Painted out of the Picture
So, we were wandering around a little coastal town one night, trying to kill some time before heading back to a sweltering hostel room, when we walked past an art gallery. They had beautiful large wood sculptures and, although it was 8 at night, the gallery lights were on. We peeked through the windows to see the art pieces and were surprised to see the gallery was nearly full of people! A woman spotted us and came outside, and urged us to come in. She gave us glossy brochures and we noticed that the men speaking were the artists photographed in the literature! Looking around, we soon figured out that we were at the opening exhibition of this gallery and many honored guests (featured in the brochure) were here to inaugurate its first night! And just when I started getting all the pieces of the puzzle translated in my brain, I looked up and the speaker had paused, and everyone was staring at us. And he repeated in English this time, “And where are you from?”
“Los Estados Unidos, gracias.” I quickly answered.
“Oh, how wonderful to have you with us tonight! Won’t you please join us in giving a toast on the opening night of this exhibition?”
“Of course. We would be honored.” It was like a dream, my saying things without thinking as everyone looks at us, smiling and patting us on the backs, handing us glasses of wine to join them in the toast. Joel and I kept looking at each other and shrugging and going along like we had been planning all along to join them as the honored guests of the evening!
After the toast, everyone mulled around eating delicate hors d’oeuvres and speaking with the artists. One of the artists came to me and said he wanted to explain his work to me so I had a private tour of his sculptures. Later, we asked to take a photo with him by his favorite piece. He suggested that his friend shoot the picture and although I should have realized when the photographer asked where the zoom button was (and I suggested it wasn’t necessary, to which he disagreed) that this we would end up with a picture of the three of us: me, the artist, the sculpture…and Joel’s shoulder.