A buildingful of artists in San Francisco has begun holding open studios every third Thursday evening of the month. The timing is perfect for me to get Mookie at after-school and then hang out with her at the studios, so we went to the inaugural evening. In Mookie’s eyes, this was not a spectator event; she wanted to make art, and the artists obliged. One artist there, whom I know from my drawing sessions, immediately opened up a box of chalk pencils and pulled a chair up to her own table for M to work at, saying this–Mookie sitting down to draw a vase of flowers– was her own ideal childhood. The ceramicist across the hall gave M a ball of clay. When a texture caught M’s eye in another studio, the artist suggested she could do a rubbing, and gave her a paper and pencil.
Many of the studios had snacks, too. In the one where Mookie did her rubbing, there was a bowl of candy, leading to this heart-soaring exchange:
Mookie: Can I have a Twick? (her term for Twix)
Me: Mmmm, you already had a cookie. I think we need to go have some more real food.
Mookie: Then can we come back?
Me: Don’t you have enough candy in your life?
Mookie: I don’t have enough art in my life.
Needless to say, we are going back, and we stayed until closing this time. Next month I’ll pick her up a little earlier and have dinner with me, so that we can spend as much time as possible gobbling up that art.