Lena Schmidt Opening

It has been awhile since Jane has had the time to update the blog as she is neck deep hunting down some of the most amazing international artists I have had the pleasure to sneak peak. As her trusted friend, I have decided to update the faithful readers of this blog and share my personal Victory Gallery experience.

A couple weeks ago, I paid Jane a visit at Victory on one of my quiet days. I just wanted to say hi and see how life was treating her. Thinking it would just be a quick little hello, I was unprepared for the stack of portfolios and artist biographies which she handed me and begun discussing rather animatedly. She had just returned from a trip to the Netherlands and the UK where she visited a number of artists studios. I could tell she was electrified by her finds and was eager to start making preparations to bring the works to her gallery. While viewing paintings and mixed-media works ranging from photo realism to abstract my enthusiasm grew. I am unable to tell you which was my favorite because everything was so different and vibrant. It was like feeding my eyes candy fueled with caffeine in flavors I had never had before.

Of everything she showed me, there was a lone print of what seemed like a dark, rainy night that absolutely flooded me with feeling. I kept waiting for the picture to start moving and even felt like if I touched the print, my had would be wet. The light emanating from it captured a rainy night in a lonely industrial area perfectly. The lines made me feel like I was surrounded by the kind of rain that seems to almost bounce back up to the sky as soon as it hits the ground. It was captivating, and I found out was in transit to the gallery to be the next installation.

From Bremen, Germany, Lena Schmidt creates rich “urban scapes” by painting, drawing, and carving texture on reclaimed wood. The texture creates movement in scenery that is otherwise still in nature. The lines seemingly give breath to the imagination and evoke tranquility in imagery that is often of dark, wet nights.

Jane was eager to tell me that Lena’s work would open on on December 1st, which was also First Thursday. To make the opening memorable and a full sense experience, the trio, Boy & Bean would fill the gallery with Depression era swing/jazz music. I was so excited, I immediately set my iphone to remind me to attend. There was no way I was going to miss the opening!

Quickly enough, December 1st rolled around and of course, life did its best to thwart my efforts to come to the gallery. An unexpected, critical networking event ran late and I was forced to dash from one end of town to the next with an empty belly and over caffeinated brain. My frenzied mode that evening made me think I would have little ability to socialize or enjoy art in any form, but when I arrived at Victory  Gallery, something absolutely magical happened…. I walked in and my ears were filled with the amazing voice of Amber Short, the lead vocalist of Boy & Bean ( The trio transported me in time and made me almost feel like I had stepped into a 1930’s speakeasy because I was surrounded by the liveliest group of art patrons I had experienced in quite a long time.

The gallery was filled with people of all ages and occupations. I had the pleasure of talking with local artists, a production company owner, and a man who I think was a contortionist. The amazing part was that the group was not broken down into cliques, but people  were mixing and mingling and were laughing and having amazing discussions about Lena’s stimulating works. There were easily 45 people in the gallery at any given moment.  You didn’t have to know anything about art to feel welcome because there were no pretenses. The excitement I had experienced with Jane when I stopped in weeks ago was alive in every person in the gallery.

Kenton Waltz was on hand to capture the evening and I often caught him grinning widely when he looked at the photographs he took on the back of his camera. It was refreshing to witness someone enjoying their profession so candidly. I encourage you to look at the photographs of the opening, though you might experience regret in not attending! If you are in the neighborhood, make sure to stop in and see the Lena Schmidt show at Victory Gallery which will be exhibited through January 31st.

-Miranda Keenan


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