Seichamps, January 16, 2015

I still can’t get used to total darkness at 8 a.m. and again about 5:30 p.m., but that’s how it is in Seichamps in mid-January. An exciting piece of news: a rather weird message from Capital One indicated that my credit cards would work again. We’ll see….

It’s still cold, cold, but rainy, so no snow yet. Today Jacqueline and I went to Galerie Raugraff in Nancy in the morning. Because it was raining, we drove and parked in a municipal garage, instead of taking their streetcar. Once again, I saw how far behind we are in the US, at least in Tucson. Yesterday, I experienced wonderful highways and streets. Today it was a parking garage. You drive in, it tells you how many spaces are free in the garage. Once you’re in, you see at the beginning of each row how many spaces are free in that row — and lights above each space tell you whether it’s occupied (red) or available (green). Wow! And it wasn’t terribly expensive — 2.60 euros for about two hours.

Online Galerie Raugraff had some really cool glass and some really super glass artists. However, it was closed until spring, working on a new installation. Of course, its website didn’t mention this.

So, we walked around the heart of Nancy a little. We visited the huge indoor food market, where the first thing I saw was a sign for something new: horse sausage.

New: Horse sausages in the indoor market in Nancy.

New: Horse sausages in the indoor market in Nancy.

We saw lots of fruits and veggies, some I had never seen before.

Fruits and vegetables in a large stand at the indoor market in Nancy.

Fruits and vegetables in a large stand at the indoor market in Nancy.

When we came out, we saw the large empty plaza across from the church.

The church in Nancy across the plaza from the indoor market.

The church in Nancy across the plaza from the indoor market.

We were parked by a large shopping center. In C&A I got a turtle neck that may work with one of the new pieces of jewelry I brought. Really exciting: my Capital One Visa card worked. However, the six euros I spent on the top weren’t enough to qualify for free parking. We visited some other stores, I got some paper to see about e-mail addresses (I forgot this when I was packing), but we didn’t get enough anywhere to get the parking ticket validated. Ah well.

Then it was home and lunch and on to the Seichamps City Hall to set up. WOW! Three grids, covered in black fabric. Two spotlights, and chains and “S” hooks for use by all the artists. I’ve never had such a good setup before. Bruno, the maintenance person, spent several minutes putting hangers and wire on the back of my photos. One of Jacqueline’s friends lent me a straw mannequin that’s pretty cool. I was pretty much set up in an hour and a half. My display is probably the best one I’ve ever had — with a lot of help from Jacqueline, Bruno and the display person. I don’t have piles of stuff the way I usually do, and the spotlights bring the glass to life.

Red, fused glass by Diane C Taylor, with a spotlight on it.

Red, fused glass by Diane C Taylor, with a spotlight on it.

My display, without the spotlights on.

My display, without the spotlights on.

We walked around and greeted some of the other artists — Jacqueline, who spent a few years in the French Senate, knows everyone and his/her dog (literally).

One piece needed some lighting behind it, Jacqueline decided. We went to the local flea market shop, where she’d taken me before. For three euros I got a little lamp, white porcelain with a white shade. It was in pretty good shape, just needs to have the shade cleaned, the price label and dust removed and a light bulb. I checked it with a borrowed bulb to be sure it worked.

Back at Jacqueline’s, we had tea. She went off to a reception, André helped me get the lamp fixed up, and I’m working on the blog. André has a meeting this evening, and Jacqueline and I will have dinner when she gets back.

Snow is expected tomorrow, for the event. This is an art exhibit by “amateur artists”, whatever that means. Most of the people I saw today appear to be retired. Some of the paintings are excellent, some less so. One woman near me does cartonnage, making boxes and covering them with fabric, as well as embroidery. Her pieces looked quite professional. I should add, in Europe, I have the feeling that if you didn’t study something and do it all your life, then you’re an amateur. I’ll find out more tomorrow, I hope.

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