Copyright © 2005 Abraham Studios

Send mail to with questions or comments about this site.

Home      About       Contact      News      Paintings      Music      Galleries      Video Trailer

The Understanding Stairs


24 x 30"

acrylic on canvas

Appalachian Gallery, Morgantown, WV


In Cincinnati, Alfonso and I tour the Taft Museum. As in every museum, we split up and meet back to discuss our favorite pieces.  Aside from restroom breaks, we haven’t left each other’s side since visiting the MOCA in Chicago! In Columbus, we drive through the Brewery District and German Village, but neither compare to a tucked away place called The Book Loft. Down an uneven brick walkway, the opening to the Book Loft leads to a thirty-two-room maze of manuscripts. Without exaggeration, one can easily get lost in this labyrinth of literature, and I do. To help find the exit, there are little stickers and arrows on the floor leading the way.  I could spend our entire week in Ohio exploring this bookstore, but instead we drive to Columbus to pay homage to Dave Thomas.

By this point in our trip we have eaten 114 99¢ Wendy’s side salads and never had a problem. The original Wendy’s is now connected to a Tim Hortons, and by the time we arrive, it is thirty minutes until close. The dining room is dark and the young boy who takes our order sends us to eat in the coffee shop. Two women behind the counter are speaking just loud enough for us to hear how irritating our presence is at this hour. At ten minutes until close, a man in a blue windbreaker stops in for a cup of coffee. Since the ladies have already cashed out their registers, they give him his coffee for free, and proceed to keep others out by locking us in. We joke that Dave would be rolling in his grave to see such inhospitable attitudes at the restaurant where it all began. 

The next day, we walk through a field of cement corn in Dublin, climb a Native American tribute made of stone blocks and stand in front of an eight story building shaped like a Longaberger basket. As evening closes in, an Amish carriage leads us down the road to Mansfield, where we have scheduled to meet with the director of their art center. In Mansfield, we feel as if red carpet has been rolled out before us. We are so used to a quick meeting with a gallery on our way out of town, that when The Executive Director of the Mansfield Art Center takes off his afternoon to show us around, we are caught by surprise. He takes us to the Walnut Lounge for lunch, and Alfonso and I are introduced to fried pickles. We learn that Ohio has the largest Amish population in all of America, due to tax breaks on land, which has lead to their recent influx from Pennsylvania. We are later invited to attend a Saturday night symphony, and have dinner with some of the director’s friends. They easily convince us to remain in town for a few extra days, so that an assembly for the Elementary school can be arranged. I am given a place to paint while in town, so how can I argue with that? We are also asked to talk at an Art Center luncheon. It is at that luncheon that a woman walks up to us from her seat and places a buckeye in Alfonso’s hand. “This is for good luck,” she says. 

Before visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, we travel to Kent State. Four students died here in the shooting on May 4th 1970, when the National Guard opened fire on campus. Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder were killed. Nine students were wounded, with one permanently paralyzed, and several seriously maimed. Today, a piece of art holds a permanent reminder of that tragic day. On the hill where students fled, I place my finger into the bullet hole that has forever scarred that metal sculpture, and the campus.