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Kate Bennett: Last night in West Hollywood. Jeff describes it as an installation & as the artist in our family, says he thought it was very well done. And of course, the crowd was as interesting as the show! All of the prints (if that is the right word to describe them) were the same greenish color throughout the gallery rooms. Very striking.
And, very different stuff from her paintings. (And not inexpensive. I forget how much the catalogue & poster were being sold for but definitely more than the Mendel catalogue.)
It was great to again see Les, Kakki, Julius, Steve, Michele, Pearl & Steve & to meet Lesli & her husband & Julius's friend. Jeff's son (who studied jazz guitar at LA Music academy where he learned how highly regarded she is
among the professors there) & girlfriend joined us too. They live in LA &
were thrilled to be there. Les, Kakki, Lesli & husband, Jeff & I met for
dinner then walked over to the gallery. Weird coincidence was that walking into the restaurant we ran into two good friends of ours from SY who were also attending the opening. Small world.
Joni spent some of her time 'backstage' & came out into the main gallery
several times where she was instantly surrounded by folks each time. At
several points she was explaining some of the art but I couldn't hear. The first thing I saw upon entering the gallery, were the lyrics to Beat of Black Wings on the wall. To the left, were the lyrics to one of her new songs. Both the height of the gallery wall so big.
But I'm leaving the best for last. I'd given up on the chance to try & meet Joni because of the crush of the crowd each time she came out. So was just visiting with everyone & enjoying catching up with everyone. I was chatting with Les when he all of a sudden said, do you want to meet Joni? Yes!!!!!
(said I), so he led me back to the 'backstage' area where we chatted with some of Joni's people who were very appreciative of all the work Les has done on the website & loved the new look. Then over to meet Joni who was hanging out in a back patio area.
She is so stunningly beautiful. Much more beautiful in person than the photos you see of her. Very youthful, animated, and gracious. I think I went into a bit of a time warp & don't quite remember what I said. Julius engaged her in conversations about her cats, etc. She remarked how she'd gotten passionate again about music. That may have been the point that I held up my hand (to high five) & she high fived back. Could have been something else she said but I guess Les will have to remind me cuz I think I was in another world, just entranced with the sound of her voice & her face & the beauty that she exudes so effortlessly. I can't even remember what she wearing! I do recall that I gave her a bag of catalogues from the art museum where I work (hoping she might have some interest in exhibiting there).
Les, what an extraordinary gift you gave me to have the opportunity to meet
Joni after all these years. I'm never washing my hand again. LOL. Thank
you thank you a gazillion times!
Jeff & I had a good laugh at the wine being served (being from wine country but no wine snobs are we because we buy it all the time!- Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes as it is called around here (or Charles Shaw as written on the label).
The jmdlrs went on to Kakki's to eat & play. We caught a meal with Jeff's
son & girlfriend before driving back to Santa Ynez.
Oh, another cool part of the adventure was on the way to LA we took the Laurel Canyon Route from the freeway to the city. Saw some of the famous sites including a stop at the Laurel Canyon Store where I'd never been.
Next time we're in the area, I'd like to try their restaurant- it looks pretty good.
Kate, floating on cloud nine ;~}
Lesli: kate said it all so well. i'll try to put totether my take as soon as don't feel i have jet lag.
i loved the images, they more beatiful than the ones in the invitations and on the internet. i'll erite more later - joni unger glass. more later.
it looks like loren was right and there was a second opening tonight, private party invitation only. man and to think how we rushed around to go to a friday show..
so it goes.
Kakki: Great report, Kate! I know that cloud 9 feeling and am so glad you were able to spend time with the Joan. Don't know if anyone else has given a report cuz I'm on digest and have just now come out of Joni party fog after two days ;-) (Kate - you and Jeff were the sensible ones to call it an early
We all had such a great time! The crowd crush at the gallery was quite thick - much more claustrophobic than the exhibit in 1999 here. There were a number of actors and actresses there and DAVID GEFFEN, too! We ran into Coyote Rick and Brad who had to leave early for another engagement but they had arrived early and had good Joni time. Also met up with one of the first jmdlers, artist Ken Corral and Tim and my bud David Marine, who I haven't seen since '98! Sue from San Diego, Pearl and Steve from Florida (thanks Pearl for the Sonya Kitchell CD!) the Dulson's, Lesli and Peter (who is cooler than cool), Julius, who drove down last minute from NorCal and our great Les!
The paintings were actually large prints, kind of like silk screens, and I recall reading they were created for a ballet in Canada based on the Beat of Black Wings song. Some of us agreed that they looked more like stage art than something you would necessarily want to acquire for your home. I heard last week that some would be available for as little as $1,500 but later heard quotes of $22,000 and $40,000. As mentioned they had the catalog for sale and although I promised to pick up a few for my friends here, they were $200 a piece when all was said and done. I did order one. I think they are a in a limited edition of only 200. You could also buy the "deluxe" package which included the signed catalog and a signed litho for somewhere around $1,600.
At one point in the night some of the group wanted to get moving over to my place to party but Les, Julius and Kate were all missing in action. I kept circling the gallery looking for them and then noticed a long line of people waiting behind a closed glass door which had a guard behind it. I knew back there was Joni's smoking space (which she increasingly retreated to during the night) and spotted Julius on the other side. Julius asked the guard and then Joni's friend Val to let me in. I did not go back to meet with Joni because I've already had previous 3 occasions and that is more than I'd ever dreamed of, so I hung out with the most wonderful Val a bit and asked for a photo with him ;-) Joni looked adorable. She had her hair up on top her head and was wearing a black crinkled/pleated Miyake number with dark red lining. I've seen her in the outfit before but can't recall when or where.
Somehow all the aforementioned jmdlers except Kate and Jeff made it to my place downtown. Les, Steve and Julius immediately picked up guitars, a mandolin and a dulcimer and started playing as I immediately started pouring the first of many martinis, wine and cuba libres - hee! Lesli's Peter, who is a drummer, wanted nothing to do with my little bongo set but asked me for an old vinyl album cover (we gave him an old Toto) and he pulled out some drumming sticks and ingeniously played percussion on it! The most wonderful part of all was just getting to see all the old group and meeting the new group!
It took me a long time to emerge on Saturday. Les and Julius were already playing gorgeous guitar non-stop and I had to drag myself up so I could enjoy before they departed. Wow, I wish I could wake up to such beautiful sounds everyday!
Thanks to everyone for being there. It was magical in every way!