The two alternative Abraham Lincoln exhibitions–Enabled and The Lincoln Orphans–were the best of the Lincoln shows in Norwich during the month of May. They proved it again this past weekend, as a joyful and fun-loving spirit fueled the closing reception for the shows.
The trio of Elanah Sherman, Dan Topalis, and Grippo organized, managed, and hung the shows, and they were on hand to oversee the party. Grippo provided the People’s Choice Prize of $300 (given in all five dollar bills, of course) which was presented to Jo-Jo Kolodnicki, Jr. His pencil drawing of Lincoln was so luminous it looked like a daguerrotype, not a pencil drawing. He even taught me a technique for grinding graphite, then brushing it onto the page to get the effect.
Elanah also presented awards to Nancy MacBride (her mixed media piece got one of my two, yes two, votes) and Dan Topalis. Also, every artist was given a copy of The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln: A Book of Quotations, edited by Bob Blaisdell.
How’s that for generosity?
Elanah, Dan and Grippo, in turn, were presented with books by which to remember this adventure: Honest Abe: 101 Little-Known Truths about Abraham Lincoln by Brian Thornton (an inside joke in that the title referenced my blog post of a similar title) and Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life by Adam Gopnik. Abe Lincoln masks were also freely dispensed.
I also came home a winner because Mia bought me a piece of original art: a drawing of Abe on a box of Matzo Ball Mix by Colin Hassett, which I adore. And I’m very thankful that this experience has led to the opportunity to present a solo show at the Wauregan Gallery in July. The opening reception will be July 1 (First Friday), from 7-9. Stay tuned.
Some of the artists in attendance at the closing, besides Dan, Grippo, and the above award winners, were Laura Levine, Colleen O’Connor, Candace Grabel, and Richard Conover.
Elanah, Dan and Grippo have done a wonderful thing in opening their hearts and galleries to the “orphaned” Lincoln portraits. Many thanks, again.