"Gatos Del Exterior" closed today, and despite some insignificant political opposition, it was well met by all who attended the opening reception, and those who viewed the show afterwards. Chris Yambar, well-known cartoonist and writer for, "The Simpsons" commented, "Went to Jeffrey Puccini's artist reception last night downtown at the Lemon Grove. BEST ARTIST RECEPTION IN YEARS! Smooth, fun, smart set up, good mix of crowds. Paintings were selling off the walls. Big fan of the man's work! Visit and see for yourself."
Paintings did sell off the walls, but that wasn't the major thrust of the show for me. I like to have a show like "Gatos Del Exterior" about every five years or so, to show my appreciation of my local supporters. It was also about introducing my super-talented co-exhibitor, Jess Leininger to a wider audience. It was an evening of good music, food and fun. My home-made, "Wild Giraffe" wine did flow. I offered samplings of, "Wild Youngstown" made from local wild grapes, Mulberry, Cherry, Strawberry, and Mead. My helpers got very drunk, and their function was somewhat diminished, but we got by. What an assortment of delicious food! Every kind of cheese ever made, fruit,and a selection of desserts beyond compare.(Kudos to Jess Arnold!) Dan Susany's Be well, Drum-on, held the room spell-bound as they started the evening musically. "This is so awesome! we've never had anything like this here!" a Lemon Grove employee mentioned enthusiastically.
The place filled up quickly. At about 7:30, a half hour into the show, the bar-tender overwhelmed, rushed to me and said, "It's time to collect money at door, right?" I said, "No, not until ten. the entertainment and the food are all donated". He looked at me with shock, and horror, and scurried off in a huff. The music was overseen by Master of Ceremony P.J. Rosenburg, and it flowed smoothly, and set the tone for the evening. We were treated to the avant-garde stylings of Donnie and Beth Dipiero, a heart-felt acoustic set from Rukus Radio's Trevor Q. Murphy, Smooth, free-form fusion from Dave Lynn and friends, and later on in the evening, the return of Punk-a-billy legends, The Bedspins.
Gatos Del Exterior was well attended and everyone seem to be having a great time. I was extremely pleased the party unfolded as planned. If you didn't make it out, well...I feel sorry for you! Maybe you can come to the next one. I'll see you in five years!