Last fall, my mom was selected as one of ten photographers chosen to capture the extreme coolness of a building called 701 Whaley. It is near one of the old mill villages. The front half (a former store front) had already been renovated into chic party venues, offices and loft apartments, but the back needed to be documented before the next phase of construction began. So mom spent a bunch of hours photographing an indoor pool with trees now growing out of the tile, surrounded by a wall, and a former gymnasium turned machine shop. Three of my kids were used as models (Big Al was cheering all the time so she wasn't available) and traipsed out to the enclosed pool to participate. I'm glad Brian went with them instead of me because I might have stopped the whole thing once I saw the broken glass, debris and mice scurrying around.
Thursday night the photos were all posted and an opening night celebration was hosted by the swanky folks. We dressed up (minus Big Al, who was again at cheer practice) and headed out. We quickly found mom's photos and as we're walking along viewing all of the work we hear, "I KNOW YOU" and BAM a man we don't know is talking to Cheesie. She was thrilled to be recognized (and her confidence built each time it happened).
Here, Cheesie is posing with her famous portrait. She was wearing a swimsuit (in Dec.) and had gotten cold waiting for her turn when mom snapped it.
Blondie and Cheesie also were in one together where they are decked out for swimming, but very disappointed in the condition of the pool. I think you can click on the pic above to see the finished portrait.
We told T-Rex that hers looked like an album cover. At some point a lady was asking her "what were you thinking as you posed for that picture." T-Rex came up with a deep answer, but the truth was she was "staring into space for Grandma."
We went on a tour of both the pool and the machine shop. The latter will be turned into a theater (the renderings are gorgeous). The pool will be another banquet type space with a glass floor over the old pool. We wandered back over to the party......
and saw these two walking toward us. They (their company is called Unbound) had been leaning on the building outside and kind of lolling around on the ground, when somebody opened the door and let them in. Eventually they ended up in the main performance space. They wandered through the crowd and eventually settled against a wall.
We finally talked Cheesie into standing close to them while we took a picture, but she wasn't sure that was allowed, so she sort of stood there...... like a zombie..... but smiling. My sister and I jumped in to show her how to ham it up, but she wasn't buying it.
Blondie did a MUCH better job, but it is hard to look terrified when you're giggling. The group must have some sort of rule about not touching small children (obviously kids might get a little freaked out), but they realized Blondie was game pretty quickly.
We joke in our family that, in case of a zombie apocalypse, T-Rex would be our family MVP because of her archery, fencing, cooking and sewing skills. Funny enough, she wasn't too sure about these people at all. At one point she put ME between her and all of the zombies. We finally convince her to move closer to them and HER WORST NIGHTMARE HAPPENS......
This one moved off the wall and TOUCHED HER. Apparently teens and up are exempt from the "polite distance" rule. Even once this happened we couldn't get her to act out being terrified. She just laughed an "Oh my Lord did this just happen" kind of laugh.
Look at the detail in these people though. They were AWESOME.
Brian captured some great pictures of this troupe.
And then, OF COURSE the music started...
Sorry for the dark quality of the video - it wasn't lit for stage. Once these guys were finished they just zombie walked out the door and down the street.
After the Zombies, Brian asked the girls to pose against the same wall. I think T-Rex was still traumatized.
We walked around and chatted with more people, met up with my other sister Christy, and ended the evening by watching the silk artist. She is a friend of my sister Natalie and performs both silks and trapeze.
Cheesie loved the act - it fits right in with her dance and tumbling.
A fabulous night. The pictures will be up for a few months if you happen by. Look for the girls, they would be thrilled to know you saw the artwork. My mom is an excellent photographer so if you need anything "done" I can put in touch with her.