Fine times in Minneapolis warrant aesthetic awareness; a moment to engage in fine practice; where everyone is an artist, where all are producing progressive pieces, where culture, food, great quality, and creativity transcends the human idea. This is where people pay to be catered to, wine is run to table and poured into glass, and feasts of exotic proportions are garnished, heated, and cooked to life. Real abstractions exist at the Symposia… I exist at the Symposia…
Or so I thought…
Fall is shaping up abrasively, harvest is in full swing. The sun is setting earlier, frost is bonding with anything and everything. The moon is out, usually, or more noticeably, bright, bone-white. People are bundling, finding lovers, leaving summer lovers, and enjoying more whisky and beer, in order to compensate the physical appeal of warmth. One takes the changing times in stride; one boot in front of the other. One must be neither committed, nor non-committal to feel the effects, witness the visuals, or take in, first hand the changing of seasons. Autumn can be atrocious, and uplifting all at once.
Weeks earlier I volunteered, seemingly unprepared, apparently, my coworkers glared into my eyes and told me to be prepared, “This event is where people go crazy.” One of my coworkers mentioned as she put her hand to her head and made the universal gesture for crazy; finger pointed, spinning around, at the ear, like a crank.
I shrugged it off.
Fuck it, I was about to go home from this shift, come back to do a shift again tomorrow. I had done the Symposia before, so preparations had been made. No worries.
I thought, I got this.
An artist famous in the Minneapolis area was slated to do a couple of words for the group, so I was interested. Show a couple of photos and such, tell a life story and all. My ears were open to the sounds.
I have been interested in Scott Seekins, the artist, for some time. A person living in Minneapolis sees him out and about once in a while, if a person isn’t a shut-in.
I was interested in what he was about to tell patrons as they ate, as my manager, and the head-chef, (Anna) spoke to the audience in the restaurant and through a Pod-cast, via a mic in the corner. I was interested because I had heard so much negativity, so many assumed ideas. Internet talk of someone who supposedly doesn’t even use the internet. I knew it wasn’t the way it was, I knew I had to find out for myself.
I met him before at First Ave. he was passive, moderately passive aggressive towards me as a female fan spoke to him. I thought about my first encounter and let it go.
I heard on FB that he was very interested in the women of MCAD and some genius had written some witty remarks about sexual harassment, which I took with a grain of salt. People who hate people for no reason will make up such stories because, OH! its so bad, what a bad man.
In all honesty he was none the such above. He is an artist.
I dressed myself in all black as per the manager’s request. Black collared shirt, black pants, black shoes, and a black heart per all the wrong I’ve done. I came out of the employee bathroom and as I always do, I asked if I looked cool. Mostly no one responds, this time I got the, “Yeah, sure…” I punched the clock, washed my hands, and asked for direction.
I ran through the doors and out to the floor. The lighting was low and the windows gave in little light from outside because there wasn’t much of it out there either.
That is October for you.
Most of the night, on both sides of the table, people were downing white wines as to compensate for the rush of the event, and eating complex cuisine. Guests were generously offered multitudes of different wines (colors, styles, and prices), rare food (i.e. Roasted Goat, and Monk Fish) was splayed on the table in front of them, plates were cleared, and more food was presented. Food of all types.
This went on for about 3 hours, about 20 minutes into the event Anna (Garden’s Owner) opened the show with an introduction on the entrees and their origins.
Scott Seekins prepared with coffee at the bar, he then moved on to a fine Red Wine; genuinely convivial and dressed to draw attention he came across as humble and personable. I was intrigued and immediately dismissed allegations of negativity I had heard about him. He wore all black as were his fall and winter colors. He had an aura about him that suggested he had been interesting for some time. Minneapolis is a welcoming city for artists; promotion of idea and progressiveness seem to go hand-in-hand with great culture, and that is what Minneapolis has.
Share what you care.
The Symposia started off without a hitch, I hardly remember most of it because it flew by. The main idea was that Scott Seekins was actually a generally nice, and very interesting guy. Artistic view points were expressed, there were other artists in the crowd.
He presented photos of his past, present, and a hint at his future. People laughed agreeably. He had worked with many fine photographers in his day. I had been taken aback by a photo of Scott looking up, hands in front, gesturing a juggling motion, eyes transfixed up, together, with intensity, he was wearing white in the photo and there was a white backdrop. The photo was incredible, the photographer had just passed on. He said this is what a good photo is.
I would come by with dish and drink and stare for moments at the photos. I was highly impressed. I felt eyes on my person that suggested I keep moving, keep busy.
Scott spoke of fishing, life, of a coat he had owned that could not be reproduced, and of his art itself. The staff and I worked hard to the very end. It seemed as though his message was never give up, or never give in, but I fancy both of those ideas as a message. Real-life warrants persistence.
Never give up or give in, be outside what you are within.
After the guests had mostly cleared I swept and put the tables back together, Scott and a group of 5 or 6 women sat at one of the wooden tables along the bench. Anna sat with the group. I couldn’t help but stare at the artist and at the finely attired females. Much flesh was showing, many smiles. I was scolded back to work by Anna and finished up in due time.
I was done after mopping the whole new side of the restaurant’s wooden floors, I changed into street clothes and grabbed some food to eat. I had the kale soup in goat broth, with a light salad and 2 Heineken’s. Double fisting, like classy and trashy. I was an artist too. I sat next to Scott and listened in to his words. He spoke of everyone being on a tangent. I could relate. He spoke of how Gardens’ was the best Greek Restaurant in Minneapolis (hands down it is), I could relate, and he spoke of painting. We all conversed. I went behind the bar again and called my miss, she replied with an answer of avoidance. I stayed longer.
Things didn’t work out as planned, so I never plan on things working out.
I finished my meal while discussing my birthplace, La Crosse, WI. Scott was also born in La Crosse, I shook his hand and we spoke of diversity, discussing and relating to the lack of diversity in the coulee region of La Crosse, La Crescent, and Winona. I felt things were changing though. The girls left and came back, they filled their glasses, I finished my bottles and filled a glass as well.
Scott stayed for another hour laughing and bullshitting with us. He told us of how he was going to be out late downtown at a bar, or somewhere in Uptown, I forget, but it was definitely at a bar. I thought that must be the life.
(He told of how art might make people not like you. I told him of a post about a lesbian, he told me some people don’t have a sense of humor. He told me to look for people who have a sense of humor, that’s about all that matters now.)
He said he would still get up early and go to his Loring Park studio in the morning.
I knew that area very well. My red-brick century old complex building loomed in that areal, if only I didn’t live in South now I would have less of a bike ride out of here. Scott got up from the table, gathered his precious belongings and hit the road.
I sat there at the table and thought… Fuck, he must have sold a hundred prints. Before he left I took a look at the prints as they were strewn out on the marble bar, and I looked at the prices. I enjoyed the prints, but the prices were pretty high. I thought about this more. Fuck, he must have sold at least a hundred.
Cash in hand.
I sat on the wooden bench with empty plates and bottles in front of me and I thought. I thought damn, its got to be easy to make a lot of money as an artist.
I think I’ll start painting.
My wallet was empty, and after I left NE I went to the 19 bar in Loring to have a few rounds with Laura and some strangers.
Desolate night, not a dollar to my name, I left empty handed but my mind was full.
I avoided all the eyes that invited at the bar because mostly I am into females.
Its dark there anyway, seems like a trap, and the drinks are strong.
I kept thinking and never really made it home that night. I thought about how influential life is up in the city. I thought about how everything is positive, and mostly how things are there to benefit us in some way.
Art and food have a place together, and know the facts before you hate. Understand things aren’t as transparent as they may seem, and one story is one story, and just that.