“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
The new School of Art and Visual Studies at UK had an open house this evening to celebrate their new building. The first person we ran into was, of course, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval. The funniest line of the night came when he said to Crystal, “And what about you and your first marriage?” “She backed out,” I said quietly. “I’m not married,” Crystal said, holding up her ring finger. “No, no, your first marriage,” Arturo repeated. “She backed out,” I said louder. “I’ve never been married,” Crystal said with a hint of consternation. And then it just sort of spiraled into hilarity from there.
It’s a big deal that UK finally put its art students in a decent space. When Crystal and I went through the program we were in the Reynolds Building, an old tobacco warehouse. The bathrooms didn’t have stall doors. Cockroaches the size of whales would drop from the ceiling. Floors were so flimsy only God kept some poor art student from falling through. Back then there was talk of doing away with the fine arts program all together. Let’s face it, art students don’t generally go on to become CEOs or heads of Fortune 500 companies. That’s money that will never come back into UK’s coffers. If we’re lucky, art grads will make enough money to survive, though only just. The rest of us get real jobs and do art on the side. There’s not a lot of financing to come back. Our wealth lies in something other than money. So, it was a happy day to be able to tour this fantastic space and celebrate UK’s recommitment to the arts.
Perhaps my favorite part of the event was the pseudo photo booth they had set up in the lighting studio. Crystal and I walk in with our matching Canon 6D’s, whip ’em out, and the guy just sort of looks at us. Then we point them at each other and he got it immediately. It was a hoot.
Seeing artwork from our classmates, and other alumni from all over the country was heartwarming, and I just adore Crystal and Arturo. They made my experience at UK exceptionally rich. And look at us all these years later, still fun and frisky and happy to see one another. I wouldn’t take anything in the world for their friendship, and I’m so proud that UK stepped up to the plate and gave quality faculty like Arturo someplace decent to teach new artists. It’s been a long time coming, and what a great space it is. Well done.