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  • Barbara Schaefer

Full Circle


I was born and raised in Buffalo.

I couldn't wait to leave and once I left - immediately after high school - I've never missed it. In 2000 I returned for a class reunion, reconnected with a few old friends, re-discovered the city and made peace with my past.

I used to have a reoccuring nightmare, which took place in the house where I grew up. It was a handsome, large English Tudor house with ivy growing up its brick walls, semi-circular driveway and a backyard with swings and a tetherball court. I loved tetherball and was good at it. As a child the house was sometimes an overwhelming, scary place, especially because it was broken into at various times. The dreams were filled with invisible entities that threw me around the house. And those threatening to get in.

I revisted the house in 2000. The owners remembered my mother and invited me in. The ceilings seemed low, the rooms smaller and the whole house less threatening than I remembered. Afterwards the dreams ceased.

Last year I attended a conference at ATOA (Artists Talk on Art) in Manhattan -- a group that has been around for years -- about art fairs. Representatives from various fairs around the world spoke. The last was Frits Abel from The Echo Art Fair in Buffalo. He resembled my nephew, who I had recently made peace with, after a falling out. I thought it was auspicious. Thus, I decided to apply for the fair and was accepted.

I'm looking forward to the fair, returning to the city of my birth, being a part of this event and giving back the best of myself to it. My father -- may he rest in peace -- would be proud.

Coming full circle symbolically speaks to me of completion and of coming to terms with the cards I have been dealt; the greater good of existence.

The slogan I remember: Boost Buffalo, it's good for you!

With love,

Barbara


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