Monday, May 5, 2014

Copeland Weekend Part 1

Thursday was Eric's birthday, but it also marked the first day of a much anticipated weekend for us and for our loved ones. Michael Copeland is an artist whom I have mentioned here on this blog more times than I can count. Eric and I have known Michael and his talented artist wife Victoria for almost two decades. We have watched Copeland's art for just as long.

Eric has always maintained that if he were ever a curator he'd really like to show Copeland's work. Cope (as we sometimes call him) is on the cusp of breaking out big time and it was something special for Eric to be put in a position to "discover" (in a curatorial sense) Copeland. Eric passed the show idea by the staff and they were all so into his work. Eric, along with the amazing museum staff, set up a four decade retrospective! So this was Copeland's first solo museum exhibition, curated by Eric.

Thursday afternoon people began arriving in our small town. The exciting part was that Copeland was completely in the dark, not expecting anyone to come from out of town. Instead he had friends, family, and former students coming in from coast to coast! I think that speaks to the caliber of person we are dealing with here. We took a quick look at the exhibit before the reception.

Thursday Sean (Victoria's genius son, whom Eric and I have known since high school) and Scott (Copeland's awesome brother-in-law) flew in and totally surprised Copeland at his hotel. His amazing wife Victoria orchestrated all of this by the way.

Victoria and Scott looking at a piece.
Eric's birthday
Don't worry, we still got in plenty of birthday goodness for Eric too!

The girls, waiting for Heather's plane to arrive

Friday was when everything came together. The girls and I went to the airport to grab Heather (she is a former student of his and now good friend---I have known her since 1995). We returned to our house and invited everyone over to meet up. Heather surprised Copeland and a short time later another former student turned friend, Kendra arrived with her friend, again flooring Copeland. So our little group had people from NM, CA, IL, CT, WY---- that is not at all typical for an artist reception, but Copeland is not a typical artist.

hanging at home

hanging at home

We all sat around talking and laughing and marveling, it was a time that I cannot properly capture in words, but one I will treasure for all of my life.

Eventually the group dispersed to prepare for the evening festivities. The museum reception was Friday night. It was completely amazing. Surrounded by friends, family, great art---as life should be! Here are a bunch of pictures of our group. I am not showing the crowd who showed up for the event as they may not like their photo on some stranger's blog.
chatting after the opening
Some of our crew chatting after the reception

Some of the gallery

Eric and Copelands
Eric, Victoria and Michael

Kendra and Cope
Kendra and Michael

Scott, Sean, Rick
Scott, Sean, Rick

Talking in a group

More talking in a group!!

My mother left with the girls when it was time for them to go to bed. Our group completed the reception and then went out for a late dinner. We talked and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed each other.

The gang
Our crew!!!!

Tomorrow I will finish up the rest of a jam packed weekend!
If you are interested in Copeland's work check here.
To purchase a catalog from the show, with an essay by yours truly, click here.


Sarah Purdy said...

Wow! What a crowd! The fact that so many people made the trek all the way to Casper simply speaks volumes about how special Copeland is. What an incredible weekend!

Marie Roxanne said...

From what I can see from the pictures you took, Micheal Copeland is a talented artist! Glad Eric could convince the staff to show his work!

Maria Rose said...

No convincing needed!

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