March 2, 2010

Champagne and Memories

I attended the memorial service for my friend, John Gutierrez, last night. He and his family have meant so much to me for many years. It was an evening of old friends, great memories, beautiful music, lots of tears, some laughter and many, many cases of champagne.

Before the memorial started, I had the chance to wander around Clipper Mill and appreciate how integral John has been to the design and overall look of the place. Many of his pieces dot the landscape, which is still buried under a lot of snow.

From the huge old iron industrial pieces RIP John 021to an amazing iron  and glass sculptural piece hanging from a massive hook,RIP John 030 

RIP John 024

RIP John 025

from the romanesque swimming pool RIP John 031 to the kinetic pieces dotting the property, RIP John 017 there were memories of John’s work all over the property.RIP John 019As everyone entered John’s 80k square foot studio/workshop, they were greeted by one of the family members, and a waiter handing them a flute of champagne. I thought that this was so emblematic of this great artist – classic with a flair!  Note to self: make sure you request this in your funeral planning…

Family members and friends lit 45 candles, one for every year of John’s brief but full life.  Memories were shared. Music was played. A brief video was shown. And then the command came: Let’s get this party started! The chairs were pushed back, the rug was rolled up. The bar was opened, dinner was served. And then the band started to rock the house. RIP John 040

I can’t think of a more fitting way to say goodbye to a man who lived life to its very fullest.


  1. It looks like it was a beautiful service Meg.


  2. Meg,

    That is a lovely tribute, thank you for sharing. Sending a hug your way.

  3. Meg--what a great way to celebrate the life of someone so dear. Thanks for sharing and continued thoughts to you and his family as you try to heal.


  4. That is exactly how I want my loved ones to see me off.
    What a beautiful, creative, inspirational, and loving goodbye.

  5. Touching and beautiful! I love the new header... I, too, am leaving winter behind in my thoughts even though it is snowing here in NC as I type ;(.

  6. I love the tribute to your friend. What a wonderful way to celebrate his life.

  7. hi Meg, so sorry about you're friend. It's hard, I know. What a great tribute to him though, he would have been proud and was dancing and drinking his way into heaven.

  8. Amen Meg; truly a great way to give tribute and celebrate this mans creativity and life. I always said this is what I would like as well. Fun in life, and fun in death. Thanks for posting his beautiful work. x

  9. May we all live so well loved and die among friends...and a party. Sorry for your loss, and for the loss of the art world's true ones.

  10. It was a magnificent send off for Guti. Just the way I imagine he had envisioned it.

  11. Thanks for sharing this wonderful evening for a friend. Grief and joy and community-how could it be more perfect.

  12. Eric... it cracked me up last night when they were talking about the Guti-o 54 Party! What a blast that one was!

  13. What a moving, lovely tribute, Meg, and what a classy farewell. Joy, joy, joy -- what we always need more of in life.


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