It was one more incredible evening.
As we prepared for our big opening, I took this picture of Diane. She was looking out over our exhibit in the gallery, leaning against the wall in her cowboy boots. It was a little wistful. The empty gallery before the show, Diane in the shadows, the work of 3+ weeks surrounding her. Poetic, somehow.
It is quite an emotional thing to look at all the art we created since our arrival. Each one has a story. And in telling those stories to interested viewers last night, we became even more a part of the fabric of Ireland, the land of storytellers, writers and poets.
Our hearts were touched by each of the familiar faces in the gallery for our unveiling. People who were new to us just weeks ago, now dear friends and sweet supporters.
There were red dots, sure (and we are incredibly touched and grateful for them!), and wine and soft music, laughter and great conversation. There were also tears (mine, of course, mush that I am) and a few ribald jokes (Damian's of course, who else? ha ha) and a young patron named Millie who charmed me to bits.
Thanks to Olive's gracious flexibility in allowing us to take over the gallery and drag every studio easel down the stairs, we were surrounded by our own artistic views of Ireland and by the people we've grown to love, a bubble of sweetness and connection.
When the last art enthusiast had gone home, we headed out to a delicious meal at Eabha Jones . This had been our first taste of Ireland on our arrival day, and it was just perfect to celebrate our opening there. Check out rave reviews of this restaurant here: Eabha Jones.
This is where Olive introduced me to my new obsession: pepper sauce. I will have to put it on Taytoes and Winegums, it's that good. And in a surreal nod and wink from the universe, the music at the restaurant included "Sweet Home Alabama" and other odd bits that reminded us of the eclectic playlist Damian Stack uses on his tours.
The exhibition of new works by Diane Pike and Jen Walls will be on display through Saturday at the Olive Stack Gallery on Main Street in lovely Listowel.