So here the Christian-Peterson Art museum, artists display art. Go figure.
Tonight (October 14th), Im here to experience a musical showcase right in main show room. On the walls are uniformly lined pieces, mainly black and white abstract portraits of women, all portrayed with poses that seem uncomfortable.
The main room where everything took place is lit with small, cylindrical white lights; pointed with precision to the pieces on the wall; or pointed in a general direction to specifically illuminate certain places along to the wall to make the room ‘glow’, contrasting from the light color varnished wood flooring.
On the pseudo stage of 10’x6′ black carpet are arranged instruments, all (except the electric and acoustic guitar) are foreign to North America, most of them wood. Among the instruments are three microphones and two tower speakers upon tripods to aid the sound carry the 20 feet it needs to be carried throughout.
This older man (Gary Holthaus) went through his whole life story with the accompanied by intrsuments non native to North America, all played interchangeably (sometimes two at one time) by to what my standards are, an older woman (Lauren Pelon).
Throughout the showcase, Gary told his life story down. From the most memorable, to the most hurtful. He used to be an outdoorsman, but I believe his age got the best of him after he had a stroke and a heart attack. He’s now (and always has been, it seemed) a farmer.
All of his stories were reflections of his thought processes and outcomes of his life experiences; all inter-correlated to the luscious land of North America. He grew up in Pennsylvania, growing everything that could possibly grow from the ground from potatoes, to corn. Beets, tomatoes, and squash too.
Gary used many of the plants and animals as a way to describe how life is directed by the environment; the roots, creatures, waters and skies alike. Humans exist because of agriculture, and we also exist (according to Lauren) because of the pulse or beat (connotation with music).
Gary also discussed his family. He is German. Very German. So German, that his whole family (grand children too) are all of 100% German heritage. He discussed this topic to become aware of not only himself in America, but the millions of other immigrants that came to America to start a new more lively and abundant life with opportunities everywhere you look. He continued to tell the limitless blessings America can bestow on the willing-full people who would work; and included the related hardships or financial costs of ‘becoming big’ here. Gary indicated that America is all about ‘becoming big’ and when it comes down to it, its rather true. The fact that hard workers (work force of Americans) and farmers alike cannot make a living unless they (we) become dedicated.
More so, Gary told about his involvement with government because he needed it to purchase land and even more land. In 1984, he had bought a farm, and he grew a full crop of potatoes. That growing season, with the funds provided by the government, Gary’s luck ran out; the storage holding unit where all of the potatoes where ruined because of three days of permafrost of the land, leaving his crop worthless.
Gary and the music accompaniment where rather insightful and were made to be reflected on at a personal level. I learnt many things about the agriculture services of America, or at least, so much as one very very enlightening story of one man whose hardships never seemed to have gotten the best of him.