Last week, I opened up about finding moments of creation in small daily acts of art, and it got me thinking about how I view the curation and hanging of exhibits as making my own larger art piece out of many. Arranging 40 unique works of art and making sure nothing is lost or too loud is a task that I certainly ask Anne and Zach to help with every single time. The best moment in hanging a show is when the chaos turns into something cohesive and starts telling a story. It’s a magic that artists are familiar with, I’m sure.

There’s this cat who has been coming around since we’ve been home all the time. She was timid about approaching too close at first, but now (since I started feeding her), she literally will climb the window screen to try to get into my bedroom, presumably to get petted. It’s pretty annoying, but only because I know that I will eventually let her in and then I will have a cat. She’s claimed me as her family and there’s really nothing I can do about it. Did she have a family who was loving her before she started hanging out here? If I start ignoring her, will she go back to them? Will I feel a pang in my heart if I do?

Catherine the Cat

We don’t get to choose what family we start with, but we are certainly at liberty to create or add to one as we learn and love throughout a lifetime. Friends and lovers and coworkers. Ancestors and old high school buddies and artists we admire from afar. Long lost brothers. Pretty calico kitties who sleep on our patio. All these precious and necessary chaotic pieces make a whole and teach us what it means to individualize. It’s a curation project we should never finish because the story we are telling is on-going. When things start making sense, that’s the magic of creating something cohesive.

I feel lucky to be chosen by Catherine the Cat to help her feel safe and loved. I guess her needing me makes me feel that way, too.

Dang it, I have a cat now, don’t I?

Andrea Adams is the Gallery Director for the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.

Published April 13, 2020