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hs52150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 52

Few things were more exciting at the Art Motel than the weeks leading up to Yoshi Oba’s artists’ showcase. Every August, for one day and one night, the Art Motel was open to the public for an extravaganza Yoshi called Vacancy. Throughout the day, there were tours of the building, every corner of which was transformed into a living gallery, and guided trips to site-specific works in the neighbourhood. There were artist talks and screenings. There were plans for a poetry slam! and an open jam. And late on that Saturday night there would be a grand party, as there always was after the artists’ showcase day. Jimbeau and Stacey’s multi-disciplinary performance was chosen to anchor this year’s event, but Yoshi encouraged all of the artists to contribute to the finale.

And while few things were more exciting at the Art Motel than the weeks leading up to Yoshi Oba’s artists’ showcase, how a new artist chose to decorate their room was always a source of curiosity and amusement.

“Do you think you’re going to do something for Vacancy?” Devin asked Rebecca.

“I’m not sure.”

They were shopping for brown and green paint, and plants, and life-size cut-out wall murals of deer and moose to tack to the walls of Rebecca’s bedroom. She held two green paint chips above her face and towards the natural light that filtered into the store.

“Uh-oh. I see your friends are here,” Devin said.

“What’s that?" Devin pointed to the three reporters who were conspicuously milling about the shop. Rebecca sighed. “I’m kinda getting used to it.”

A camera flash went off. Rebecca and Devin continued browsing. “You really should do something for the showcase.”

Another flash roused the store’s manager, who tried unsuccessfully to shoo the photographer away and out the door. “I don’t know. The nesting doll thing could be cool,” Rebecca said.

“Very cool. There’s this souvenir importer place that brings stuff in just plain and you can do whatever with it. I got a bunch of unpainted, cheapo little totem poles from them last year and did this collage-decoupage thing with pictures of, like, eighties supermodels. They sold out at last year’s Vacancy show. I’d bet they’d have some plain nesting dolls.”

Rebecca grinned. “You do decoupage?”

“I love fucking decoupage.”

“Me too.”

“Why am I not surprised?” Devin touched the side of her face. She hadn’t used her facial depilatory since her arrival and a shadow of black fuzz had grown around her mouth, on her chin and up her cheeks. Rebecca tried to jerk away but Devin held her face firm in his hand. He kissed the top of her forehead just as another flash went off.

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke