The Bulldog Inn was the last place I expected to find myself on a Thursday night. The Inn is one of those structures on the edge of town that you sometimes either ignore completely or remark “Glad I’m not staying there tonight!” as you drive into a place downtown. But for years now, there’s been a tiny art show happening in the individual hotel rooms. When this concept was first explained to me, I was less than enthusiastic. I’m not what one would call an “artsy” person. I can appreciate art but it confuses me as much as it entertains me. I just usually stick to music.
I had volunteered to help some friends set up lights for their rock show happening in one of the spaces. They had stuffed most of the furniture of the room into the bathroom area and had replaced it with their musical equipment. At that point in time, the room looked just like a hotel room with music equipment in it. But you would be amazed what a little fog and some decent lighting can do to a place.
During breaks in their performance, I got to wander around and see some of the other exhibits. There was a circus where you could hang out, a tea party in a hell scape, and multiple rooms with things strewn across the floor and hung from the ceiling. All in all, it was a pretty neat event. At the beginning of the night, I was feeling a very familiar sense of being out of place.
The last time I had felt that fear of being completely out of my league was my sophomore year of college. I went to some sort of student produced, low-budget theater performance and had the overwhelming sensation that I was the only one who didn’t “get it.” I didn’t understand. I was certainly too afraid to ask anyone to explain it to me lest I be called a fool. So I basically stopped going to the theater for a while.
The art show gave me that same nervous feeling of not getting it. Was this a world I could never be a part of? A really cool place with cool people that do cool things… Then I ran into an old friend who took the time to explain some things in the language that I could speak. And it made more sense. I understood more and was able to enjoy a great night at the Inn.
I’m still not an art critic, though. But that’s okay. I’m a writer; I write about music. I can only hope that I do for others what my friend did for me: translate one artistic language into another. We can dance about architecture together. We can sing about paintings. We can write about music. Glad to be along for the ride.