The Day I’ve Been Awaiting Approaches & Lost Art Surfaces

Danny Allen, India ink drawing on newsprint paper, 1973. Collection of Susan Plunkett.

Danny Allen – India ink drawing on newsprint paper, 1973. Collection of Susan Plunkett. This drawing was discovered in a box at Susan Plunkett’s home. She wasn’t even aware of owning it. It will need to be smoothed out, matted and framed. If necessary, treated for fox-rot to preserve it.

Illustrated above is an example of what may very well happen now that the book about Danny Allen is in print and awaiting circulation. Art will begin to surface. Recollections and photographs are bound to come to light—things no one realized anyone was searching to find may well find me after there’s a book people can read and share. The book itself will be the best magnet for locating some of Danny Allen’s lost artwork. The drawing above was found in time to be included in the book. It had to undergo some digital repairs for the purpose of publication, but it will also require substantial physical repairs to survive in the here and now.

As the weekend of the exhibit and book launch draw closer, I’m no longer focused on the issues that went into creating a book and thinking about traveling up to Rochester, New York to see the exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery. I want to see people. I want to see Danny’s painting anchoring its own space on the gallery walls. And I want to hold the book in my hands for the first time.

The Rochester Memorial Art Gallery will have an exclusive on the book for the first month to month and a half, but I haven’t asked them to set up a table or turn the event into a book signing. That’s not the purpose of the evening. It’s the opening of an art exhibit that features one of Danny Allen’s brilliant little paintings. It’s a triumph for him—and for his family and friends who loved him. People will be coming together after decades apart and celebrating a life, a piece of artwork and a long overdue success for a young man who is gone, but present in spirit.

It’s bound to be a full weekend where I’m barely able to do more than touch on the things I’d like to linger over—and see people briefly with whom I’d rather sit down with and spend time. One of the highlights of my visit will only take minutes at best: That will be a special visit to the old Cornhill District so I can take a picture of the carriage house where Danny and I once shared an art studio. Sometimes it’s the little things that catch in your heart. I already know that will be one of them.

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I’m hoping to have a larger release of the book by late April or early May. I need to have copies in hand before I can schedule promotional events like book signings and readings. Not to mention all of the KickStarter incentives I need to circulate once I return home.

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