Saturday, November 17, 2012

kathy was more than a statistic

We held a memorial dinner this week for our friend and avid art collector, Kathy Arata. 

Kathy was murdered by a disgruntled ex-brother-in-law in a shocking triple murder-suicide in Stockton California.  The newspapers covered everything there was to know about the murderer but the victims remained largely anonymous numbers, victims 57, 58 and 59.  Was it simply more efficient for reporters to concentrate their coverage on the criminal?

But Kathy was more than a statistic.  She was a warm, kind, woman with a wicked sense of humor and a generous heart.  Her best friend Barbara read us the eulogy she gave at Kathy's memorial.  Small details brought Kathy to life.

"Many of you may have only known Kathy as your quiet neighbor with the beautiful spring garden... I will think of her as I plant my bulbs this coming month and as they bloom in the spring, wondering what Kathy would have thought of my color combinations.  In January, when I am pruning my roses, I will think of her and how thoughtful she was.  When our dear neighbor Jeanne had to go into a nursing home, Kathy was there to make sure Jeanne's beloved roses were pruned and the leaves raked." 

Artists and fellow collectors had the chance to shed tears, laugh, break bread together, and toast Kathy with wonderful wines, that, she too, would have thoroughly enjoyed.

Kathy loved art and she loved the hunt of finding the best painting... before anyone else did!  She would faithfully show up when new work was delivered or when we were hanging our shows.  In the four years she collected through the Knowlton Gallery Kathy put together an extremely fine collection of contemporary representational art, including works by Clark Mitchell, Kim Lordier, Ray Roberts, Dennis Ziemienski, Carolyn Lord, Kathleen Dunphy, Randall Sexton, Joseph Paquet, and so many others. We've already started speculating about the Gallery's next show and WWKHP --What Would Kathy Have Purchased. 

"Kathy always believed that one should buy something every now and again from the local merchants since we enjoyed their shops so much and would not want them to disappear."

"She was the kindest person I know.  I will miss that quiet smile and soft voice.  I will just plain miss her and there will never be another person like her."

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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