Wednesday afternoon, the day before the gallery opening. Our goal for the day: hang, title, and price our prints. When we arrived, half of the prints had been laid out along the walls, the rest still stacked in the middle of the room. As the rest of the photos were moved to the walls, we all walked around the room looking at each other’s choices and admiring our own. Everyone except me.
My first pass around the room, I didn’t notice anything strange. Everyone’s photos were amazing, and it was exciting to see them for the first time on paper, rather than on a computer screen. But when I reached the end of the walls, I realized I hadn’t seen one person’s picture: mine. I walked back around the room, thinking I had walked right past it while looking at another picture, but it wasn’t there. I counted the prints twice and found only nineteen both times. Number twenty, my panorama, simply wasn’t there.
After being assured that my print wasn’t lost and would be there in about an hour, we began hanging the prints. When the fourth pin was pushed into each print, we all clapped and cheered, excited to see our work up on the wall. But an hour came and went, and there was still no sign of my picture. I couldn’t sit still and kept walking around the gallery and glancing out the window, waiting. It started raining at one point, and I kept looking outside, waiting for the rain to stop or for the van to pull up.
Finally, the van appeared across the street. The rain had stopped just minutes before, but it was wrapped in plastic anyway. We unrolled it on the floor in front of the last open spot, and I finally got to see the product of the last two and a half weeks. After we hung it, I stood and looked at it. It was the last piece of the puzzle that was our exhibition. We were ready to go!