by Brenda Roger
Last week the “Working Stiffs” were on the topic of full time volunteer jobs. Well, thanks to my husband’s real job, I got myself a doosie of a volunteer job. Last Spring I was recruited by the Women’s Committee of the Carnegie Museum of Art. The very day that I officially became a member, I took on a large job --decorations for the annual Founder-Patrons Gala.
Now, that sounds simple, right? You meet with the florist a few times and tell him what color the flowers should be. Not so fast. We decided that with our limited budget and lofty expectations, it would be really beautiful to paint mylar sleeves for glass cylinders. These sleeves would be painted to resemble Tiffany glass and thereby coordinate with the exhibit “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages”, which would open on the night of the gala.
Painting began in August. The painting sessions took place in the CMA. These sessions involved me dragging a very heavy roll of mylar and a rolling suitcase full of supplies through the bowels of the museum, setting up work stations and conducting tutorials on the process. Well, lots of great and interesting ladies showed up and pitched in. The act of painting a lantern was labor intensive and time consuming. However, before the end of September and six weeks before the event, we had twenty-nine lanterns and our goal was only thirty. Whew! Home safe!
Wrong again. No one thought to tell the newbie that the museum continues to take reservations up until the day before the event and over the course of a few weeks, eight tables were added! Every time the table count went up, the newbie in charge of lanterns had to run home from her other museum job (where she had just taken on additional responsibilities) and paint more lanterns! I felt like Michael Corleone, every time I thought I was out, they’d pull me back in.
Well, the event was this past Friday. The lanterns glowed in the center of tables draped with iridescent taffeta, while party goers dined on lobster bisque and filet mignon with truffle sauce. The lanterns were a raging success and much admired by the three hundred and eighty people in attendance. I have an overwhelming sense of relief. I find myself actually enjoying this cold snap because it means that winter is coming and the fall social season will soon be over. The holidays are usually a quiet time for us. My hibernation is set to begin.
The WIP that has been neglected can be resurrected from the bowels of my hard drive. Where did I leave my knitting, anyway? There are two juicy biographies of Thomas Eakins sitting on the workroom table just waiting to be pealed open. Oh, and there’s that husband guy I was so fond of before iridescent glass paint entered our lives.
For a while there, I was wondering who was going to have a cold snap first, me or the weather.