I went to Arts Night Out tonight. I haven't been for a long time and I went to two new galleries I hadn't been in at all before. Several artists in one of the galleries were completely new to me, and I particularly liked them, so that was rewarding. One of the galleries I enjoyed mainly because of the feel of the space and the creative energy there; it's hard to explain and I'm not going to look for the words tonight.
As long as I've been in Astoria, I haven't taken much advantage of the Art Walk, which I think they had once a week during summer. I've gone to the galleries more in years when I was less busy. Astoria has some very fine art to see, and of course a lot that isn't. I'd gotten tired of looking at it for awhile, and I am, admittedly, hard to pry away from my own work and play lately. But the evening was festive, with wine and hors d'oeuvres. Some of the non-gallery retailers stayed open to catch the foot traffic, and it added to the fun. Even though I knew quite a few of the people I saw, I began to feel (again) that it would be nice to make the effort to get out more and meet people and keep up old contacts. So much of my life is online right now or with people I know very well. Several of the galleries had small groups of musicians playing, and there was to be an intimate-sized concert at redhare at 8:00, but I went back to one of the shops and bought some stuff for future gifts and came back home instead. Maybe next time.
Lunar Boy gallery had invited a number of children - friends of a very sick little girl - to frame their drawings and paintings, and they were being sold to help the girl's family with hospital bills. It was striking to see the kids' art framed neatly and hung along with the typical art in the space. It was a an interesting idea for a fundraiser, and some of the paintings had been purchased.
I liked the color of the lighting and the shapes of the bikes in Bikes and Beyond, which was closed, and the sign seemed poignant tonight. Several of the retail stores and a couple of the galleries are new. It's a hard time to start a business in this economy, a hard time to do a lot of things. One of the artists I've known for awhile was saying she didn't know what she'd do without her part-time job. And yet the spirit tonight was cheery and fun, everyone making the best of a difficult time, their resolution, for the most part, showing - the will to keep on, to add, subtract, innovate, charm, involve, or whatever it's going to take.