Tuesday, January 8, 2008

PADUCAH'S ARTIST RELOCATION PROGRAM



A bit of Paducah WC aprox. 12x30

Seven years ago this month Patience and I visited Paducah for the first time. I saw the small ad in Art Calendar that read, “Artist Relocation Program”, Paducah Kentucky. It was eight years after opening our new medical practice on our farm and I was growing increasingly anxious to return to my art, looking forward to be able to give it all of my time and energy.
As a result, I was quite susceptible to anything that might promise me that opportunity.

We decided to visit in January, thinking we should see the town in mid winter when everything looks bleak and forlorn, putting it to a rather severe test. It is a long 14-15 hour drive from our farm in Maryland to Paducah, and we arrived outside the town just after dark. We were both somewhat anxious as we approached the city from the south side loop, and became very quiet, keeping our skepticism to ourselves as we drove by the cement plant and the large fuel tanks on rt. 60 just outside of town. I thought to myself, “what in the hell are we doing here”, and was certain that P was thinking the same thing. Our anxiety was heightened by a bit of confusion caused by my navigating; I thought we were entering from the west side (Park Ave.), and drove through town twice before figuring this out. We had reservations at the Harbor Plaza B&B, and by the time we turned onto Broadway we were both pretty “wired”.

We were greeted by a quiet downtown street, illuminated by festive Christmas lights and lined with well manicured turn of the century buildings, everything my urban loving heart desired after 17 years of farm life. I loved it! We located the B&B and met Beverly, our delightful hostess, who led us to our room, a warm and wondrous highly Victorian cocoon that eliminated the last remnants of our anxieties. Next on our agenda was dinner, and for this we walked to the end of the block to Jeremiah’s, where we enjoyed our first meal in Paducah.

We had plans to meet Mark Barone in the morning who would show us the city and tell us about the relocation program. But P is convinced that as soon as I turned onto Broadway she knew we would be coming to Paducah.

next post...Lowertown and more



Jerimiah's...(restaurant on the right) WC 22x30

4 comments:

Jean Levert Hood said...

What a wonderful story, William! I anxiously await the next installment.
Jean

http://www.JeansArtBlog.com

Villager said...

Having gone through it, I know relocating is not an easy step. It is great how well it worked out for you. Great post. It makes me itch to visit this town.

Brenda said...

Very interesting!

Linda Blondheim said...

William,
I just tagged your blog on mine. Go there to see what to do.

Your painting looks great.
Love,
Linda
www.lindablondheimartnotes.blogspot.com