I was a high school (almost but not quite college) student in Stockton, Ca that summer of love in 1967. Even though I could drive and had a car I was not allowed to join the hippies in the Haight in S.F. However the music, the fashion, the psychedelic/consciousness expanding (drugs secretly imbibed) were a kind of salvation as I felt boxed in and bored with my suburban existence, etc, etc.
Walking into this Summer of Love exhibition at the de Young museum last week, it all came back. And I was in good company with my sketch buddies of the same era and other museum goers who were ready to share their memories.
I wanted to record it all – the hippy fashion, the posters and button art/quotes, the lights and lyrics. Most of these were sketched standing with the paint added later.
“What’s scandalous about jeans is how you outrage them.”
Denim -ocracy (We’ve still got this!)
“I’m from Berkeley, but I’m not revolting.”
One little comment here about this exhibition, which I loved! They used the same mannikins from the Oscar de la Renta show and gave them no wigs! We were the hair generation! How could they not put hair on them?! So I added it in the sketches.
The fashion in the show is flea market finds – artsy, craftsy, hand sewn (we girls all knew how to sew and repurpose clothing back then) cross cultural. . .
And then there was the protest art, which we are now seeing such a resurgence of. I particularly enjoyed these two pieces. Hmmm. Does this give you an idea of someone else who could be a fine subject for art pants like these?
In the heart of the exhibit is an empty room with light shows throbbing on every plane and bean bags chairs on the periphery inviting weary museum goers to curl up, watch the show and listen to the music. Now this is my kind of exhibit! I always get tired feet in big art museums so I was one of the grateful ones. After a nice rest I sketched this young couple sharing a bean bag.
. . .while listening to, who else! Janis. . .
This is me, grooving for a few minutes. A totally natural high. By this point in the day we were all pretty giddy as years had been shorn off our ages.
And we weren’t the only ones. Like this fellow who we spoke with. I sketched this later that night from a picture I’d taken. My husband came out to my studio and the walls were pulsating with Jefferson Airplane as I painted. “Remember what the doormouse said” Or just go see the exhibit.