You take their side when the world is against them. Cheer for them, anxiously awaiting their rise from it all. Then the second act hits the climax and the story shifts. The couple begins to fall on hardship and eventually separate. You see it unfolding before your very eyes but you can't believe it's happening. You don't want to. You went for the ride because it all looked so beautiful. You didn't see this turn coming.
And it hurts.
It all seems like a dream sequence because none of it makes any sense and you're too caught up in the increased pace of the story to react. The story is reaching the end and it hits you...this is happening. You see the characters packing it all up. One character leaving to the airport. The other too hurt to follow. To hurt to see them go. You feel the pain, you wait for that last glimmer to completely overexpose everything in frame and shine so beautifully that the histogram completely shatters...
We collected ArtSlam! shirts, ate tons of delicious cupcakes, and partied with some of San Antonio's best musicians as well for over eight solid-as-fuck years. Many of us moved on to other projects and shows, many of us returned to every single show. Either way, ArtSlam! was an amazing thing to be a part of--as a patron or as an artist/musician. It's easy to get caught up in the sadness that is unfolding. And it takes strength to push through and turn the page to the next chapter. But the next pages may be even better then this entire book so far.
Rob, a few years ago I met you at what was easily the best gallery here in town, Gallery 11. There I learned a bit more about this mysterious ArtSlam! I saw so many dope flyers for. I eventually made it out to see it first hand, taking part in the next event soon after. I fell in love with live painting even more and at what was maybe my second ArtSlam!, I really felt I connected with my now love Rabbit Rye.
ArtSlam!: Toys of Christmas Past was the night Rabbit and I hung out and played. Laughed. Joked. That is the night she got her name Rabbit. That was the night I met my best friend. That was the night I painted My Pet Monster next to your awesome punk rock Ruxpin (and felt super honored and privileged to be in that spot). That was the night I met Cris Licea. That night was and is so dear and special to me. As I hold back the tears from my co-workers to type this and avoid my work for the morning, I have only good thoughts. As sad as this may be, again, we push through to see the light in it all.
Liz, I know all that Rob has done with ArtSlam! was so much easier to manage with you at his side. I'm sure you were a much bigger part of it all other than the awesome themed-cupcakes you used to fill our bellies with. Having been in a solid relationship for two years, I know how much it means to have someone so close to you constantly have your back and help you build your dreams. It just makes it so much easier. I have so many good memories seeing you at ArtSlam! whether through selling treats or tees. You two invited us into your home numerous times and I am so grateful for it all. For so long I saw you two work and share together; it's what many of us held to be the ideal relationship. You always have a smile on your face Liz, and that means a lot.
Life happens. Every single day. We all have our ups, downs, and all arounds. Although we may see this departure as just that, let's take a moment to see it as a venture forward. For both of them. Let us rejoice in all the creations we've shared, all the laughs and cupcakes and music notes and beers and cheers and sales and giveaways and success and falls and rises and all the wonderful things we all learned and loved from Rob and Liz. Let us always rejoice in ArtSlam!. The experience that gave birth to so many things including our cherished Art Vibes, whose many artists went on to do ArtSlam! numerous times and kick so much ass at it!
Liz, may you continue to live up to the name "Sweet Lizzy" and stay as sweet as the treats you make.
Rob, may you one day drop the Deadbeat and just be "The Hero".
I love you both so much and wish only great and wondrous things for you as you push forward. You know I am here for you two and will continue to spread the love you two inspired within me. Thank you both for EVERYTHING, even all that you cannot see. I only wish Liz were there for the last hurrah....
...but, perhaps, she was there, somewhere, in this photo.