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Albuquerque is a turkey, and he's feathered and he's fine!

He's the best pet that you'll ever get, better than a dog a cat! He's my Albuquer-turkey turkey and he's absolutely MINE!!!

Anyone else remember that song growing up around Thanksgiving in elementary school, or am I the only one?

Also my teacher changed the lyrics at the end to "we'll have pizza pie instead." Cause New York children would have pizza pie instead, not veggie soup... but that's another story for another day!

I am sure you are probably wondering to yourself, "Why is Loretta singing a song about a turkey named Albuquerque?" Well there is a VERY good reason for it. See my first out of New York art gallery placement just happens to be in Albuquerque, New Mexico! YAY!

See it all comes around, in the end!

A few months a go I took a shot and entered an open call at a gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico named Tortuga Gallery. The open call was for an upcoming show they were putting together called "Grief & Gratitude: Art and Stories from the Pandemic” . After reviewing the criteria of the exhibit, I decided to submit a few pieces for the curators/judges consideration.

In all honesty, I didn't think any of my pieces would be picked. First of all, I was not a local artist. My art is a bit out there and I was not sure how they would respond as here in New York people either get it, or they don't, especially my sculpture work.

Well to my surprise, Logan from Tortuga reached out to me about a month later to inform me that THREE of the five pieces I had submitted had been chosen. I was BEYOND thrilled. Of course the three pieces picked were two yupo sculptures and a 36" x 36" painting. My next challenge would be getting these pieces across the county to New Mexico.

In the past with my sculpture pieces, I have NEVER had a problem shipping. But I had a BAD feeling as I packed them firmly into their individual boxes. Ever just have the feeling you know UPS is just going to play soccer with your delicate shipment even though you pack the hell out of it? YYYYEEEEAAAAAAA. Cause they did.

OH and side note. Packing artwork should be an Olympic sport. I think it can be in both the summer and winter games, but in all honesty, it is hell on earth. Who ever thought being an artist was glamourous needs to pack artwork. Especially disabled when you need help doing it.

So back to how UPS treated my sculptures as if they were soccer balls.... They got to Tortuga damaged. They lost my large piece for a HOT second. Delivered all three pieces to the gallery directly when I directed them to deliver it to a completely different address. Let's just say, shipping was a SH*T SHOW. Raphael at the gallery became my savior/newest favorite person, as we worked together, across the country, to get the sculptures how they needed to be for the exhibit.

After all the stress caused by shipping, I was pleasantly taken aback when Tortuga emailed the artists a link to see all of the incredible art that is in the show. What I find so powerful about this particular show is that it isn't just an art exhibit. Tortuga is opening their doors to the local community, to speak about their experiences through workshops, conversations, storytelling, and musical guests - not just the art the was summited for the exhibit. They have small events planned for the entire month of September, which I think is so fantastic to help others understand that they are not alone in whatever they are going through, especially with what the pandemic has put people through.

This exhibition, for me, was such a moment of reflection, as the three pieces that were selected ("Transatlanticism", "Spiritual Stability", and "Evolving") represent me in three different stages of grief and the acceptance of that grief. The slow evolution of time that it took for me to move forward and be grateful for all the blessings that I do have in this life.

Transatlanticism Spiritual Stability Evolving

Those three pieces for me are an extremely bold image of my emotional state of 2020, and how adapting to a new normalcy has constantly allowed me to grow as a person and a artist. And to see them together at such a powerful exhibition makes me incredibly proud of where I currently am and grateful for every single second I get to enjoy.

Want to learn more about Tortuga Gallery and the exhibition? CLICK HERE

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