A Guest Blog from Söntés Proprietor, Tessa Leung
It is not often that one of your dreams (one that seems lofty and supremely out of reach) not only comes true, but also beats your expectations. I have been fortunate enough in my life to have a few ideas that, though they started as only a wing and prayer,came true before my very eyes. Two Sundays ago, I was brought to tears with a sense of hope and happiness that I have not felt in a very, very long time. What could have done this, you ask? No, I didn’t win the lottery or come into a vast inheritance. I have already met and married the man of my dreams, so that isn’t it. And I have become my own boss, which lets me work with and meet incredible people every day, so it’s not that, either.
March 30 was the opening of our fourth seasonal gallery art exhibit at Söntés. The sun was out, we had 11 of our 12 incredible artists attend the event and … then it happened. We had more than 200 people walk through our doors that day, a musician playing who had just cut her first CD, and 19 pieces of gorgeous,inspiring local art sold and went home with new owners. 19 pieces!!!!
It all began almost eight years ago when my sister Tanya begged me to keep most of the walls in the restaurant white. I asked her why.
“For art, Tessa. Duh! You can hang local art in here and people will love it.” She explained, “There are so many great local artists, and they need somewhere to hang their work.”
Of course, being the big sister, I huffed and begrudgingly agreed to do it, and she assured me she was right, as all little sisters think they are.
Fast forward four years, and I meet an incredible couple, Fred and Francie Ginocchio. I don’t quite remember the details of how we met, but somehow Fred knew I had studio space to rent. Little did I know that these two had an immense background in local galleries, running an art space, and that both are talented artists themselves. One day they asked if I would like help hanging art in the restaurant and what did I think about making it a little more formal, perhaps a show or two a year? “Sure, why not?” I said. “What could possibly happen?”
What happened was one of those magical things you think only happens in the movies: March 30, 2014. Söntés is filled with artists talking, laughing, and interacting with more than 200 people on Sunday afternoon. Live music floating about, people interested in looking at art, people interested in meeting artists, artists having a chance to shine and, yes, 19 pieces of art being sold. Over a quarter of Fred and Francie’s curated exhibit sold off the walls that day.
And when it was all done, the people all gone, the chairs flipped back up on the tables, the music no longer playing and it was just me in the silent restaurant, I cried. Not tears of sadness, but tears of gratitude for the chance to see a dream come true.
I am eternally grateful to my sister for pushing, to Fred and Francie for pulling, and to the people of this community for truly coming together to support something that has been living a very quiet existence for far too many years. I hope that I never wake up from this dream because it will become a reality.
Thank you to each and every one of you who has helped make this dream come true. Tanya, this one is for you!
Reminder: Tonight’s 5 for $40 Menu inspiration is New Mexico. Stop in for Chef’s 5-course creation and receive 25% of any bottle of wine in the house!
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Tonight: 5 for $40 Menu: New Mexico
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