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A long, long time ago, I can still remember when I had an idea to kick off our grand-opening with this painting and the tag-line, “Now available on Earth.” I thought and thought about it for months and I thought so long about it that I realized I no longer had enough time to learn how to paint it. Because, surely anyone can pick up painting in a few months. It’s like riding a bike right? But I did have pencils, so I started working on it. After about a month, I realized that stick figures again seemed to be unable to do this painting justice. I was disheartened. I was at a loss. I never will be an accomplished artist. But I had known that since, I was about 8 so I got over it quickly.
Then about a month before we opened, Chris Vallier, whom I have known for many years from my days at the ole wine bar, stopped by and we began talking about the potential of him picking up a few shifts behind the bar and maybe even helping us some day in the brewery. Chris is quite the admirable chap and getting him on our staff is like getting Albert Pujols to play on your t-ball team or getting Shakespeare to write copy for your Holiday cards... which brings up another ridiculous thing.. Home Depot put out its Holiday Decorations last week. That’s Crapitalism if you ask me. But I digress, or regress. But I do make a good point.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Chris and I were discussing a few things and he mentioned about painting a sign on the building (yes we will soon have one of those identifier things) . And it struck me, Chris is an excellent painter. I had come across a piece he had done at a friends’ house and knew this idea in my head would be easy peasy for him. Best of all, he started right away and was able to bring to life this idea that stuck in my head a long time ago and it is now hanging on our second floor and finally out of my mind.
I think often about how my friend Art has been a confidant in my life. Art and I went to grade school together, we had a few classes in high school and then in college Art and I had a little appreciation class. Seems Art and I did best when I was just appreciating Art. Art appreciation taught me that some guy named Michaelangelo painted the original version of this on some ceiling in some building in a country that is not known for making great beer. He was some Rennaissance man of sorts. Apparently he is responsible for a few of those things they carve out of stone and one he named David. Let it be noted that originally I was going to have Chris carve another David holding a Civil Life beer but the marble was too expensive.
But Art is definitely in my mind’s eye and I can envision a great painting but I just can’t make my hands do it. In fact, when my hands do attempt it, I am quickly transported back to the 3rd grade when I reached the apex of my Art Career. Never would I move past the ability I had in the 2nd grade when I out shined my classmates under the tutelage of my art instructor by tracing my hand and making it into a Turkey.
Which makes me appreciate what Chris can do in so many ways. Chris has natural talent but he also has worked at his craft for many years and we both I am sure started at the same turkey hand masterpiece. I find it very unfortunate when so many artists, I know are unable to make a living at doing what they love. In this case, I am a huge beneficiary of societies inability to consistently employ artists as if Chris was painting all the time he wouldn’t be able to tend bar on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday day for me. But it makes me a bit upset, because people like Chris should be painting. And if they were painting more, our city would have more and more artists adding to the great culture of our city. But artists have found their way into many professions and we all benefit from their perspective in many ways and at many times when we don’t even realize it.
So when your kid, says he or she wants to pursue a degree in the arts and you think, “Hey, how are you going to make a living in that?” Well, your probably right and they are probably going to take on some debt as well. ( I will discuss the current college educational debacle in another post...probably not) But the truth is, they will learn that on their own. But what they will learn along the way is that sometime noble pursuits don’t have pots of gold at the end and sometimes perfecting a craft and honing a skill is a beautiful life lesson. And that life lesson, may just lead you into a field that allows you to do something really great with your life.
(Note: nice tie in about to occur in 3, 2, 1 seconds.
Like being the lead carpenter (Jim Wohlrabe, Webster graduate) at a kick ass brewery, or having a good friend (Dylan we are good friends right?) pick you as a brewer (Dylan Mosley, Masters in painting) for his crazy idea or maybe you (Chris Valier) will just help out a friend pouring pints while he tries to get a business of the ground.
Now having said all of that, if you child sucks at art and in second grade brings home a pumpkin that he turned upside down and made it into an ET look alike... you best tell him to go to college get a business degree and open a brewery.
Also, just in case...this painting is not meant to offend anyone who may have religious issues with converting an obvious God to Adam piece of Art. But honestly, just realize the church (Belgian Monks) have benefited greatly from the brewing industry which allowed them for many years to support their monasteries and their many good works. This painting is a tip of the hat to the Belgian Monks who have brought us Chimay, Orval, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Westmalle, Achel, Koningshoeven, Mariawald). In addition, no one knows what God looks like (as far as I know) and let’s just throw a little of that science in there with the fact we were once all apes. Sometimes, we still act like that. So it’s quite nice actually that maybe God if he looked like that would send us a little Civility in the form of a beer. ( Double tie in points)
Thanks for wasting 20 minutes here reading this laborious verbal wandering.
Hello earthlings. I have been sent here to open a brewery. I hope you have time over the next year to check in from time to time and see our progress (or lack there of at times).
Morning beer delivery at Tynan’s Bridge House Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland.