July 21, 2012: Gianna Encore

          Today, I held the first class of the new session of Gianna: Art for Kids, a free art class I’ve been teaching the last three years. The first class of a new session is always my favorite; I like meeting the new kids I’ll be working with for the next half-year, and watching how excited the littler ones get about making their artist’s smock.

          I arrived at Willo North Gallery, where I hold the Gianna classes, to discover that the air conditioner wasn’t working. Dead as a doornail. It’s a summertime curse we’ve all learned to live with: one day, your AC just expires, and while you wait for repairs, you suffer.

          The kids didn’t seem to mind, but I wanted to claw my own eyes out. The four giant fans I pointed at the group of wee artists didn’t cool things down, they just made everything windy. While the kids made color wheels and I pretended to be cheerful, I found myself wondering, Don’t they notice it’s scalding in here? Did I not care, when I was a kid, that summer here is like the surface of the sun?

          I’ve been here nearly 50 years, and I’m still waiting for that fabled moment when I’ll “get used to” the fire and brimstone.

Hey! Little girl! Your paint is melting!

Thing I Hate Today: When someone refers to an article as a “write-up”


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