On January 17th, 2018, I hosted a gallery show titled “How to Be Kind of An Adult” on the 16th floor of 300 W. 6th St. in Austin, Texas. This was an office space in which local artists could showcase their work among fellow creatives. That office was my workplace at the time, so I was able to share the experience with people I worked with every day.
The show ran for one month and it was warmly received. People even contributed their own drawings and writings in response to prompts I provided. These prompts came in the form of small prints of two drawings in the gallery show. One was a riff on a famous frog mural in Austin (originally created by Daniel Johnston). The other was a blank version of white whale drawing. The frog print was meant to be used as a postcard and the whale was for people to fill in with things like their goals, fears, and obsessions.
Seeing people meaningfully engage with my art was tremendously rewarding. The conversations I had while the show was open have inspired several projects and ideas that I’ve continued to explore.
This show is currently looking for a new home in a small gallery space, coffee shop, restaurant or local business. It can be easily replicated and launched at multiple venues simultaneously. The complete display consists of ten 5″ x 7″ prints matted and mounted in 8″ x 10″ frames.
Meet the Artist
The Gallery Display
Take a Frog & Leave a Whale
I made frog and whale postcards (the latter being a text-free version of the white whale piece featured in my show) and encouraged visitors to write or draw their greatest hopes or fears on a blank whale. People were so interested in this experiment that I had to print two additional sets of whale postcards before the show’s month-long run concluded. As you’ll see if you continue scrolling, the responses to the “hopes or fears” prompt were varied, vulnerable, human.
Marc is my only sibling and one of my best friends. He is kind, patient, wise beyond his years and creatively gifted. He has successfully experimented with drawing, painting, photography, programming, and music. I am grateful for the time he took capturing photos of me, my partner and my family at the show. I am also grateful for the hours I’ve spent and will spend with him. He is able to find joy in so many places no-one would look. Because of that, I will always be in awe of him.
Jonah and I met as fellow copywriters working at the same agency. As I got to know him, I took a liking to him as a friend, collaborator, and mentor. Whenever we saw each other in passing at our the office, our brief chats were filled with laughter, emotional depth and empathy. We eventually became friends outside of work, too.
Jonah was always eager to tell a joke or a story immediately after greeting someone. He was sensitive, excitable, and endlessly curious. I was floored by his vulnerability in admitting that most of his days were quiet struggles. He faced those struggles with fearless optimism and an unflinching sense of hope.
Jonah passed away in the spring of 2018. It was a devastating loss that still feels raw, unjust, and tragic. He was a complicated, sometimes misunderstood person in a world that is often difficult to navigate. He was lonely but giving and willing to take a risk if he believed in something. The memory of launching this gallery show will forever be intertwined with my memories of Jonah. That’s why I’ve dedicated it dedicated to his memory. He was, and is, loved.
Jonah played a significant role in my artistic reawakening. I am glad to know that I inspired him, too. Our mutually encouraging relationship as creatives made him the perfect person to write my artist bio for the show. I am grateful for his kind words, his giving spirit, and the moments I had with him.
Here is the complete bio Jonah wrote for my show: