Saturday, May 31, 2014

Failure Coach XLVIII

Hamburgers to Healthcare

“Okay Alan I get that you didn’t want to set the agenda for the meeting with the Margulies’ curator or our client at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. Were you able to get any feedback from these two contemporary art curators about their feelings about the Victoria Valentine Art Collection or, for that matter, Rachel Davis Fine Arts? Did you even ask them what publications and/or media they read, watch or visit online? I can’t blame you of course. It was my partner Mr. Bluestone who dropped the ball on this one. How was the Martin Z. Margulies Warehouse? I’ll bet that was a trip.”

Alan was always amused by Jan’s rapid fire questions and interrogation style. It was sort of like she was a reporter herself. She always seemed to be trying to fill in the boxes. Her approach helped her clients understand the likely flurry of questions that might come from the news media in a crisis situation. It was less effective, in fact, when she was digging for a strategy for pitching a story. As serious as curators are, they aren’t routinely stressed out by issues of life and death, consumer advocacy and health risks. She also felt less comfortable with the various audiences in the art world of collectors, curators, administrators and estates than those of hospital administrators, staff, nurses, doctors and healthcare in a community at large. She knew this was a missed opportunity and she knew Alan was not accustomed to being an account executive. She knew now that Abbeshire & Bluestone would have been better served if they sent an intern along for the ride. At least then, a creative brief and enough to paste together a little relevant background information would be a starting point as Abbeshire & Bluestone built strategic platforms for the Rachel Davis Fine Arts and Allen Memorial Art Museum game plans. It would fall to junior staffers to extrapolate formal platforms for both accounts. It would then be Jan and Dan who would, for different reasons, challenge the validity of those documents. Jan was always looking for hooks to appeal to editors. Dan was always looking for differentiation points to guide any creative endeavor from gallery signage to exhibition brochure and branding. The short term proof of the pudding for any strategy platform would be story placement (for Jan) and creative assignments (for Dan). It was these internal copy assignments which grew out of research that delivered the aha moments. The sweat of secondary research of all that was recently published, broadcast or uncovered via social media analytics, Jan and Dan agreed, was always best if validated with real players (primary research through dialogue). The real players according to Jan and Dan were those leaders engaged in the transactions between manufacture to end user (whether it was hamburgers or healthcare).

“Thank goodness we don’t have to rely on Alan Edgewater to write strategy for us. His exploration in Miami may have solidified the connection between AEFFSF and AMAM. It may have even made AE a little more skilled at talking the talk in artspeak (about negative space and conceptual art) but it makes him not in the least bit insightful when it comes to making a college art museum or auction house/appraiser better at reaching their intended audiences.” Jan was in a rare mood and it was this sort of ranting stream of consciousness that propelled her agency forward. Sometimes this sort of out loud dialogue helped Jan decide to resign accounts too. Dan was never willing to talk himself and the agency into walking away from an account once won. 

Dan was famous for telling client prospects to fish or cut bait when it came time to sell a campaign, however. He might also conclude early in the quest for a new account that this dawg won’t hunt when it was a question of dedicating resources to win an account. But when it is time to show a new account what he (his people and his agency) were capable of…it was go time. He did not entertain quitting as an option. The difference between Jan and Dan was as simple as linear logic versus working to make your breaks. So it was: dollars and cents versus swinging for the fences at Abbeshire & Bluestone with these personalities managing the left and right brain of the firm.

“It doesn’t matter if we are selling Hamburgers or Healthcare,” Dan liked to say in creative strategy briefings. “We follow steps that lead us to our unique brand of solution. It’s smart. It’s creative and it comes with flawless execution.”         

Failure Coach XLVII

A pause for reflection

“I’m pregnant.” Brie Baker made the statement so matter-of-factly if seemed to require no additional information. Since Alan and Katherine knew nothing of Brie Baker’s personal life it just seemed natural that an attractive woman over 35 would find herself with child. Brie wanted to explain in advance why she might need to excuse herself and why she would abstain from a glass of wine. Katherine served as docent at the 45,000 s.f. Martin Z. Margulies Warehouse contemporary art collection.     

Although initiated by Daniel Bluestone, it was Alan Edgewater who managed to get a meeting with Brie Baker and Katherine Hinds though the three of them had only met briefly. Brie and Alan met at the second of three Bluestone Cleveland gatherings at the Carlyle. He only caught part of the banter between the coach and the curator about the Ashcan school and artist George Bellows, the would-be baseball player turned painter from Ohio. Alan and Brie were both invited to private showings of the Victoria Valentine Art Collection at Rachel Davis Fine Arts. Coach Siena was guest of Bluestone using the second bedroom in the condominium for which Abbeshire & Bluestone would bill the Alan Edgewater Failure First Scholarship Fund (AEFFSF). Alan Edgewater stayed at a hotel near the airport that evening and caught a flight into St. Louis the next day. Upon his return to the Cleveland, however, later that month Alan was invited to occupy the second bedroom dubbed the Coach Robert Siena Suite at the Carlyle. That evening he met Katherine Hinds. It was at that third gathering at the Carlyle. Katherine appeared almost unexpectedly with her gallery owner girlfriend. She and her friend, earlier that day, had also perused the Victoria Valentine collection at Rachel Davis Fine Arts. They had seen Victoria Valentine pieces by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol, Keith Herring and more. By the time they got to the party they were not at all interested in talking about art. Instead a glass of wine and a view of the moon lit Lake Erie was just what the doctor ordered.

Alan recalled his visits to Cleveland and the Carlyle in the Coach Robert Siena Suite with some sadness. The coach was a cliché in so many ways. But he was also so genuine even as he extolled the virtues of teamwork and dedication. The coach was an eternal optimist with faith in his players certainly but, more broadly, in human nature. He had been so full of life and now he was gone. Alan was filling in for the coach. The coach was hoping the AEFFSF would be able to leverage the art collection in some way. Alan was not entirely clear about the coach’s thought process but he already knew more about contemporary and modern art than Coach Siena could ever have hoped to know.      

Jan Abbeshire continued to explore how Abbeshire & Bluestone might make news in the world of contemporary art. Her research led to Art Basel and the reputation and the Martin Z Margulies collection. Jan thought the Victoria Valentine collection needed the kind of press Margulies attracted. Jan noted that no-one currently served as spokesperson for the Victoria Valentine Collection like owner Marty Margulies and curator of a dozen years Katherine Hinds for the Martine Z Margulies Foundation.

Jan encouraged Alan to see if the curators could help identify appropriate hooks for fine art collector magazines and media. Jan imagined the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College needed hooks to get media attention as well. Had Alan invited Jan to Miami for this meeting of the minds, she would have joined them in a heartbeat. Jan, with three daughters at home could not take such a trip at the drop of a hat however.  

Alan, Brie and Katherine were together in Miami and enjoying dinner at Chart House in Coconut Grove where, ironically, they could not sit outside. The weather was wet and windy. Alan kept it to himself that the evening at the Carlyle overlooking Lake Erie was actually more comfortable than the dinner in Miami indoors, under the breeze generated by the air conditioning through ceiling vents that seems aimed at him. The dinner was one that generated some lively conversation. Katherine had been an outstanding host and docent for the Warehouse tour of Margulies Foundation collection Brie and Alan. Alan was still a little fixated on the concept of negative space but also wondering how he let Bluestone convince him to take this meeting in the first place. He was not a collector. He was not a buyer. He was a neophyte at best in the art world. All that said, he loved the way the art world, even at its most bizarre moments, brought people together. Bluestone hatched the plan for a meeting but, as was his way, over scheduled himself and left Alan with the job of finessing these educated purveyors of art.

Brie excused herself from the table after just a few bites of her seafood pasta. She returned with apology.  “This is the first time I have been pregnant,” she declared. Here Alan skillfully asked about the father. “Is dad involved in this?” he asked. Katherine was supportive with a quick additional “ Relax, having babies is just something we do. Just take things in stride. ” Katherine continued with “Doctor Baker, I think we ought to plan an exhibition that will travel from Oberlin, Cincinnati, St. Louis and maybe a couple of other cities. As co-curators I think we can really orchestrate a win-win-win for Oberlin, Margulies and Contemporary Art.

So Alan lost control of the conversation early in the meeting. It wasn’t until deserts arrived that Brie confided, while enjoying her vanilla ice cream, that she had every intention of being a wonderful single mother. She declared openly that there was no urgency in involving the father in the responsibilities of being a parent. With that, the father’s identity remained a mystery to Alan and of no consequence to Katherine. In the morning, Brie and Alan would ride together in a hotel airport shuttle from the Mutiny Hotel in Coconut Grove, going their separate ways as they traveled to their respective gates and flights to Cleveland and St. Louis.    

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Failure Coach XLVI

Win one for the coach

“Friggin’ Siena had a heart attack. I shit you not, Alan. His wife called me because she couldn’t get through to you. The guy’s in the hospital in Saint Louis because she wanted to make sure he got the best care. So he’s at Missouri Baptist in Town & Country. I don’t know anything more except they want him to stay at least a couple of days for observation.” Bob Caster didn’t waste any time breaking the news. He knew Alan would want to get there as soon as he could. He pulled his Escalade into the hospital even as Caster was still on the phone. Alan had been on his way home when he took the call. When he arrived at the hospital’s Heart Center he found Coach Siena’s wife in a family waiting area talking to the doctor.

“Most heart attacks are the result of coronary heart disease, a condition that clogs coronary arteries. As blood flow is gradually impeded, the body may compensate by growing a network of collateral arteries to circumvent blockages,” The doctor was efficient and spoke almost as if scripted. Mrs. Siena was grateful they arrived in time. She was also happy she insisted on the drive to Saint Louis instead of any of the local medical resources in the Red Bud vicinity. The doctor agreed that she made the right decision, even though a heart attack is a medical emergency that must be addressed quickly.

Alan invited the coach’s wife to stay with him at his home in Chesterfield for as long as she wished but as it turned out the 45 minute drive back and forth from Red Bud gave her time to think. In those first two days of the coach’s stay at MOBAP she was able to learn from the doctor and her own online research that once past the critical phase of a heart attack, patients continue to receive beta blockers to slow the heart, nitrates to increase heart blood flow, and blood thinners or aspirin to prevent further blood clotting. She also learned that most people survive a first heart attack and go on to live a full and productive life. But Robert Siena was not most people. He expired on the third day of his stay at the Missouri Baptist Heart Center.

This last conversation with the doctor was not so smooth. He tried like hell to be calm and efficient as he was after Coach Siena was first admitted for observation. “Most sudden cardiac deaths are caused by abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. The most common life-threatening arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation, which is an erratic, disorganized firing of impulses from the ventricles (the heart's lower chambers). When this occurs, the heart is unable to pump blood and death will occur within minutes.” He stopped and took a few deep breaths. “Coach didn’t make it in spite of our best efforts to save him.” This time Alan Edgewater was not nearby to comfort her and Bob Caster was again in the telephone loop. Upon hearing this news from Bob, Alan immediately called Jan Abbeshire and asked her to meet at the St. Louis Bread Company on Ballas road. When she arrived, Alan, Bob and the Coach's wife were seated at a table with bagels, cream cheese and coffee of which they only noshed.  

This impromptu meeting addressed condolences, funeral arrangements, the dismissal of any thoughts of legal action (for the moment anyway), the future of the AEFFSF and plans to complete a timely obituary. The coach’s wife was a strong independent woman. She cried of course but only in short bursts when the discussion reminded her of recent conversations she and the coach had about their plans for their future together.

The obituary appeared the next day in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Monroe County Republic Times and Belleville Democrat local newspapers  

Robert “Coach” Siena - Robert passed away due to complications of heart disease on May 15 at the age of 62. Robert was a resident of Red Bud, Illinois where he was a teacher for more than 27 years. He led the Red Bud Musketeers as head football coach for 18 of those years until his retirement. Coach Siena received some notoriety as a spokesman for the Alan Edgewater Failure First Scholarship Fund, a trust he established to award full and irrevocable college scholarships. He is survived by his wife Irene.

Services: A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd., at Newstead Ave., St. Louis on June 15, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Private services will include interment at Bellefontaine Cemetery and reception at the family home in Red Bud. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are appreciated to the American Heart Association or the Alan Edgewater Failure First Scholarship Fund.

Irene Siena was a wealthy woman but you would never guess it. She wanted more than anything for the AAFFSF program to continue. She had become somewhat attached to Red Bud footballer, Johnny Appleseed. She loved Andrew Valentine and was thrilled when Alicia Apricot was selected for the award. She encouraged Alan Edgewater and, by extension, Jan Abbeshire along with the team at Abbeshire & Bluestone continue.

The Funeral Mass at the Basilica, a month later, spared no expense. In attendance were nearly 150 people including: Fontenot and several regional sales executives from Sazerac; dozens or former football team members; Alan Edgewater; Jan Abbeshire and Daniel Bluestone; Bob Caster and his wife; Laurie Ripp; Tony Blank from Ambrosia; and a variety of Red Bud friends and associates. In addition, Daniel Bluestone used the occasion to rally Brie Baker from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin; Rachel Davis and two of her associates from Rachel Davis Fine Arts; and several of his freelancer associates from South Florida. (Dan made it worth their while with accommodations and prepaid airfares in the name of creative and strategy development.) And Jan also encouraged several clients (past and present) particularly those with Catholic affiliations who would bask in the pomp and ceremony at the Basilica presided over by high ranking clergy.

Johnny Appleseed gave a heartwarming eulogy and Andrew Valentine (at the urging of Brie Baker) sang Hallelujah, this time for a larger audience (including local media) and Alan Edgewater was electric as the champion of the coach as a shining example of leadership at its finest. “The best coaches preach practice and sacrifice and instill in successful teams the skills and discipline that will increase the likelihood of success all the time knowing that other greater lessons about life are acquired along the way. That being said, I urge you to carry on as you have and prepare for victory. If you fall short, get up, brush yourself off and forge ahead. I assure you the coach will be watching you.”

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Failure Coach XLV

Oberlin Curator in Crisis

Brie Baker loved Oberlin. She was hired to showcase and lead the modern and contemporary collection and the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) nearly five years ago. The gallery for Modern and Contemporary Art was added to the Cass Gilbert building in 1977. It had become an impressive and representative home for a growing collection. Brie knew her collection could be presented in a variety of ways to enhance the international reputation of the museum and the college. She was ambitious and determined to do for art what the conservatory was doing for music. She concluded it had a lot to do with supporting emerging artists.
The world of art is elusive. A curator, especially one charged to bring attention to an academic institution like Oberlin would always feel pressure. She would be expected to be published, cited often and nimble among benefactors, art enthusiasts, collectors, colleagues and curators. This job did not come with tenure but it did come with a level of prestige. Brie Baker already could claim a healthy bump in endowment for the arts and an impressive speaker series that was starting to make Oberlin as much a place for art as music.

“I want our institution to be a part of the conversation when it comes to the new and emerging artists around the world,” she stressed in meetings with her colleagues at AMAM. But she was never fully convinced that they shared her vision. “We need to show the world that we are watching where art is headed, not just where it has been.” In her darker moments she would lament that the middle west, in particular Northeast Ohio, was never going to become Paris or NYC as an art center. Still she was ever hopeful that scholarship and funding for new commissions and exhibitions would bring attention to her place in the Buckeye state.

Brie is statuesque and attractive in a clinical way. She worked hard to project a professional image but has a tendency to gravitate to little black dresses, designer scarves and heels that made her look as at home in a cocktail/dinner party as a gallery show.  Her wardrobe also made her seem unapproachable to many on a college campus. She was in her later 30s but had a playful and youthful air. Her laugh was disarming and helped her greatly in negotiations with artists and colleagues. The irony of her charm was that it masked a deep insecurity. She felt it was her job to appear sophisticated and intellectual. She never wanted to let her guard down. As a consequence, she found herself falling for older established and seemingly successful men. To date, this resulted in a series of awkward romances with married or recently divorced men; but none so awkward as the relationship she would have with Andrew Valentine, an undergraduate more than 15 years her junior.

It started innocently enough. Andrew was invited to sing at a gallery reception with wine, cheese, crackers and an small group of patrons of AMAM. Andrew was a little uncomfortable with the gig but he was pleased that one of his professors recommended him for this small gathering. The opening featured a short benediction and dedication followed by his rendition of Hallelujah, a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The echo and sound in such a venue made Andrew sound like an angel. Brie was spellbound by his voice and eager to learn more about how Andrew Valentine felt about the Nana Valentine collection (especially now that she was in possession of the catalogue from Rachel Davis. If he was interested, she thought, she might help him understand the context by which that collection earned its value form a curator’s perspective. She learned, to her surprise, Andrew was pretty sharp on the content of the collection and offered a variety of stories of his Nana’s reasons and circumstances for various purchases. This encounter led to a series of informal tutorials that eventually evolved into a physical relationship. The affair was played out in trysts out-of-town. Brie was able to arrange, in the name of sort of independent study, for the two of them to visit museums in Toledo, Columbus and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (where they spent time at the Cranbrook Art Museum visiting with a colleague who was a curator). Brie Baker knew the relationship was unhealthy. Andrew understood the need for secrecy but actually turned out to be a willing and receptive student of contemporary and modern art. Brie accepted Andrew’s terms when just a few months into the friends with benefits arrangement they agreed to call it quits. Andrew could count on two hands the times they has sex. He liked Brie but was relieved when she agreed to make their friendship more academic. In time, together they reviewed the Nana Valentine catalogue produced by Rachel Davis Fine Arts and had a mutual respect for their respective interests in Nana’s collection.    

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Failure Coach XLIV

30 days at the Carlyle

Daniel Bluestone rented a fully furnished apartment in the Carlyle, a luxury high-rise condominium building located in Lakewood, a West Side suburb of Cleveland. Daniel was a creative problem-solver and with the help of the a small army of interns on the payroll at Abbeshire & Bluestone he secured the living quarters in the Carlyle for 30 days, giving him the flexibility to have a base of operations long enough to chase down a few leads. The two bedroom condo had a great view of Lake Erie and was just ten minutes from Downtown. It may have seemed frivolous to staffers at Abbeshire & Bluestone but in just one month’s time Bluestone secured a tentative agreement with Rachel Davis Fine Arts, the appraiser/auction house and the Allen Memorial Art Museum on campus at Oberlin College. Both new accounts agreed to retainer arrangements of a year that included public relations council and strategic planning services. The Alan Edgewater and Alan Edgewater Failure First Scholarship Fund connections translated to easy access. Those two small but related accounts would fortify the growing contemporary art practice. The Carlyle headquarters was lively too, as a natural place for wine and cheese for friends of the galley at the appraiser/auction house. Three such gatherings took place. The first of which included Alan Edgewater, Bob Caster and a gathering invited by Rachel Davis. Rachel found the apartment ideal for intimate, homey yet convenient location. The second gathering included Coach Robert Siena with product from among the Sazerac Brand portfolio and Brie Baker from Oberlin College. The coach and the curator found common ground conversationally not only in discussing the progress of AAFFSF scholar Andrew Valentine but also in early 20th Century American artists such as the Ashcan School, the group of American artists known as the eight. The coach was a fan of a painting he’d seen at the Cleveland Art Museum by George Bellows called Stag at Sharkey’s. Brie Baker knew the work and advised the coach that Bellows, was in fact born in Columbus, Ohio and might have been a professional baseball player but instead pursued painting. As they talked Brie helped the coach understand the link between Bellows, who was a student of Robert Henri at the New York School of Art. George Bellows became associated with Henri's The Eight and the Ashcan School the group of artists who advocated painting contemporary American society in all its forms. Daniel Bluestone was somewhat familiar with the Ashcan School too and pointed out the journalist angle that seemed a part of the artists’ mission.

“Those artists were influenced by what was happening in Europe with Impressionism but also mindful of everyday life in this country. It was not unusual for Bellows and his fellow artists to be paid for magazine illustration work. Today it seems like there is a greater separation between commercial art and fine art,” Said Bluestone as he worked his way into the conversation between the coach and the curator. “It is this whole idea of how art meets commerce that has driven me much of my own career as an art director and now executive creative director and partner of an independent marketing communications firm.”

“Right. I hear ya,” offered the coach “but that Bellows painting at the Cleveland Art Museum, Stag at Sharkey’s is about something. It captures emotion and sport and action. I just don’t get the modern stuff that looks like something a five year old kid could do…”

Brie smiled “You are entitled to your opinion of course.  What defines art now is not the same as what the founders of the Cleveland Art Museum were thinking about in 1916 or at Oberlin a year later in 1917 when our Allen Memorial Art Museum was built.”

Daniel remembers calling Jan that evening with the news of one successful soirée. It seemed to him that his relationship with Jan was better when it was at arm’s length and on some level about business. This night, as he watched the setting sun on the lake and sipping his Sazarac Rye Whiskey, it was about both. The agency would be able to announce new business from Rachel Davis Fine Arts of Cleveland and the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) at Oberlin College.

Jan was happy about the initial conversations with Via Christi too. The Catholic healthcare services company with operations in 12 Kansas Cities could brag that they were the leading provider of healthcare services in Kansas. Again the AEFFSF connection opened doors. Alicia Apricot’s father Bubba Apricot was a journeyman project manager but he was assigned to the building initiative in Pittsburg, Kansas that would need some skillful marketing to kick off a capital campaign the network hoped would ignite the next wave of growth. Jan noted that the account, based in Kansa, would not likely be in conflict with her current base of business. In  fact, she was hopeful that her Catholic hospital experience would be another plus for Abbeshire & Bluestone

Hardly anyone noticed Katherine Hinds, longtime curator for the Martin Z. Marguiles Foundation in Miami, happened to arrive with a friend late to the party at the third gathering in 30 days at the Carlyle. Katherine enjoyed a glass of white wine and admired the view of Lake Erie in the moonlight. Her friend, a Cleveland gallery owner excused herself to use the restroom. Rachel Davis only met her only briefly but she had her business card and promptly arranged for Katherine Hinds to receive a catalogue of the Victoria Valentine Collection. Catalogues along with handwritten personal notes were sent to Brie Baker, Alan Edgewater, Bob Caster and Jan Abbeshire (all visitors th the Carlyle in that 30-day window). 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Failure Coach XLIII

A Day in the Life

Johnny Appleseed, in his dorm room, was reading Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and paused a moment early in the book when he discovered Kurt studied Anthropology as an undergraduate in college. Andrew Valentine was a frequent visitor to the music rooms for students on campus, mostly because he enjoyed impromptu sessions where voice was a welcome addition to the instrumentation. Alicia Apricot, with some help from her father, was sure to have part time employment close to campus at the Via Christi hospital. (Close to the Pittsburg State campus, she’d be a gopher running errands with flexibility to clock in and clock out to attend classes and study).

The Executive Director of the Art Museum at Oberlin College, Brie Baker was aware of the Nana Valentine collection and was plotting carefully how she would get close to Andrew Valentine. She knew she could work with his advisor on campus to increase the likelihood of Andrew landing in one of her art history survey classes. Still it would be overly presumptuous to assume Andrew would have any control of that estate before he even reached the age of 21.

At the same time, the auction house/appraisers in Cleveland completed a beautiful and detailed catalogue of the works down to the various artist sketches, writings and ephemeral memorabilia. The appraisal was, without a doubt, in excess of eighty million dollars. That valuation could be even higher if the managers of this trust allow selective sales, but for the time being no part of the collection was for sale.

Katherine Hinds, the chief curator at the Marguiles Warehouse in Miami was hoping to make a connection with Brie Baker and Oberlin College during Art Basel if not sooner. They exchanged periodic correspondence on various contemporary artists. Several months ago it surfaced that they were both interested in the Nana Valentine Collection for different reasons. Marguiles was looking to loan various works and the curator knew that one way to accomplish this was to work with a curator capable of pulling together an exhibition. The Nana Valentine Collection included pieces that would complement important links to The Martin Marguiles Collection with regard to Minimal and Conceptual Art. Brie Baker believed that a Nana Valentine museum trust could take Oberlin to the next level through a combination of loans and acquisitions. She was working with the college development office on strategies. Both Oberlin College and the Martin Margulies Foundation had open lines of communication with Rachel Davis Fine Arts, the Cleveland auction house/appraisers.
Jan Abbeshire was spending a couple of hours on a Saturday straightening things up. The St. Louis downtown office space of Abbeshire & Bluestone was designed to be open, with semi-private cubicles, high ceilings and exposed duct-work. Jan knew this layout was attractive to the ambitious type A-players she needed to keep the place going. Her office, however, was not isolated enough to keep the cacophony of sound during business hours from giving her periodic headaches. So she felt compelled to spend a few quiet hours at work on Saturdays. On this particular Saturday she was focusing on the profiles of the AEFFSF scholars. In the process, Jan decided to start a new file on the Nana Valentine Collection because one of her research assistants kept bringing her articles. It seemed to her that the Cleveland auction house was doing a pretty good job of showcasing the collection without making blatant solicitation to prospective buyers. Jan made a note to follow up with the people in Cleveland. Similarly, she made a note for interns to get background information on the Via Christi hospital construction project of which Alicia Apricot would be working. (Easy enough to dig up in local media channels.)

Alan Edgewater and Bob Caster were enjoying a Budweiser after a round of golf at Creve Coeur Golf Course. It had been a while since they’d played. They laughed about playing on a Saturday with the regular crowd since scheduling midweek proved difficult these days with their respective busy schedules. 

Coach Robert Siena was asleep on his living room couch in Red Bud, IL while his wife quietly baked a cake for his birthday.