As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]
One of my pleasures as an artist, apart from being told that my art is “appreciated” – maybe because it’s annoyingly rumored about that each piece has a phallic symbol in it somewhere, somehow (note: many don’t) – is the rare experience of viewing an early creation for the “first time.”
For this to happen there has to occur a span of time between an art completion and its “rediscovery”. Such occurred on two counts recently when I was given a May 7 – 20, 1991 copy of Ten Percent, then published by Steve Culver, current publisher of the glossy bi-weekly OP (Out Post).
At that time I was a contributing writer for TP and had written an interview of future BTL co-publisher Jan Stevenson. Jan found this issue – certainly a collector’s item now worth hundreds of dollars on e-Bay – tucked away in an odd corner of her office.
She kindly gave the highly collectible copy to me. (I said I’d share my e-Bay bid money with her!)
At the time Jan was program director for “the Affirmations Lesbian/Gay Community Center, based in Royal Oak.” (Clearly, I meant Ferndale, but on occasion even seasoned freelance writers get there facts wrong. Surely this honest sharing will be an e-Bay plus, greatly enhancing the 40-page tabloid, also carrying an early Alexander art ad repro.)
A highlight or two is offered just in case any of my teeming thousands of PG readers want a sampling before formal bidding begins. Me: “I’ve always been intrigued by the French who look at things quite differently than us. In French the gender for violin, viola and cello is masculine. The bass fiddle is feminine. Curious.”
Jan (who once played bass fiddle with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra):
“Not really, if you think about it. The bass fiddle is shaped like a woman.”
Me: “Of course. I’ve never really thought of it that way.” (You got that right, Charles.)
Me: “How did you come out!” (Could have done without the exclamation point. Too late now.) Jan: “It happened in high school. I was naive. My best friend out of the blue just up and kissed me, with a great deal of conviction and no small measure of passion, I suppose. I was shocked, but I was also ready. She was my first affair of the heart.”
And this last: “Affirmations track record for attracting lesbians is exemplary. Of your 400-plus members, you have the highest percentage of active participation for women of any other large (LGBT) organization. Why?”
Jan: “Simple. We listen to the concerns of women. We listen and deal with their issues. We honor their perspective. Once women – lesbians and straight – know that you are doing something truly supportive, they will show their appreciation by their activity.”
Me: “Is it that simple?” Jan: “Try it and see.”
Oh, yes!!! My line art drawing is a quarter page ad on the lower right-hand corner, page 38. (Upper left headline worth Googling: “NEA funding controversy starting over.”) There are no penii in my art. A disappointment, no doubt for aspiring e-Bay bidders. As far as my early art goes, 22 years ago I was virginal. (Visually speaking.)