The Salon Was A Big Hit 2023


October 14th 2023

The Charles Kapsner Salon 2023 has officially begun. The opening night was simple, grand, and engaging.

For one of the first times in my life, I was the first one there and got to watch as the food was crafted and laid out in the most artistic and beautiful way by a top food marketing expert and experienced caterer. I enjoyed watching the artists arrive to be near their artwork to talk with people.

It was so loving to observe and be a participant in a community of people coming together to support art in their community and a friend. I personally felt honored to be a part of this event in 2023. My gratitude towards Charles for including me and The Best of Him is profound.

The Fall evening was wet and chilly. The temperatures were in the 40’s and there was a chill in the air hinting of the cold winter to come. The rain would fall sporadically. If you arrived at the right time, you would not get wet at all, if you arrived at the wrong time, you might become very wet. You really couldn’t plan for it. When you arrived at the Great River Arts building and pulled open the door, you were immediately greeted by The Best of Him Painting. It is right across from the door, straight ahead of you when you walk in. The warmth of the heated space and the light sounds of live jazz music in the larger show space invite you into the salon. Charles, Katherine, or one of the other artists usually greeted people at the door. As you walk in you would turn to the left and sign into the guest book. Then taking just a few more steps you were looking at some of Charles Kapsner’s latest works for sale.

The way Charles had the show set up displayed the progression of how we came to the idea of doing the Best of Him piece. Charles has a painting of items on an American flag inspired just after the 2016 election. Then when COVID shut down all of Charles’s shows and projects, he created another statement piece on an American flag depicting that time and sentiment. He had both of those paintings in the show in that order, and then the last painting is the Best of Him. Another story being told with support from the American Flag as one of the main focal pieces of the painting. I really appreciate the progression and when talking with people throughout the night I shared that part of the story of what inspired me to have this piece created.

The evening was a constant steady stream of people walking through the door, signing in, and then walking around the front gallery space then wandering their way into the back gallery space with the wine, drinks, food, and music flowing. There was a continual buzz of conversation. When I would see friends enter the gallery I would go over and greet them, walk them around the exhibit, and enjoy their feedback on the salon. My husband and my mom both came and took in the event and participated with lots of love and fanfare. At one point my mom and I walked over to the painting, when it was a slow moment and we talked about the best parts of my dad that she remembered. We cried a little knowing he was gone and really missing those parts of him. It was a very personal and nice moment to share with my mom. Two of my dearest friends from my book club drove a couple of hours to look at the painting in person and support me. My best friend and podcast partner Michelle and her husband came and visited and my best walking partner and friend Julie and her mom made an evening of the event and stopped by. One of my biggest supporters in life, my sister-in-law Barb (cousin to Charles Kapsner) and her husband Bob also came up and got to see it in person.

What a gift of an evening.

Not many people, other than my friends, asked me about the painting. That was the thing I was so reminded of. Once I open art up to other people, it is about their experience with the art. Not my story, but the stories it connects them with inside of themselves. I got to observe those connection moments and that was new, different, and rewarding. Someone from a group of people would read the whole story of the painting, then they would walk over and get another person in their group and bring them over. Then the two of them would talk and start to point at things, laugh, smile, and engage. A couple of times I watched people at that point pull out their phone, take a photo, and post it on social media. I checked, and they didn’t #thebestofhim, so I don’t know what they said, but I wish I did, because I would love to know what they took away from the image and story.

One time I watched a couple sitting at a table talk about the piece while reading the brochure, then after about fifteen minutes the gentleman got up and walked over to the painting, stood for a few minutes, and then took a photo.

The salon was a huge success for the painting, and I hope for Charles.

It will be on display at the Great River Arts Gallery until right before Thanksgiving 2023. If you have never been to the Great River Arts in Little Falls, MN you really should check them out sometime when you are passing through the area.