So whatever happened to my Kodachrome gallery artworks?

Last winter, as I wound down my year-long excursion into the world of Kodachrome film, I learned that a gallery in London was planning an exhibition of images created with the iconic slide film.  I submitted five different pictures, and two of them – “The Railsplitter” and “Toll Gate Ice Cream” – were accepted.  The pictures hung for the months of January and February 2011 in the AOP Gallery in Shoreditch, London, and were part of the well-received and acclaimed gallery show.

Once again, my sincere thanks to the staff of the Association of Photographers for allowing my work to be part of their gallery show.

Albany County Rail Trail: The Railsplitter
THE RAILSPLITTER, August 2010, Voorheesville, N.Y. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Toll Gate Ice Cream, Slingerlands, NY
TOLL GATE ICE CREAM, March 2010, Slingerlands, N.Y. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Last month, after the show ended, the two artworks were safely returned to me.  Now I could have hung these two prints in my living room for all to see.  Or I could have offered them as giveaways on my blog.

But I had a better idea.  Something more appropriate for each picture.

Last Thursday, I stopped by my favorite art supply store, Arlene’s Art Supply on Fuller Road, and asked if they could frame up the Railsplitter picture.  They said no problem, they found a suitable light grey matte for the image, and told me I could pick up the artwork, the matte and an off-the-rack frame, all on Saturday.

And like clockwork, on Saturday morning Arlene’s had everything ready for me.

I had originally thought of framing the Railsplitter for the Altamont Fair – and don’t get me wrong, this picture is definitely under consideration for the Altamont Fair – but for now, I had different plans for this artwork.

But let’s focus on the other picture for a second.

After I Finished with Arlene’s, I stopped by the Toll Gate Ice Cream place in Slingerlands, N.Y.  The Toll Gate is a Capital District treasure; between the tasty comfort food and the homemade ice cream,the Toll Gate is a Capital District treasure.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s part of the holy trinity of Capital District eateries – them, Bob & Ron’s Fish Fry and Brown’s Brewing.

It was an overcast Saturday afternoon, and very few people were in the Toll Gate that day.  I stopped by, ate a sandwich and drank a diet cola, paid for my meal, and then asked the cashier if there was someone in charge of the restaurant that I might be able to speak with.

The cashier thought I was going to complain about the food.

Nope.  I’ve never had a sour experience at Toll Gate.  No complaining about a restaurant’s food or service from this TU blogger. 😉

The cashier brought me over to the back of the eatery, where an elderly man named Bob was looking at the early-bird edition of the Times Union.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

I told him about the picture and how the photo was exhibited in an international art gallery.

He seemed impressed.

I then carefully unrolled the picture on his table.

“Wow, that’s nice,” he said.

I then told him that I was giving him and the restaurant that very same print – the one that was shown in London.

“How much do I owe you?” he asked.

“Hang it up in the restaurant,” I said, as I signed the back of the artwork, “and that’s all the payment I need.”

“Thank you very much,” he replied.

So if you go to the Toll Gate at some point in time, and you see a big picture of the restaurant in vibrant saturated Kodachrome on the walls, then you’ll know where that artwork landed.

As for the Railsplitter…

See, my friends George and Loretta are getting married in July, and I was invited to their wedding – their reception – and a ValleyCats game (they met at the ballpark years ago).  George and Loretta are nice people, and they work with the American Cancer Society and participate in several Relay for Life events.

Now, I could have gone onto their online wedding registry and picked out something off their list, but – you know what – every house benefits from the inclusion of artwork.

And I’m sitting here with a framed Railsplitter picture.

Yeah.  You know what I”m going to do with this, don’t you?

Last Monday night, I brought the framed Railsplitter artwork to Brown’s Brewing for my usual round of Monday night trivia.  I knew George and Loretta would be there – they play on the trivia team A Few Cards Short of a Deck.

I waited until halftime (we had a two-point lead over a team called the Duke Silver Trio, which meant my team won the free growler of beer), and while everyone was milling around for the halftime break, I walked over to the Cards’ table.

“Guys,” I said, “I don’t want to haul this all around until your wedding in July, and I thought you’d appreciate it in your new home.”  I then gave George and Loretta the artwork, along with an envelope containing information on the Railsplitter and its provenance.

They were very happy.  And I’m sure the picture will look great in their home.

It’s nice to know that these pictures will find new appreciation in their new locales.  One photo went to a place that has been a source of community pride; the other is in the hands of a soon-to-be-happily-married couple.

And in the end … as far as I’m concerned … that’s really all that matters.