Chicks have the best laid plans…
Six years ago, I started to pitch my traveling show, Chicks with Balls: Judy Takács paints unsung female heroes, to Ohio museums.
I focused on the Zanesville Museum of Art especially. I loved their folksy Central Ohio vibe. The museum sits on a suburban street with a classic red mailbox, next to a home-based tanning salon! It also has a Rubens, two William Merit Chases and prints by Picasso, Matisse and Rembrandt! And whenever we met, Executive Director and Chief Curator Laine Snyder was so enthusiastic about showing my Chicks portraits. After I won Best in Show at the 73rd Ohio Annual Competition in 2018, we finally established a Chicks show date for February 13, 2020.
I was a little wary of a snowy winter art opening in Ohio and tracked the weather hourly as the show date grew closer. Despite travel delays for out-of-town chicks and excuses from some Northeast Ohio friends, the opening reception was well-attended, and went off without a hitch.
Two days later, the weather was fine, and I gave my first scheduled gallery talk, Chicks with Balls: You, Me and Everyone we Know, also well-attended.
In conjunction with the ZMA Chicks show, there was a Satellite Exhibit at The Art Loft Zanesville. This Central Ohio version of 78th Street Studios, is where my epic Love, Athena Triptych, which bridges the gap between the Chicks and my Goddess Project, debuted for the crowd at their First Friday Artwalk, on March 6.
Three successful Chicks events down, with only one more to go—until mid-March of course. That’s when corona became a “thing” and every other thing changed. The museum closed. Art Loft Zanesville closed. And, my second gallery talk, Beyond Chicks with Balls: The Goddess Project, planned for March 19, wasn’t going to happen—at least not in Zanesville.
Expecting this, I shifted gears pretty easily, when the ZMA asked me to put together a virtual talk. It would still be about The Goddess Project, where I view characters from the mythology of all religions through a contemporary feminist lens. I would be broadcasting, however, from my studio, via Facebook Live. Two of my sons were now home because of corona evictions from college, so I had a crew to film me as I toured my house, showing paintings like #Me(dusa)too, Arachne: Predator and Prey and my various Venuses. I also dressed up for a little tableaux vivant to talk about the Love, Athena Tryptych, which was on lockdown in Zanesville.
I thought of this appearance as a live tv show and prepared for it extensively, placing props along the path through my house and rehearsing my lines to sound unscripted. I loved giving the talk, had 350 views that night, and checked back a week later to see it was up to 765. Compared to the physical talk I gave a month earlier at the museum, when I felt pretty good about filling thirty seats, the reach was amazing!
So amazing, in fact, that I’ve decided to do a regular Facebook Live spot—during the corona time at least—LIVING FIGURATIVELY with Judy Takács, Facebook Live on Thursdays at 6:00pm EST. I’m billing it as the show that asks the question, “Why NOT fill your home with the faces and figures of fascinating people you don’t even know?” Each week I’ll talk about one piece of figurative art, my own or one from my collection.
And, as I am turning in this article, here’s another late-breaking development: the Zanesville Museum of Art museum has decided to hold over my show through July 18! The hope is that the museum can reopen in early June, and we can squeeze in a few more weeks of Chicks with Balls viewing.
Such a rollercoaster of awfuls and awesomes during this time of corona—for me, a six-month museum show, and a regular Facebook Live spot, and of course a six-month spring break with my boys home. I’m hoping my friends, family and community will stay safe and healthy so we can actually enjoy some of the opportunities this adversity has given us.
ZANESVILLE MUSEUM OF ART
620 Military Road
Zanesville, Ohio 43701