So, funny story: I had to climb on a railing so that I could hand a giant insect’s butt to a total stranger.
My sister Nichole made this giant dragonfly sculpture out of repurposed wood, metal and glass. The whole thing is made of upcycled lamps, vases, bowls, a chandelier, and other scrap parts, with live-edge wooden slabs for the wings. She had a lot of help putting it together from my younger brother Cory.
The dragonfly’s name is Phinnaeus. He’s totally dope, but he is HEAVY. She was going to take him to an art gallery, and I was very gung-ho about helping, but then I saw the path we would have to carry him through just to get him inside.
The gallery is an old renovated factory, and it’s a crazy cool building, but we would have to haul this deceptively heavy 10-foot-long steampunk insect through several doors, around corners, and up stairs that have a sharp 180 degree turn in the middle.
We untied Phinnaeus from the back of the pickup truck, and picked him up. My older brother John was holding most of the weight of the torso, and there wasn’t really a good place between the truck and the gallery to set it down and rest, so he never got to take a break.
We had people cheering us on, and holding the door open. At one point, I climbed up on the stairway railing so that I could reach to hand Phinnaeus’ butt to someone who was at the top of the stairs. I have no idea who he was, but I would like to thank him for his assistance.
We finally got Phinnaeus inside the gallery, and he looked amazing, even though he was taking up a large portion of the floor when I left. I figure my sister owes her siblings about 35 favors after all of that.
So the night of the gallery show’s opening reception rolled around, and I got all dressed up to go hang out, chill, look at all the art, you know. Right before things got started, I went to go grab a bite to eat at a cafe that’s in the same building as the gallery. It was getting crazy windy outside, but I was chill and happy. I was proud of my sister’s artwork, and stoked because so many people were going to be able to see it!
And then the power went out, and nobody could see much of anything. I couldn’t get my food because the restaurant couldn’t cook anything without electricity, so I went back into the gallery.
Only the emergency lights were on, and it was SO COOL. It reminded me of Mission Impossible or something. Everyone was haunting the hallways, using their cellphone lights to peer at the artwork, and trying to find their way around. I got lost once when I walked past the stairwell in the dark. IT. WAS. AWESOME. At first the windows and skylights were helping everyone see, but as the night went on, things predictably got darker and darker.
After a couple of hours without the power being restored, the gallery decided to close early. I found my way back to the free chocolate one last time, stopped my sister from leaving without her check (she got a prize because she won third place in the show, and then set the check on the floor and was leaving without it. Now she owes me 36 favors) and finally went home so I could eat something besides hummus and cookies. It was such a good day. I tried not to think about how we were going to get Phinnaeus back out of the building.