A remarkable thing happened at Clif’s event last night, and it had nothing to do with the campaign or even politics. My daughter was playing with a friend of hers – my daughter is seven and her friend eight. There’s a little side room towards the rear of the Scotia Inn dining hall and the kids were allowed to leave the grown-up world of politics to enjoy themselves. At one point I decided to check up on them.
The story actually begins before last night. I had met her friend once before at Arts Alive a couple of months ago. She, my daughter, and two other girls were wowed as we veered as a group of parents and kids off of the main drag to visit artists in their studios – the first time I had ventured into those buildings during Arts Alive.
One of the artists had a studio jammed full of paintings, so much so that it’s actually hard to navigate. I was nervous as the four girls started running through the place because it would have been easy to fall or trip and ruin a painting or two, but the artist wasn’t even fazed. He called the girls over to him, gave them a little bit of a tour and lesson on what he does, and then gave each of them a small painting as a gift. The girls were, of course, wowed. My daughter proudly displays her painting on her dresser. But it’s not Lilith’s first piece of original art. Her friend, whose family doesn’t have a large amount of money, was even more profoundly affected by the gift.
Last night when I walked into the room she was resting from play and I asked her if she still had the painting. She nodded. I jokingly said, “well, maybe someday it will be worth some money.”
She actually turned and looked at me in response – spoke politely but emphatically, and without a contraction of I and ll, “I will never sell it! It was the first time I ever met a real artist.”
I don’t want to name the artist, because I don’t want him put on the spot to give other kids the same kind of gifts. He does have to make a living. But I intend to return to his studio and tell him the story. And buy one of his paintings.