Never Goodbye; Hello World!

What Are You Waiting For? Pamela GoodeI’ve always been a believer in signs and wonders. Sure the signs are written in cryptic scribbles and wonders are all-too-often mirage-like. I know I saw this yesterday . . . didn’t I? Or was that the day I had three desserts for lunch? Nevertheless I work to recognize them, roll them around in my consciousness, and act … always the hard part. But the universe tends to take care of our reluctances and procrastination as well, usually by giving us first multiple signs, then several open doors, and finally a whack over the head. And honestly, don’t we sometimes need it?

In the early spring of 2006, my mother died after an all-too-brief and wholly-unexpected illness. She left me some money, also wholly unexpected, and over the next couple of weeks, a small studio in the arts district of Charlotte became available. It was a mess, and therefore a blank slate, and of course as it follows, completely irresistible. I had never considered running an art gallery, but there it was, and I happened to know all too well that mosaic art was often overlooked and in dire need of exposure. Ciel Gallery was born of an intersection of fate, opportunity, and need. Taking that unanticipated step, a step that had never once wandered around in my what-to-do-with-this-life wallowings, changed my life. And it changed me.

I’ve always reveled in behind the scenes work, creating in the low digit hours after midnight, wordsmithing the minutiae of contracts, or divining the exact intersection of visual and mental in graphic design. I’m the worker horse, never the face. Opening a business, and a cutting edge business at that, demanded more of me than I ever considered giving, and skills I would have been quite happy never to develop. But I did it, and it wasn’t as scary, in the end, as all that.

In 2008 I opened a gallery called Ciel, and I grew as a person and artist by leaps and bounds. In 2011, Ciel grew to include five partners and a brilliant new space, bringing in an all-star cast of visiting artists for workshops, hosting critically acclaimed exhibitions such as the Emma Biggs-curated Pattern Now, and coordinating the 52-artist mosaic mural Unfurled with Lin Schorr. I don’t care what others think about Ciel’s run — it knocks my socks off.

In true Pam fashion, I gave a lot of thought to the next step, but when it came, again it was universe-orchestrated. As of March 2014, Ciel Gallery + Mosaic Studio will become Ciel Gallery, A Fine Art Collective, with seven Member Partners, thirteen Member Artists, and a handful of consigners from North and South Carolina. Our new partner base is hugely talented in a variety of media, excited, generous, brimming with ideas, YOUNG and energetic.

Ciel Gallery Charlotte

Lease Signing Ciel #1; Guts and Glory Ciel #2; Lease Signing Ciel #3

I am thrilled and excited for a new venture. Of course it’s been bittersweet, and not without lingering moments of the unsettledness that bleeds from giving up your identity and wondering if there is a “next.” I know Ciel will thrive. I know the mosaic community now has ample opportunities for exhibition, and that I have had a part in that expansion. I know the Charlotte community and visitors will revel in greater access to local artists, and the art-hungry will thrill to offerings from new teachers. We’ll still feature mosaics of course, and we’ll still bring in visiting artists, but mosaic will no longer be isolated from other artforms. A good thing.

I worry about losing touch with the artists who’ve become close friends over the years, and who have, in so many ways, created Ciel right along with me. I feel angst about deserting a community that has made me who I am today, but at the same time, I’ve watched you all become superstars, and I’m excited to have new conversations about design and technique, or Gaudi and zellige instead of pixels and tracking numbers. And speaking of tracking numbers . . . NO MORE TRACKING NUMBERS! No more Box Room! No more trips to Office Depot for 50 more rolls of packing tape!

Instead of packing boxes and the daily details of gallery-running, I’m giddy at the idea of more art and more writing in my life. I’m thrilled with the growth of Mosaic Art Retreats and upcoming mosaic travel to Barcelona, Morocco, Costa Rica, France, Italy, and Greece. And over the moon with the beauty of Unfurled, my first and hopefully only-the-beginning collaborative public art project with Lin Schorr and 52 fabulous participating artists.

I’ll still be at the gallery weekly, still educating art lovers about the fabulous art of mosaics, still planning and hanging exhibitions and dreaming up new ways to infuse the universe with art. I’ll also be actually making art, spending time with my dad, cooking a bit, and maybe even jumping in the car for an impromptu visit to Asheville (or Creemore or Michigan or Sedona) with my guy.

So you’ll still know where to find me. What neither of us knows is exactly who I’ll be next time, because the universe may have a few more unexpected paths lying in wait. And I will walk them. With bells on.

Endless love to all who have supported Ciel (and me) through all our incarnations. Please stay with us for the rest of the ride. Paths diverge and reconnect. Never goodbye.

24 thoughts on “Never Goodbye; Hello World!

  1. Pingback: DAILY: Ciel Gallery to Close – HappeningsCLT

  2. Endless love to you, Pam. You will always be in my heart and I will forever remember the help and friendship you have shared with me. I know we will keep in touch.
    I will miss the chance of taking classes at Ceil, as I not only learned so much, but I cherish all the wonderful people I met there. xoxo


  3. What an amazing journey you have had with Ciel! From transforming that dirty space in CAL into a real gallery, then expanding to Park Rd, you brought more color, light and beauty to the world. Your “behind the scenes” work transformed a lot of people. Now more great adventures await you. All the best to you Pam.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pam, good luck with whatever is in your future! I loved being part of one of your exhibitions, and have always planned to get there to visit you. Best wishes for the future!
    love, Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are always so inspiring. I check into the blog now and then to see what you are up to. I’m always moved. I’m always excited to read and learn. You never fail that expectation of mine. Thank you. And you’ll continue to do great things…..much luck and many blessings to you.


  6. You have forever changed my life with how you’ve reached out, inspired and influenced me and the larger arts community. I see your adventures only being full of un and success. I adore you. xxoo


  7. How exciting! As one door closes another exciting one opens to who knows where… The “Door” to everything is Love!
    I love your unstoppable energy and loving Spirit! Thank You for sharing your amazing journey with us all and your untiring dissemination of Mosaic information. I look forward to reading whatever inspires you to send forth in your next incarnation!


  8. What a wonderful adventure it’s been watching from the sidelines all that the Ciel group has done individually and as a whole. The evolution to this new entity is nothing more than growth and the continuing of such a lovely endeavor. I look forward to the coming months and years…meeting everyone and seeing the art that arises from their hearts and minds…Hug “Guy”


  9. Thank you Pam for inviting me to be a part of this venture. I remember the day you went to see the old space and what a great feeling I had that you were going to find a great new journey. You created such a wonderful vibe and invited so many of us in to share in the ride. I too, have grown since becoming a part of Ciel in 2011. Ciel came to me at a pivotal moment in my life. It gave my life a purpose and helped me in more ways than you’ll ever know. I am thrilled that I am able to continue on with the journey as it takes it’s turn into a new collective venture. Cheers and gratitude my friend. ☺


  10. I never knew the back story of Ciel; it is warm and wrenching at the same time. I know this new venture will serve you and the community very well! Congratulations on stepping out into your future!


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