On March 6, I had the immense pleasure of attending the opening night of Buster Keaton's Bluffton: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan, a new exhibit at the Muskegon Museum of Art.
The experience of seeing my paintings framed and hanging on a museum gallery's walls was amazing and more than a bit surreal. It took me a few minutes of standing in the gallery to really get my head around the whole thing.
The exhibit features paintings, sketches, and preliminary work as well as Bluffton memorabilia (including a porkpie hat made by Keaton's wife Eleanor and a bar stool from Pascoe's).
The museum is also featuring a range of special events around the exhibit and encouraging local schools to bring their classes.
On opening night, I signed books and gave a talk about the making of the book. I met many people who either currently live in Bluffton or had relatives who lived there during the vaudeville era.
One gentleman gave me a photo of his father as a boy sitting outside of Pascoe's. Needless to say I was overwhelmed with the warm reception the book is receiving from the people of Bluffton.
The exhibit runs through May 25, 2014.