The last fun time

Iris Blossoms, by Peter Yesis, courtesy of the artist.

On March 6, 2020, Peter Yesis had an opening at the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library. That night, Ken DeWaard introduced us to the elbow bump, which was supposed to replace handshakes and hugs and keep us safe from this new disease from China. It was a dark winter’s night and we were a party of close friends. We laughed and joked and practiced bumping elbows. I wasn’t overly worried; we’d seen this with SARS and Ebola-a whole lot of fuss over nothing.

I flew off to Argentina with my pal Jane Chapin and all hell broke loose (proving that I can’t leave you kids alone for fifteen minutes). Among the first casualties was Peter’s solo show-closed down a day after it opened. After that, we weren’t bumping elbows; we weren’t even allowed in the same room. The library shut down all art shows for the foreseeable future.

A Clear Day, by Peter Yesis, courtesy of the artist.

An abrupt closure is painful for an artist, since we work for a year or more for the materials for a one-month show. The library staff understands this; they offered Peter a reprise date in November, 2021, when life had begun its slow, sluggish return to normalcy.

Cellar Dweller, by Peter Yesis, courtesy of the artist.

Unfortunately, life intervened in another cruel way. Peter was slammed by cancer. He was in the depths of treatment and in no condition to be hawking paintings.

But today he is in remission, and we’re all celebrating with another opening. Let Peter’s annus horribilis end, and let this be the start of his annus mirabilis.

Light on the Water, by Peter Yesis, courtesy of the artist.

Every Canvas Has a Story opens this Saturday, Nov. 5th, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Enter on the Atlantic Avenue side of the Camden Library; there’s ample parking on the street and in the library lot. The show will be up for the month of November, but I always encourage people to show up for the party.

Still Waters, by Peter Yesis, courtesy of the artist.

Peter’s wife, Kim Yesis, will also be giving a book talk on Tuesday, Nov. 29th at 6:30 PM. She’s the author of Side by Side: Tales from Behind the Canvas. It talks about Peter’s decision to give up engineering for painting. They were in early middle age, which for people with children is a terribly expensive phase of life. Come ask Kim why she didn’t just kill him for the insurance money.

Tried and true, by Peter Yesis, courtesy of the artist.

Peter’s a crackerjack painter; for example, there is nobody around who paints flowers so well. I’m so glad to see him back up and punching his full weight. The paintings in this show are beautiful, and I encourage you to come out and see them in person.

2 Replies to “The last fun time”

  1. Carol,

    What a lovely and thoughtful post. You encapsulated the ups and downs of the past few years so well, my eyes teared up. Thank you so much. You have reinforced, once again, our belief that artists are the nicest, most supportive people. All the best to you.

  2. What a terrific friend you are! So glad Peter came through. His work definitely deserves recognition. Best of sales and more paintings from him. Artliveslong D

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