> 1991 - 2004



Painted bronze and wood, 2004, 16" x 11" x 17".

In the summer of 1992, I rode a Greyhound bus from the southern Oregon coast to the mountains of Colorado. It was twenty-four hours before we even left Oregon. The bus traveled up the coast to Lincoln City, east to Portland, through the Columbia Gorge and across the Blue Mountains to La Grande, south to Ontario before turning east again and out of the state. I had stayed behind to finish and deliver a one person show to the Coos Art Museum, a show I had agreed to only three months before, shortly after the death of my father. It was a show of older work and three new pieces, born of tears and sorrow. By the time I stepped onto the bus I was raw, drained, unfit for human companionship. I stared at the passing scenery, trying to shed the intensity of the preceding months before joining my husband and son for a large family reunion. But throughout the trip, one man after another would choose the empty seat next to mine over the others scattered throughout the bus. I acknowledged their arrival with a nod, before turning back to the window, choosing the comfort of the moonlit desert and the hum of the tires over small talk between strangers.

-Janet Geib Pretti

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