Publisher's Letter: 2022
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
2022 has a nice, balanced ring to it. It sounds like a skip, or a heartbeat. I hope that the way the year sounds when spoken aloud might just mean that it will be a lighter, fulfilling, year.
During the weeks of production for this CGN Arts Guide, naturally we look ahead to what will come and what we will be different, usually better, than the preceding year. At the end of 2019 could not have fathomed the 2020 that was coming. At the end of 2020 we were grateful that galleries were open and still in business. Now, with a view of 2022 on the horizon, I’m an optimist. With the expectation that 2022 will be a good year, I’m most interested in what exactly will take shape and how we will settle into a landscape that is fully opened up following the challenges and limits of the past couple years. We can’t expect to do all that we did before the pandemic. The to-do list we had needs to be rewritten.
I think 2022 will come with a broader acceptance–versus fear–of COVID in day-to-day life. Galleries and their collectors, along with museums, have come to appreciate appointments, ticketed entries and time set aside to intentionally view and consider art. Time, space and people are each very precious resources, so planning and making choices has become essential to everything, even more than before.
Art fairs, long a much-loved, yet widely lamented, mainstay of the art market, will return in full this year. Many galleries and collectors will be grateful for their return and the exposure and sales they bring. Others will have decided they can do without them. Either way, regularly practicing being intentionally present in the real world, as opposed to the virtual one, is good.
Mid-way through 2021 my husband and I bought a house, moving our family from an apartment to a home with more room, including space for the CGN office. Moving is hard work – something I knew on one level but experienced on another. My optimism carried me a long way, but there was a point where being in between our familiar home of a decade and moving into another was unsettling. Nothing felt in place and the to-do list seemed insurmountable.
One morning, right after we finally moved in, artist James Mesplé called saying he wanted to stop by the house. James was one of the only people who actually stopped into CGN somewhat regularly over the past few years, and I had worried that leaving the office would mean I wouldn’t get his dear, friendly visits any more. But James made it a point to come to the house, and he was bearing a gift. He shared that it was a tradition when he was growing up that whenever someone would move to a new home, all the relatives and friends would arrive with a little something in a red envelope as a sign of good luck and as a means of “feathering the nest.” James told me you never know what you’re going to need, but you’ll always need something. His kindness was exactly what I needed – a sign for the year ahead, one in a new nest, and one, hopefully, for a new post-COVID world, where we will gather the feathers and settle into new ways of doing many things together.