The best stories all
start with random emails from 15-year-old girls:
Subject: i found your art portfolio
From: 'punky bruster*'
Apr 26, 2006
I know this is probably really weird, but, I have
something i think might be yours. I just wanted to ask
if you're the nick fagerlund that went to macalester
college class of '05. My name is Raylynn. I live, I
think, in the house you used to live when you went to
school. When my family and I moved in my mother found
your portfolio in our attic. When I saw the artwork I
liked it a lot. Im a 15 year old student who is doing
a teen produced t.v. show called set it up for
SPNN(st. paul neighborhood network). When I found
this/your work I thought it might be a very
interesting to do a piece on this mysterious
portfolio. Our current episode is on art, our deadline
for being done with this is may 1st. So if you could
get back to me before then, that would kick ass.
The portfolio in question, of course, was from Drawing I, which I took in Fall of 2004. As far as I was able to remember, it contained some 5-minute figure exercises, a few still-lifes, and the bulk of a huge, soul-destroyingly difficult final project which, during crits, was almost universally panned as obtuse, abusively cryptic, emotionally distant, and technically weak. (I may have been reading between the lines for some of that.) I abandoned it in May when I moved back to Olympia. Partly because moving it would have been an enormous pain in the ass, and partly because I was feeling kind of ambiguous about its contents. I dunno; that class was Emotionally Complicated.
So I replied, she called me back, and I did this TV segment with her on Sunday the 7th. It was weird but cool, and I reclaimed a few of the pieces that I decided I still liked and left the rest with her according to the rules of Finders Keepers. Besides, it was nice to know that they had ended up somewhere where they were appreciated.
I guess that tracking me down had been this totally absurd odyssey for her, and I had become a sort of minor celebrity among the staff of SPNN. So, so, SO strange. And that's how I spent my Sunday.
* That's actually my only regret from this whole business: I never remembered to ask the lass how in the hell a 15-year-old would know who Punky Brewster was. The readers are free to write this off as a Mystery Of The Universe.