This year has been great for a bunch of reasons; however, one of my favorite moments from the 2018 highlight reel would have to be the day my mom and I visited the Quirk Hotel and Gallery in Richmond, VA. You guys, it was like millennial pink magic! I'm still not fully over it, and it's been four months since we ventured south to check it out. It makes me beam just thinking about it. Gah!
I'd heard about this hipster destination hotel awhile back and kept it on my radar, but I knew I HAD to get there ASAP when I found out Elizabeth Graeber's work was on exhibition for a few weeks in February. If you've been hanging around this corner of the blogosphere for a hot second, then you know I'm a HUUUUUUUUUGE fan of Graeber's work. It's probably borderline creeper level at this point. Anywho, if I could have any artist live inside my head and illustrate what goes on up there, it would have to be her. Yep, that definitely upped the stalker status. Ha! Oh, well. There's just something about her pieces that remind me of my childhood favorite Quentin Blake (Roald Dahl FOREVER!), but with a more colorful, modern, and whimsical twist. Sounds dreamy, right?!
Naturally, my mom agreed that seeing her work in person was a MUST, so we left Max with my dad on a Sunday afternoon (Muchos gracias, PaPa!) and made the 1.5 hour drive to Richmond in some of the worst rain imaginable. Yikes! There were moments when I told my mom that we could just turn around and head back to the Beltway, but she persisted, and by the time we parked the car, the weather let up. Phew! It wasn't long after that when we both discovered every adorable detail throughout the hotel, along with Elizabeth's colorful sketches and paintings, would be the sunshine we craved on that dismal day filled with downpours.
Sweet readers, the number of squees that filled the small gallery and hotel lobby during our hour-long visit could be considered embarrassing by some, but as far as we were concerned, we had the place to ourself. I'm certain we made at least a dozen laps around the exhibit and gift shop—half of which I spent convincing my mom (in a low-key way, obvi) that she needed the clementine painting in her life and STAT. Much to my delight, the shop girl managed to seal the deal with a subtle nudge of encouragement, and a Graeber original now hangs in mom's kitchen. Yaaaassss! It's like we get to re-live this sweet little memory forever.