At great risk to life and limb, our young interns have traced the problem to its root. The problem, you see, is a painter named Jennifer Depencier, who doesn’t know the way it’s supposed to be.
We heard rumours of her. We put the word on the street, and the calls of Depencier sightings came flooding in.
The Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, Preston Farmer’s Market, the opening at Gallery M. If there was art happening in Cambridge Jennifer Depencier seemed to be there. We began to wonder if there may be more than one Jennifer Depencier. She was everywhere; except when we tried to find her.
She wasn’t at the usual Café’s and Bistros that Cambridge Artists are supposed to frequent.
When she was seen at The Bernice Adams Awards for Literary Arts we became very concerned. The award ceremony is held at The Galt Country Club, the very bastion of everything West Galtonian.
She had to be stopped, and fast.
When studying her pictures we got the first clue. The gritty urban landscapes were of no recognizable locales. When someone told us these were buildings in Hespeler it made sense. No one paints buildings in Hespeler. It’s not allowed.
Someone had to tell her that the only Cambridge buildings that artists are allowed to paint are those inWest Galt. This was decreed by law in 1915 when my own great grandfather Archie was on council. (This was also the same year that Galt decided they were a city, so the aforementioned by-law was the typical mentality of the day)
Story has it that the grandson of founding father Absalom Shade, Night Shade, snuck into Galt one night in 1914 and stole the seat to Mayor A. E. Buchanan’s outhouse. Poor old Bucky was forced to wash off in Mill Creek, and the subsequent photo in the Hespeler Herald with the headline “Galt Mayor Up Sh** Creek,” caused quite a stir. (Which is where the term came from before it came into common use.)
Night Shade’s sister, Ori, took the outhouse seat, put it with the picture of the mayor in the creek from the paper, and hung it on the walls of theHespelerTown Hall. With that she declared herself an artist.
People flocked to her “Art show” from far and wide, and she became somewhat of a celebrity. Of course, Mayor Bucky didn’t like this. With great pomp and ceremony council thereby decreed what is and isn’t art in the area, with buildings inWest Galt being about the only thing that was legally allowed.
That status quo was fine until now. (A minor variance was allowed for paintings on Harleys in Hespeler, but that was because they didn’t want the Harleys in Galt)
Yes, this Depencier had to be stopped.
We put together a “Special Investigative Team,” and sent in our three best interns. We waited for days, and when they didn’t come back we were left with no choice. I had to go to Hespeler myself and rescue my unsuspecting young charges from the Lair of Hagarty.
I had to go incognito. I took off my tinfoil lined fedora, but knew that a disguise wasn’t enough. My name is recognizable, which can be dangerous in Hespeler. They like to strip away your last name and give you a nickname that everyone uses. Eventually no one remembers your real name, including yourself.
I un-hyphenated my surname, a sure sign of West Galt roots, and went in under the cover of The Forbes Festival to get to the bottom of this “Art Uprising.”
As soon as I entered the Hespeler core I could feel it, an almost tangible energy. I was drawn, as if by a magnetic field, towards the festival. Like a zombie, I followed the crowd.
Then I found her, like a queen holding court. When I saw a picture of Mayor Craig knee deep in Mill Creek, framed by
a toilet seat marked “City Hall” hanging behind her, I knew she meant business. She was going to raise awareness of the arts in Hespeler, and she wasn’t going to take any crap from Galt.
At her side were Karen Grant, from the B.I.A. and festival organizer Lary Turner. People with letters after their names intimidate me, and I’ve learned my lesson from Jimm Hillis about writers who can’t spell their first names, so I decided to get while the getting was good.
But before I left, I had to collect my charges.
I found Hoveeg in the Spun Turtle, spray painting graffiti and repeating the words over and over “Graffiti is Art, Art is Graffiti.”
Brendan was in Big Footprints, staring at the massive studio, and whispering “I could fly a plane in here. I can fly…I can fly”
Jake? He was in Millpond Records and Books, leafing through a stack of LP’s, muttering the names of the bands as he went… “Beatles…Zeppelin…Bowie…”
As I gathered the troops and beat a hasty retreat to the sane confines of the Galt Core I could hear the unmistakable laughter of Hagarty, as he shrieked “Come to me, my pretties, I’ll get you and your little dogs too.”
We returned to our office, where we sent the students to the Cambridge Archives so Archivist Jim Quantrell could deprogram them before they go back to school. They seem alright, other than that Jake is now convinced his name is “Scoop.”
Denizens of Cambridge, don’t despair. We may have lost the battle, but not the war. We have a plan.
If we keep buying her paintings she will be too busy painting more to keep instigating the artists in Hespeler. Things will go back to the way they are supposed to be, and Galt artists won’t have to starve.
You can find her work at http://www.jenniferdepencier.com/Galt Country Club, hespeler, Jennifer Depencier