I may or may not have scheduled my trip to the U.S. around Labor Day. More importantly around one itty, bitty art fair in a village near my childhood home. This village has a parade in the morning then everyone flocks over to the park where some really talented artists have their booths set up. I can't really remember not going to this art fair. It's just what we did.
My parents being who they are established relationships with many of these artists and my home was filled with their art. Pots, prints, metal work. You name it, we had it. Their favorite, however, was the tile lady. Year after year we would go to her booth to see the most beautiful printed tiles. Each year she had a new line and each year they were happier than the last. Abstract figures in bold, whimsical colors embracing life. Her tiles, and even one of her sculptures, fill so many corners of my parents' home, the joie de vivre mirroring much of my memories of the house. With her my parents formed a very tender relationship, kindled by the kinship of breast cancer but fostered by the love of art.
It was for the tile lady that I scheduled my trip around Labor Day.We spoke with her and her husband for a few minutes and though they don't know me well, this pair of artists are so a part of my memory of home that I just soaked in the ambiance. Yet again, the tile lady's booth did not disappoint. Happy fish, beautiful landscapes, merry portraits. Oh, how I love it... And to top it off, I am most definitely taking one of these tiles home with me to Cyprus.
I'm so glad I did see her this year as she confided to us that she and her husband, who have been doing the art fair circuit since 1970, are planning to "retire" within the next few years. This could very well have been the last time I see the tile lady on Labor Day. And that, my friends, is just a very strange thought indeed. I am such a creature of habit that forming new traditions and finding new artists to admire just seems overwhelming. But if I can live in Cyprus I guess I can handle a few new experiences, right? Right.