilia for his outgoing personality and introducing me to such interesting museum donors; he’s a perfect partner in crime. Hopefully, we’ll be on the road to a place between Hickory and Ashville to learn more about this art of making museums.
We continued to watch the bidding and the excellent auctionioneering workmanship of veteran Larry Troutman of the Atlanta Auction Company. Larry is good no doubt and it does take a small army of people to carry out such a feet of organizing, moving, presenting and packaging a small city of American prized-cultural-artifacts.
As I pressed Ilia to move on to our next engagement, I can truly say that we get more than we imagine when we follow God. For me my treasured art from the auction world of Slotin would have been a picture with Steve or Amy Slotin. Ilia moves up to introduce himself as we prepare to exit and I slipped up too; hoping for a picture by this renowned walking photographic legend with who is the greatest artitect of valuation of homespun authentic southern vernacular creations. Ilia instructs Steve to be photographed with me and Steve says, we’re huggers around here and promptly wraps his arms around me in front of God and everyone and Ilia snaps the picture. Just goes to show you can’t reinforce the power of a good greeting strong enough. It’s important especially in the emotionally transformative world of creative treasure—a moment I shall truly never forget.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite