“Live in gratitude daily, thankful for every blessing, large and small.”
~ Pamela Jumper Thurman
Tonight was the last Open Studio to be held in The Reynolds Building. For those who don’t know, The Reynolds Building has been the home away from home for thousands of art students over the last X decades at UK, myself included. I couldn’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent in this old tobacco warehouse.
With the 2015 fall semester, the art students will move to a nearby warehouse that’s currently being fitted for studio space. But nothing can replace The Reynolds Building. It was creaky, roach infested, hot as Haites, and spooky as all get out, but there was something about the ‘ol gal that felt like home to me. I’m not alone in that.
I walked near the photo lab, took a giant whiff of fixer, and exclaimed, “God, I love that smell!” I miss it. I was instantly transported back twenty years when Crystal Heis would join me outside for a smoke break (she didn’t smoke, I had a two-pack-a-day habit), and Lisa Banyai would greet me with a big smile and hearty laugh while she sat the lab desk, and Kevin Johnson would tell us all to ‘get bent’. I wouldn’t trade those years and the friendships I made there for anything in the world.
I’m so glad I went to say goodbye to The Reynolds Building. There really is something about her that’s special, despite her many flaws. Any art student that ever walked her filthy halls, breathed her stinky air, suffered her doorless toilets (they have doors now, things improved after I graduated), or slept curled in a ball on a table or chair or half clean floor knows this about her. I’m sure future students will enjoy the new space, and it will be a really nice space, of that I have no doubt. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m proud UK has finally invested in art students enough to give them a healthy place to hone their crafts. But I sure am grateful for having spent my young years in The Reynolds Building. There won’t be another like her. #GoodbyeReynolds