Way back in 2020 the fourth of five regional exhibits of I Am More: Massachusetts was scheduled to be hosted at UMass Amherst to serve western Massachusetts, but we all know how that ended (Covid, if you don’t), so moving on. Here we are two years later and Iain and I have just installed the Western Massachusetts Regional Exhibit of I Am More: Massachusetts at…The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside!
Building on our experiences and feedback from the Northshore Mall exhibits, we chose the busiest shopping center in western Massachusetts to host, and luckily they agreed. So two years later we were set and ready to take down the Northshore Mall and put up the Holyoke Mall in one day, but first…a blizzard…
From Friday through late Saturday night it howled and dumped snow non-stop. We decided to get a head start on the digging Saturday night:
On Sunday we woke up to “Feels like 8 F” on our phones, but we continued digging. Actually maybe just Iain dug and I “prepped” inside. Here’s how the day went down:
- 9 am – Iain digs us out
- 10 am – drive to Beverly to pick up the UHaul van. With all the snow they don’t have room for us to leave our car so we each drive to the Northshore Mall
- 10:30 – I accidentally drive over a rock/iceberg in the middle of the road which I drag a few yards in a jittery panic before pulling over. It eventually dislodges.
- 10:45 – dismantle the Northshore display and load the van
- 11:30 – free a small bird from the mall
- 12:00 – drive to the Paint Factory to unload and store 18 portraits
- Fill a flat tire
- 1:30 – lunch with Fiyero
- 2:00 – load the 20 Massachusetts portraits
- 2:30 – drive two hours to Holyoke
- 4:30 – Dunkin
- 5:00 – arrive at The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside at closing time and set up an exhibit!
- 6:30 – Chipotle
- 7:00 – drive two hours back to Northshore Mall to pick up car
- 9:00 – drive to UHaul in Beverly to drop off van
- 9:30 – Home
Thank you to Marketing Director Lisa Wray and everyone at the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside for hosting us, and to her fiancé Kevin for helping to haul the display panels so I didn’t have to.
Thank you to NAMI Western Massachusetts, Stavros Center for Independent Living, the NAN Project, Holyoke Veteran’s Services and the American Cancer Society for providing resources for the exhibit.
Thank you to the Northshore Mall for being such kind and generous hosts (twice!).
And finally, to the long-haul driving, heavy-lifting, snowblowing, tire-pumping, bird-saving husband, you are my hero, as always. xo
You can see the exhibit in the Macy’s Court area on the lower level until March 12th.