Monday, September 26, 2005

Festivals, Fairs, and Fall

Mr. McGee and I had a fairly exciting weekend. There was a Fall Festival in my neighborhood, to which I was alerted by wondering aloud to my neighbor why there was so much traffic and having her respond, "The carnival! Haven't you noticed the herds of carnies roaming the neighborhood?" Oh.

So we hit the carnival, which was a lovely little neighborhood event, with a beer tent and carnival food (mmmm ... funnel cake) and several little rides. Mr. McGee turns out not to cope particularly well with the spinning rides that I like, so we went on the Ferris wheel, which almost made me puke when it was all stopping and starting. Freaked me out! One ride we rode, Mr. McGee was so tall that his legs almost hit the support bars when we swung around ever time -- a little nerve-wracking! We also noticed that one of the carnies was wearing a UNC cap, thus solving the eternal question of what happens to UNC students when they graduate: apparently, they become carnies.

But this was the first time we'd ever done amusement-park-type rides together, so it was fun to see his face and watch his hair get all floofy. Then, after agreeing that we were officially old because carnival rides were making our stomachs get confused and our heads get dizzy, we hit the beer tent, where basically the entire over-21 population of the neighborhood was enjoying a brew and listening to the band.

Sunday we volunteered at the Peoria Fine Art Fair, which was a blast. It was pouring rain, so there wasn't a whole lot to do, so we basically got free T-shirts for walking around the fair for two hours asking artists if we could sit their booths while they went to pee. Nobody needed a bathroom break, so we just had a lovely ramble. There were a shocking lot of glass artists, of which our favorite was a local artist who owns Toraason Glass. He has a real sinuous line and delicate composition to his works that we didn't see in the other glass artists.

I had a total revelation at the Art Fair, though, and that's what I've got to blog about. There was an artist there named Larry Kanfer, a modest man who looked more like an accountant than an artist. But oh my God, I saw his art, and that is exactly what is in my head. That is what I would make if I could make art. This is the beauty I see when I look at the midwest; this is what I'm always trying to explain to other people about why I think it's the most beautiful, soul-filling landscape in the world. And I finally found someone who translates that into pictures! It's like the contents of my imagination on canvas for the whole world to see! I was so excited I literally jumped up and down. My husband laughed at me, but he said, "You totally made that guy's day." He was super-nice to me, gave me postcards to take home and everything.

So I have decided to become a Larry Kanfer groupie. I'm going to get all his books and then drive to Champaign and ask him to sign them. And the next time I have a spare $1200, I'm so buying a big-ass Kanfer to hang in my office where I can look at it all day long.

I definitely know what I'm getting for Christmas!

1 comment:

angela said...

Hmm... Mr. McGee is a lawyer, he occassionally annoys you with inane legalistic arguments, his legs are so long that he almost can't fit into a carnie ride... huh... Eyebrows, I do believe we may be married to the same guy.

I saw the same art you mentioned on Saturday. You're right, he does amazing work. His photography is scenic without being sappy. I tell people I love this area because it is so lush and fertile, but most people think those adjectives are trademarked to places like California. You say, "mid west", most people hear, "hicks shucking corn."