In Memory of Char
I had the honor of first meeting Char at Gallery Ten many years ago. After enduring an art fair washed out in the rain, I rambled into Gallery Ten on the advice of another artist. This was my first experience walking into a gallery with hopes that they would represent my jewelry artwork and I did not know how to approach the owner to inquire. I was nervous and anxiety was high as I approached the beautiful red door entering the gallery. As I entered, I was allowed time to take everything in, no pushy salespeople or anyone breathing down my back as I walked around. The pretty woman behind the counter smiled and said hello, my heartrate increased knowing she would be the person I would have to ask about carrying my jewelry in this exquisite space. To my surprise, and in complete relief, she approached me and asked about the pendant I was wearing. As we chatted and introductions were made, my anxiety melted away, I could immediately feel the love and radiant energy that Charlene embodied. This small encounter would in many ways, alter my life as I had known it, bringing new people and magical experiences into my world. This is the magic of Char.
I carry so many amazing and beautiful memories of Char in my heart. Her generosity had no bounds, her spirit was fierce in representing her artists, taking care of her “kids,” as she so fondly called us. The sparkle in Char’s eyes was always a hint that an enchanting and often hilarious tale was about to be told. Char’s ability to share her stories enraptured everyone, bringing you in and connecting us all together. We would often share baking disaster stories, baking bloopers, as Char called them, both of us crying laughing as we shared stories of cracking eggs that never made it into the bowl. Even in emails and messages, Char’s humor and love came through. I am so thankful that during the pandemic and towards the end of Char’s time here on Earth, we were able to stay connected through messaging.
I am sharing a few of my favorite Char photos that are dear to me, one from Gallery Ten Art Fest, one of Char and I as she received her custom anniversary gift from her husband, Dewey. One photo needs just a bit more explaining. During the pandemic I acquired an interest in vintage and unique crowns that I could use in displaying my jewelry artwork. I searched online and purchased quite a few, sharing photos on Facebook of my newfound treasures. One day to my surprise, a package arrived, no name of the sender or return address. As I excitedly unwrapped the box, I discovered a magical crown, with no note inside the box a true mystery was on hand! After begging the sender to come forward, Char finally revealed that she had gifted me with the crown. This is the love, generosity, and lighthearted fun that Char bestowed upon so many of us. Hold true and fast to these memories, as they will always keep Char close and alive in our hearts forever.
Gills Rock Art Fest and the Memorial for Char take place this Labor Day weekend at Gills Rock Coffee Shop, Gills Rock, Wisconsin.