Welcome to Wet Paint in the Wild, the freewheeling—and free!—spinoff of Artnet News Pro’s beloved Wet Paint gossip column, where we give art-world insiders a disposable camera to chronicle their lives on the circuit. To read the latest Wet Paint column, click here (members only).
What’s more of a sign that summer is upon us than a road trip across America? Jay Miriam-White, who paints evocative figurative paintings from her studio in Brooklyn, told me she’d be hitting the road to head to her solo show, “From the Mouths of Babes,” at Wolfgang Gallery in Atlanta, I thought I’d ask to come along by way of disposable camera. Let’s take a look…
Tim and I stayed awake packing until 1 a.m., and woke up at 4 a.m. We decided to make sandwiches, like we used to do with our parents when we were kids.
By 5:57 a.m., our minivan was packed and we were making our way over the Williamsburg Bridge, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. The sky was calm and gray.
Five hours after leaving Brooklyn, we pulled over at a rest stop in Delaware. It already seems like we’ve been driving for endless hours, and according to the GPS, we have 700 miles to go.
The sun is going to begin to set soon, and I don’t have too many updates from the road. We’ve been driving about nine hours and are halfway to Atlanta. Listening to a podcast called Radio Rental. Neither of us have good cell service out here and we think we may have gotten onto a non-highway local road. This road has a local speed limit and the occasional traffic lights.
At a time unmarked, we stoped at a Gretna Virginia Hotel. The following exchange happened via text: Tim: Did you bring any bath soap?
At 7:29 p.m., we had french fries for dinner.
At 8:42 a.m., the next day, we decided to explore the free breakfast buffet. We both got black coffees and I tried the potatoes but they were undercooked. I have seasonal allergies that also seem to be getting worse.
We stopped at a gas station somewhere outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. The gas station had a typical front space with snacks, and after following a long wooden paneled hallway, I ended up at this room with what looks like pizza tables from the ’70s. It’s about 11:50 a.m. and we have 322 miles to go.
We made it to South Carolina and stopped again for more gas. We’ve been listening to the podcast Radio Rental and are almost in Atlanta.
I’m getting ready for the opening. The weather in Atlanta was really warm, much more than NY at the time. Tim took this picture of me at the hotel right before we left.
This is the entrance to Wolfgang Gallery. The gallery sits on a quiet street. There was wonderful energy in the area, and the gallery has a lovely charm and presence to it.
After the opening, Tim and I went with Benjamin and the Wolfgang team to a late-night dinner at a restaurant called Barcelona. I had an arugula salad; there was sangria and amazing conversations, ranging from art to the existence of UFOs.
The next day, Wolfgang Gallery hosted a talk with the Georgia Committee of National Museum of Women in the Arts. I had a chance to speak about my work with an accomplished and inspiring audience of women. After everyone left, Benjamin, the gallery director Anna, and I posed for a photograph.
I walked to a nearby gas station and picked up pretzels while I waited for an Uber.
It was our last night in Atlanta, and we were scheduled to leave as early as possible the next day. We felt like sea shells washed up on the shore, embraced the night slowy, had fun packing.
On the road again, this time leaving Atlanta and returning to Brooklyn. We had about 861 miles left and I told Tim to stand in front of this wall because I liked the sign and color palette. We grabbed two coffees and continued driving.
After about six hours of pretty bad traffic, we decided to pull over at another rest stop. It’s always interesting to visit rest stops across America. Each state has their own approach to the design, and some look like complete time standstills.
Driving for so long, we learned, causes intense headaches. Tim did the entire drive on his own, while I stayed passenger. We both agreed that depth perception feels off, items near and far begin to feel equally distant.
About two hours outside of Brooklyn, the rest stop had a large food court and mall-like feel. The colors were very earth-like, lots of brown and greens. We stopped for beverages.
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It was so nice to see the pure joy on Mars’s face when she saw us again. We were finished with our roadtrip, and left Atlanta feeling thankful, inspired, and grateful for the team at Wolfgang and all they did to make our trip a wonderful memory.