Each week I seem to make my life harder than it has to be and this week was no different. I signed up for gallery talks based on my own interest in the topic without realizing that they were in back-to-back weeks. Regardless, I had the pleasure of working with Robert Smith for a second time, so I knew that everything would be fine. We were giving an Exhibition Overview for Invisible Man, which he warned would be somewhat difficult because it would be the first given for the exhibition. His comment did nothing to calm my nerves but it did force me to take my research and presentation that much more seriously. I took great joy in the many hours spent with the catalog for the exhibit. I was especially excited though because having read the book in high school, I connect with the protagonist of the novel much more now than I did then.
On Wednesday, I walked into the docent room and witnessed one of the greatest treasures and had to indulge. A David Adjaye chair. A design gem from a phenomenal architect and it is also insanely comfortable.
Meanwhile, Ben and I had youth group tours for our final week together. We led a tour and studio that was hectic but I loved every minute. It was almost completely male and they all reminded me of my younger brother so it was great to connect with them on my own personal level. Losing my partner was bittersweet but I know that I am ready to go out on my own.
Then came time for the Exhibition Overview with Robert. I was fresh off a youth group tour and saw the presumed crowd as we walked the kids back to their classroom. Nervousness struck me but I knew that I was prepared. I took more joy in sharing this kind of information than anything else. We made our introductions and next thing I know I am rattling off my presentation on Gordon Parks. The reassuring nods from the audience and comments definitely settled me and encouraged me. Robert then took off to present on the following two sections of the exhibit and concluded with discussion that drew connections with current events that are eerily familiar. The praise we received in the end made me proud to have hopefully done justice to all that Robert taught me, Curator Michal Raz-Russo, my high school instructor and most importantly the work of Ralph Ellison and Gordon Parks.