The opening and the morning after

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich 8 Comments

This is going to be one of those “extra long” posts.  Yesterday was one of those whirlwind days you hear about, and sometimes you get to live it…..

Living it is exhausting!  I need to sleep for the day, but not going to happen!  Heading to the gallery in 2 hours to spend the day there again.  Days off are no longer days off……and that’s ok by me.

The morning brought us more setup.  Ian had prints to frame, prints to hang, and last minute organization.  I spent a good deal of time cleaning window sills, picking up random junk, and helping Ian with the hanging.  We also had to “organize” some things into our up stock area.

Throughout the morning and early afternoon people were in and out of the gallery constantly.  We continued preparing the space and meeting / greeting our new customers.

Amazingly enough, with a ladder still moving all over the place, dust on the floors, etc., we were selling a fair number of items during the afternoon!  Traffic was high, and higher than what Ian was used to in his previous space.  I’m thinking that’s a good sign!

In addition to customers in and out we had other artists dropping off last minute pieces.  In total we’re showing 12 different artists (Ian and I included).  2 different bronze artists, several folks showing cool jewelry, an acrylic painter, 2 folks doing extremely different types of pottery, a person showing Japanese Obis and kimonos, and a few interesting wood artists.

Whew, that’s a lot of people to host in the building!  Want to know the best part?  Folks liked everything in the building, and I believe that 10 out of 12 artists’ works were purchased last night!  Just amazing.

As folks dropped off last minute items we still had customers in and out.  Jantina stopped in for a while to do some work, then headed off.  Ian and I kept watching the clock.  I started getting hungry.  No breakfast you know.

Finally at 3:30 I had to run out for a bit.  Food, changing clothes, and getting ready for the evening!  Ian was still busily slaving away on the last of my frames….

Thanks Ian!

By 4:30 I had wolfed down some rice, changed into my “waiter’s outfit”, and gotten back into the gallery.  Ian was wrapping up, and as soon as he finished he headed home to change.  By that time Jantina had returned, so we had the place covered!  Also, the early arrival folks started rolling in!

One of the early arrivals was my good friend Tony.  He stayed for many hours.  And he enjoyed the layout of the gallery as well.

Along with Tony, my friend and neighbor CJ was on site pretty early.  See, she was catering the event.  Months ago when I first shared my plans with her she insisted on catering, and catering on her dime.  Many years ago before she started working for Lockheed CJ had a catering business.  How cool!

Early on Tony’s parents also popped up.  I was glad to meet his mom and brother.  Glad to see his dad again too!

His dad runs the local Nissan dealership, and helped me out with the purchase of my Versa.  So I’ve known Peter for months.  Very nice guy to deal with when getting a new car, and a nice guy in general like his son!  Thanks for coming!

In addition to Tony popping up, several of my co-workers rolled into the gallery throughout the night.  Josh, who has pushed me to shoot better (whether or not he knows it, I really like his photography), Tom, Dan, Jon, Caitlin, Coby, Michelle, & Sarah all popped by to show their support to my new effort with the gallery.  I’m sure I’ve missed somebody in this list, and I’m sorry.  It was a crazy night!!!

Not only did co-workers / friends roll through, but I saw many other familiar faces.  My family spent almost the whole night with me at the gallery.  Many of my neighbors (hi Pat, Vinny, Ed, Ed, & CJ), and many of my clients all passed through the gallery doors!  It was great, and I hope they all had an amazing time!

Of course, Sadira came for the evening.  She worked all day, then made her way directly over to the gallery.  Not like she hasn’t seen it previously.  She’s been a great help to Ian and I often, and she’s popped her 2 cents into how the gallery looks.  Thanks so much Sadira, and for your support through the whole run up to the launch!

And for putting up with an extremely tired Rich.  I’m sure she’s heard “I’m tired” from me more times than she cares to recount!

Sadira’s good friend and right hand gal at Snap Snap,  Angeline, also came along!  The photo you see is of the two of them, ready for no good!

As the evening progressed more and more familiar faces showed up.  Also, many unfamiliar rolled in as well.  The traffic was amazing, and at times I felt extremely claustrophobic!  Seriously, I wondered what our building capacity was at moments.  The place was packed!!  Ask anyone who was there!

For more than an hour and a half the place was beyond capacity.  I took no pictures at that time.  Honestly I headed outside several times to get out of the crowd.  Not since the night club days back in Orlando have I been in that packed of a room!

I don’t get out much, what can I say?  Rooms with a huge crowd have faded into my memories only…..until last night!

The crowd for the evening was nothing short of fantastic.  At one point Ian told me he’d never seen an opening with as many people as we had in Prescott.  Sadira said the same thing too.  And my family was amazed by the number of people that showed up!

That’s what free booze and food will get ya!  😉  Joking of course.  People came out and showed their support, opened their wallets and bought many items, and got to enjoy themselves in our new space!

When things finally wrapped up for the night (9:30 p.m. it finally slowed down) we unwound a little.  Ian took his opportunity to make faces at the camera, I felt less claustrophobic, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief!  Whew, what a day!

And now….on to the morning……

This morning at 8:30 my family packed up their little “bus” and hit the road.  They’ve pointed back to New England, and we’ll see where they land tonight!

I’ll tell you, the weeks of build up to their visit, and the anticipation about the gallery have occupied everything in my mind.  All the planning, all the touring when they arrived, all the trips to the gallery.  And with last night’s big event everything is now wrapped up.

Personally I woke up this morning a little disappointed.  That’s it.  It’s all done.  What’s next?  That was my initial gut reaction getting up at 7:00 a.m.  All the big projects are done, the gallery is up and running, we traveled all over Northern Arizona, photographed great places, visited, and today it’s just “back to normal.”

So at 8:30 I said my goodbyes to everyone and wished them well.  I hope they have a great trip home, and I hope they enjoyed their time here.  I was glad to see them.  And I was even more happy to share last night’s events with them.  I think we’re off to a great start with the gallery, and I’m glad my family got to see that with their own eyes!

Hope you guys had fun!  Thanks for seeing my new home, my new business, and meeting my new extended family.  Glad to have found Prescott!

And just for everyone’s information……I started this post early in the a.m.  Then I came to the gallery and tried to get working on the post.  Unfortunately for the post it’s been busy here this morning, so the post took until 1:00 p.m. to complete.  Several more of my prints were sold this morning, and combined with last night’s activity I’m off to an amazing start.

I guess in answer to my let down feelings this morning I know what’s next…..just a matter of executing it all now rather than just the planning!

Comments 8

  1. It is pretty crazy where life takes us. Last night I went to a wedding where the bride ran out during mass and was gone for about 10 minutes. Come to find out she vomiting she was so nervous. But the priest said to the groom that good things happen to those who wait. I am glad good things are happening to you again. Wish we could have been there too but we probably would have broken a few things. :)Congratulations!

  2. Oh I’m just sick I wasn’t there, Rich…

    Good news is that we got oldest stepdaughter married off and she is now off “the daddy-dole!” One down; one to go! :-D)

    (P.S. Oldest stepdaughter is not the bride mentioned above… poor thing– I hope that young lady is okay!)

    It sounds like you had a most WONDERFUL opening and I wish you continued success! We’ll be visiting…I’ll let you know when.


  3. Heh…I’m sneaking a comment here on your computer while you’re out talking on the phone (ta-dum)

    Congratulations for a wonderful turnout and fantastic success at the gallery last night.

    I am so proud of you.

    After closely watching you navigate and create a new life for yourself, seeing things be a little shaky at times, and watching you work with everything you’ve been given…I may say that you deserve this wonderful success! You are such a talented, creative and genuine person…this is expressed in each photo you take (I heard that more than once last night as well) and you are spreading joy and fun with every picture you share with the world.

    Although it is so hard to rest and let go after things finally culminate because of all the work and expectations you’ve put in to planning everything, I am very excited to see what comes next for you, and I certainly hope I get to continue sharing it with you as well. I am honored, as always to be included in your extended family (along with all the fun people that showed up to celebrate your latest achievements with you…amazing where life takes you, eh 😉 )

    You are most welcome for any help or support I may have given during this endeavor. I am just giving you back what you’ve offered me since we met, and it is my pleasure to do so.

    I wish both you and Ian all the success in the world, you both deserve it!

  4. Congrats on the wonderful opening! 🙂 Glad to hear that it went well.

    You’re a very talented photographer, Richard. I’m glad that you can make something of it! 😉

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    Thanks all! Wow, what a night!!!

    Josh, no thanks necessary. Several people I’ve met in my life make me say, “I wish I’d taken that….” Another favorite photographer I know is Bert Gildart! You guys make me know I have a lot more to read and practice.

  6. Congrats on the great opening Rich! I was amazed by how many people were there!

    Now you just have to keep the success train movin forward. 🙂

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