Thursday. Even in a land of extreme drought, it would pick moving day to rain all day long like a ruptured water main in the sky. By the time I got back from walking the dogs, an hour before the moving guys were due to get here, the moving guys got here, worried that they might be late for the 9:00 appointment because of the rain, they arrived an hour early and prepared to wait. But knowing the rain was only going to get worse as the day went by, I was very happy that they were so early, because by 9 when the heavens opened, we were all on our way to Marietta with all* of the artwork for the show.
My studio assistant had arranged all the paintings according to size, packed the smallest paintings into a rolly bin I use for Dragoncon, stacked the next smallest paintings to go in the back of my trucklet, and stacked the rest according to size, face to face, with numbers on the back in chalk. The numbers were the spreadsheet numbers, and there were 75 of them.
In the rain, the two most efficient movers in the world, Ricardo and Marshall, schlepped back and forth from the house to the truck 75 times, while my assistant arranged everything upright in stacks against the walls of the truck, and then tied them all down to the sides with ratcheted tiedowns. They loaded the rolly bin and the milk crates of statues, and they were off. Then we finished loading the little paintings in the back of the truck. Anything encased in glass – all nine etchings I just framed and several others off the wall and on loan from others – went into its own plastic bag and got taped against the water, and the whole stack got covered in a plastic tarp and tied down in the back of the trucklet, and we were off behind the mover guys. Somehow we beat them there, which is a testimony of how careful they were with my paintings.
I pulled up to the loading dock at the Marietta / Cobb Museum of Art in a break in the rain, and we managed to get all our little paintings thru the door to the museum just as it started to rain in earnest again. nothing got wet, but the bags dripped all over the floor.
By the time we got the little paintings arranged on the walls of the first gallery, the movers arrived, but it was pouring rain outside, so they just angled the truck up to the dock and waited it out. Then we had a flurry of movement as they unloaded painting after painting, walked them thru the gallery, and put them against the wall next to the last painting they’d walked in. Most of the paintings are light enough for one person to carry, but some of them are very bulky.
Because the truck was parked at an extreme angle to the narrow dock, it was too dangerous for Jim or Jennifer to go into the truck, so it was up to the heroic guys and my hard working studio assistant to loosen the tiedowns, strip off the blankets used to protect the frames from scratches (always happens anyway), angle the pictures so they don’t all fall over into the center of the truck, then take the top painting and walk it in over the gap between the truck and the dock, into the museum’s back entrance, and thru the gallery to an open space on the wall. By the time they were thru, there were no open spaces.
I went around, using my map, and put paintings where I originally thought they should go. Then Jennifer Fox, who is doing the hands-on curating, and I went around and moved things to where they looked good. This took awhile. Then Jennifer called Terri Cole, who is on the board of directors of the museum, and a dead-on artistic eye, and she walked thru and sorted out everything in no time at all. At least it felt like no time.
Then the fabulous Bob Meredith showed up to see the progress and make a few suggestions. He no doubt had his own ideas where things should go, but you’ll only lose arguing design with a house full of women.
In no time at all things were as ordered as they were going to get, and everyone darted for home in the pouring rain. I had a truck full of sodden blankets and empty bins and cases, but room for a tank of much cheaper gas and a lunch of super lengua burrito and a large horchata at El Taco Veloz on Windy Hill. The whole thing took 7 hours. The rain cleared as I got home.
Friday. I’ll be back to the museum after Xmas when someone will be there, to repair dings and polish glass and arrange things. I still have to do the large wall cards. But I’ve finished with the small wall cards, the spreadsheet in general, and the prices (and insurance values). And I’ve got to send out invitations.