being venus

August 8, 2009

This was my first official day as Sculpture Garden Attendant for the annual week-long art fair. As the only person there, for an all-day affair, I knew I was going to have to be creative in keeping myself occupied [being there to be available in case anyone was interested in a purchase meant no book-reading or leaving my post.
My first duty was to water all the plants, which took a good half hour with the multiple trips to the pond to refill the pitcher. While busying myself with this and, apparently, looking like I knew what I was doing, I was asked what belonged in the vacant spot of the garden. This being the first time I had noticed it, I was a tad bit embarrassed to have to admit that I did not know.
I assumed, however, that one of the intended works of art had not shown up, as this was a similarly mulched and flower surrounded round as those containing the other works of art.
But then it occurred to me that, clearly, I belonged in that spot: thus I proceeded to amuse myself for the remainder of the day by trying my “hand” at being a living sculpture.
Well, who knew: it seems I am relatively good at it, judging by the responses. I soon lost count of how many whispered comments I overheard along the line of “Is she real?”. Others were less fooled, so I also ended up with numerous jokes about how there was no price on that one . . . this led to my easy reply that I was, of course, the most expensive piece in the garden. And as all the prices were quite high, they did not want to frighten people by listing such a cost.
The most fun I had, however, was with the children: if they were young enough to simply stare and wonder, I would try goofy tactics like sticking out my tongue at them when I caught their eyes. Once they knew I was “real,” I would tell them that people under the age of 12 had a special privilege–that of requesting the next pose of the “statue.” This led to some interesting poses to figure out logistically: a dragonfly, for instance. One youngster got so into his job that I finally had to cut him off and say that it was my turn to choose my next pose :-)
Tomorrow I will be back at my sculpture post, so we shall see what the new day brings . . .

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