Delight Someone (Everyone)

A couple of weeks ago, I had the joy of hearing Senga Nengudi talk about her art. We were at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in a gallery surrounded by the work.

Nengudi makes soft installations and sculptures from pantyhose. It started when she was living in a small space in New York and decided on a medium that would fit into her purse.

She warmed everyone in the room with her gentle, generous spirit and big smile.

Nengudi-speaking

Senga Nengudi (center) responds to questions from curators of her exhibitions.

When we (about 100 of us) were getting ready to leave, Nengudi said she wanted to give us a gift to remember her by. In line with her work, which transforms a functional item that many women wear every day into art, she considered a gift that we could transform into something new.

She confessed that she didn’t have enough pantyhose for the audience. We laughed! Many, particularly the men, breathed a sign of relief.

That’s when she pulled out a plastic bag and handed out . . .

Dubble Bubble bubble gum!

Yep, that bubble gum that we bought for a penny when we were little (some of us remember the 1-cent days).

We could transform it by chewing it. The more adventurous in the crowd could have turned it into bubble-gum sculpture.

Jive by Senga Nengudi

©2014 Senga Nengudi, Jive. Site installation for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

(I wasn’t the first to think of this. There are students who have already done it with chewed gum. I know . . . ewwww. But there’s also the sculptor who works with the raw pink stuff.)

I was excited to get my piece of bubble gum. I waited for her to place it in my hand and quickly popped it in my mouth. I couldn’t recall the last time I had a piece of bubble gum, and it tastes exactly as I remember.

It was pure delight. Memories of childhood + a collective grown-up giggle from the room.

I’ll never forget Ms. Nengudi, her work, or the way she enchanted us. I’ll think of her whenever I put on my pantyhose and, of course, the next time I have a wad of pink bubble gum in my mouth.

How Can You Delight Someone?

Nengudi also made me think about how I can delight my members, students, and subscribers. I’ve practiced it on occasion, but now I’d like to make sure it’s integral to my brand.


How can you delight someone today? #ArtistsDelight
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Food for thought:

How can you delight your blog readers?
How can you delight your newsletter subscribers?
How can you delight your students?
How can you delight people who make a big impact on you?
How can you delight your supporters?
How can you delight your buyers?

Delight yourself!

Do some major spring cleaning with us in Organize Your Art Biz. Class starts today and it’s not too late to join.

 

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