On the Road Again
Well, as the song goes, ” On the road again…” and no better way to start than to have our first post-COVID event be the Tour of the Battenkill. As many of you know, this is the event that started it all for DUG Art back in 2011. So, even as we started to load the Transit with panels and art, the mixture of excitement, nostalgia, and apprehension engulfed us.
The mixture of emotions built as we crossed the hills into the Hudson River valley reaching a crescendo first when passing through Cambridge NY and finally with the sight of the Washington County Fairgrounds.
However, I needn’t have worried. From the moment we opened the doors to our van we were surrounded by old friends who either have worked the event forever, or have been collectors and old-time supporters of my work for so many years as well. The mutual gratitude of seeing each other again is not something I will ever forget.
We were so happy to be among what I will label as the Battenkill “Clan”. This “clan” begins with Dieter Drake (former race owner and now event consultant) and his sons but extends to the dozens of the “old timers” who are too numerous to mention here but who do all of the behind the scenes work critical for a topnotch cycling experience. Reuniting with Tim, owner of Tomhannock Bicycles, the wonderful folks at Velofix, Carlyn and Karl, and the “cider donut lady” was terrific. Meeting JeanneAnne and her husband Ken for the first time was another treat. Tim has been through the “Expo wars” with us for many years, Carlyn and Karl are both co-expo veterans AND big time collectors, while Jeanne Anne and Ken are new friends who offer a range of products under the La Domestique label. Ken is also a USCF official.
Then, of course, there is the other branch of the clan, those who we have become close to through their support of my efforts and the collecting my work. As of this writing, I have not gained approval from these individuals to use their names, but in future posts, I will refer to some of the moments of exchange I have had with them that have fueled so much of the creative energy I ALWAYS gain after our visits.
There is something very special about these conversations that often start with either the immediate impression made about a piece of work OR how an art exhibit happens to be at a cycling event in the first place. This often leads to interactions that take fascinating turns far flung from either the work that started the conversation to begin with, or the sport of cycling at all.
Over the coming weeks I will be sharing aspects of these interactions that have touched me. Most will have their genesis from a particular artwork – though not all. Some will tug at your heart strings, some will tickle your funny bones and – I hope – some will add some knowledge about the hows and whys of what I do.
Lastly, I am SO glad so many of you enjoyed this year’s Battenkill poster. I have entitled it, “Road to Righteousness”. For those of you I have not explained this title to, I will let you conjure…