I was hired to oversee an art auction. My client was not “typical”. They were a non-profit organization.
The first indication this would be, um..“different”? It took place in an “alternative” coffee shop.
“I’m okay with “alternative”...despite being conservative.
I’m complex like that.
Some of the artists didn’t show up. My team represented them at their “art stations”. I held out for the artist that sketched lovely drawings of whales...and a couple of Jesus portraits.
I respectfully placed his bio in a cracked plastic frame. There was a reason he hadn’t shown up.
He was incarcerated in the State Penitentiary.
He wasn’t the only one.
I cajoled a volunteer to rep the artist that crocheted….wait for it….lingerie. Hilariously, the cup sizes of the bra didn't match, not even close. The panties (yellow and pink yarn) were thong-style.
After minutes of misrepresenting MY artist, I joined my young volunteer and her unsellable lingerie. She was with an older gentleman (my age) I assumed was the artist.
“Interesting lingerie set,” I commented. “Those leather pouches are cute too”.
“Have you seen the other side of the pouches?” the man asked. He flipped one over, revealing a depiction of a marijuana leaf. (He’d been concealing the leaf in order to increase sales.)
“We have matching lighters, too” he smiled.
I burst out laughing. The young volunteer planner (a University of Denver student and my protege) interjected, “Charmaine, I’d like you to meet my father, Jerry”.
“Are you a professional pot-head?” I asked.
“I’m an archeologist” he corrected.“ I have a business with 20 employees. I have a Vineyard in the mountains. I'm NOT the artist.”
“This small leather pouch is perfect for a crack rock” Jerry said to a customer.
We laughed... punch drunk. His daughter watched us, rolling her eyes affectionately.
I whispered, “The customers are going to think we’re high.”
“I know,” he giggled, “Isn’t it great?"