Friday, June 09, 2006

We Do Too.--Opening Reception

Gallery tables
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.
Last night was the big one. The exhibition finally opened. We had a really nice turnout--we think about 200 people. I was happy with how things went. It was a very fun and enthusiastic crowd. And the art looked great. My friend William who did the lighting with the help of John's electical work (no kidding, we pretty much built this gallery from scratch), took more pictures. I was busy talking. I hope he'll send me some so I can post them.

You can sort of see how things looked here. Ken is reading the "marriage past and present" panels that Evelyn and Rosie helped me write and edit. The writing is really good, but I was surprised by how many people stopped to read every one-you can see they are pretty long (a museum gallery no-no). We'll eventually have a few chairs around so you can sit and read, but we needed the floor space last night. You can read them if you want at the exhibition website:, which my friends Lara, Kris and Scott built. They are amazing.

Dave and Ken and Dave and Ken
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.
My friends Dave (a Growing Sense commenter) and Ken agreed to be photographed for the exhibition. Don't they look cute sitting on that ledge? Notice Dave's fur-lined sandals--very Tibetan summer. Dan Evans', the artist, goal for their photograph was to create images of long term couples (Dave and Ken have been together for 18 years) in a way that the viewer could layer their own questions and thoughts about same-sex marriage on to the image.

Flower wedding cake
Originally uploaded by Troy Smythe.

This is one the the flower cakes Coby Palmer made for the opening. He made two and two large arrangements, too. In the interest of being inclusive, one of the cakes had a man and woman on it. It was really cute, too. Coby did the flowers for our commitment ceremony so it meant a lot to have him be a part of the exhibition.

I have to thank the other people who helped launch this thing, too. John's mom and the frame staff at Renditions framed all of the works. Linda also donated table cloths and helped me figure out the text panel stands (the little pyramids you see in the first picture). She also helped keep me from buggin' out towards the end.

My friend Tracie, my own little (non-convicted) Martha Stewart for our ceremony, also helped me pull strings to get this exhibition looking good--She and her husband Henry hung bolts of tulle from that basement ceiling and fabric along the walls. And she did all of the work with caterers and those endless runs to Target!

William rigged up what has to be the only efficient art hanging system for a gallery with rock walls and no ceiling.

Amy did all of the graphic design for the mailers and e-postcard.

And the artists, Mark A. Lee and Daniel Evan's work made the show what it is--compelling, informative, and human.

Finally, I have to thank John, who really did wire the entire basement space with electricity as well as came to the gallery night after night to help even though he needed to be at home preparing for work the next day. My tendency under stress is to become pretty insecure, but John just stayed right by my side, held my hand and never complained. I'm a blessed man all the way around.

I'm also still a little catatonic so pardon the rambling. I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.


Anonymous Karen said...

Hi, Troy! Your opening was absolutely perfect. The photos are remarkable in themselves, but the contrast between the two styles really accents both. The decor was so matrimonial, and the refreshments good, too. You've done a huge service to the community. Thanks, Troy and all your helpers.

I'd like to urge everyone who can to go to the exhibit while it's up, and then go to the IMA exhibit on marriage and make sure that the IMA realizes that people notice what's missing there!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous David and Ken said...

Ken and I have just read your blog and feel so blessed to know you. When you spoke last night at the show we just wanted to run up and give you a big hug...that, and comment on that beautiful navy embroidered shirt you were wearing. Blessed indeed you are for the support from your wonderful husband John and his beautiful, positivly inspirational mother. Indy is a much better place with you in it. We need you!

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Marcie said...

I think this entire exhibit is amazing. I'm so happy that you got it off the ground so quickly! :) I was on Mass Ave. on Sunday morning and passed by the art gallery and thought of you. I'm looking forward to checking it out!

It is a very important message and I am really thrilled for you!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

Marcie, it seems like yesterday that we were sitting at the Aristocrat talking about doing the exhibition. Did Karen tell you that she was sweeping the stairs to the gallery right before it opened! Talk about hands-on. Friends made this show happen.

I hope you and Eric get to see it.

8:55 AM  

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