Sometimes an experience is worth more than any words |

Sometimes an experience is worth more than any words

Out There
Stina Sieg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Every first Friday of the month, the art-hungry converge on Carbondale’s downtown. We mull over wine and cheese and chat as we walk from gallery to gallery. This is First Fridays, and it was meant to be an Options article this week. Actually, it was meant to go cover.

But just try explaining something so sprawling in words.

At first, I did attempt. It was the April event, and I started out, camera in hand, at the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities. Like always, there was a mad crush of people, and I was woefully separated from the table of brownies and drinks. I tried to interview attendees, and I even clicked some pictures, but I didn’t quite feel comfortable. Around me were these paintings and sculptures and collages, all inspired by music of different decades. I was surrounded by people on all sides, and most of them were laughing and carrying on, but I couldn’t quite get there myself. It was amazing, but it was also a sensory overload.

How do I capture all this?

So I left, walked down the full sidewalks, and made my way into the various other galleries. Each one was its own little reality. Majid Kahhak was painting a thick, swirling spring scene in his space, and there was a host of onlookers gathered around. I stayed for a few minutes and just listened to him talk. I love how “into it” he is. But still, I didn’t know how to put that into words of my own.

Standing around in the Carbondale Clay Center, I felt like I was back in college. Near me were cool kids in their 20s, with thick-rimmed glasses and vintage clothes. They were drinking beer and joking, hanging around ceramic severed heads and small, whimsical cups. Later, I’d end up at Studio for Arts + Works, where my new friends Eden Marsh and Jay Phillips were having a joint show (his ceramic slabs, her figure drawings). But even there, boarded by nice folks and happy energy, I was self-conscious.

What was going on, I wondered. I thought of my First Fridays of past, ones where everything had clicked, where I felt part of a community of creativity. At times, it’s been pure magic. I’ve felt inspired and open to all the colors and artists and vitality around. Hours later, days after this last one, I could only think that First Fridays is like anything else involving a crowd of people. Maybe it’s just a roll of the dice. Maybe it’s all about where you’re at yourself.

So tonight, I know where I’ll be. At worst, I feel overwhelmed. But at best, who knows what will happen?

I don’t mind those variables.

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