Allison Gildersleeve- Sept 14, 2019

Auxiliary Projects is pleased to present Paper Trail, an exhibition of sculpture and installation by painter Allison Gildersleeve on view from September 14 through October 19, 2019.

An opening reception will be held Saturday, September 14, from 6-8pm.

Allison Gildersleeve, “Paper Trails,” installation view

When I was in middle school, my father had painted all of our furniture green. Lichen green. Chairs, tables, bookshelves, bureaus, headboards. Years later it was mustard yellow, but now most of our furniture is black. 

Wait, also. Mom?


This time my son waited safely in the hallway. 

I’m here.

Atomic just yakked on the couch–just so you know. 

And this is why we don’t have nice things. The cat is supposed to live outside. All the damn time. 

I scrubbed with the toilet brush, then dropped it in the little flower pot, before one last flush.

Our minister had insisted on coming over, even after I had explained the three of us were fine. Sure my father is a handful, but so was I once upon a time. Ha, ha. When your dad runs miles with a lamp on his head–looping around the golf course where all the cool kids live–you’re bound to rebel. Yes we are fine. I’m fine. Oh no, he no longer makes his chainsaw carvings–I removed the spark plug and clutch ages ago. Ah ha ha. And I can still tutor chemistry and math in my sleep. Yes, yes. Just fine, no need to stop by. 

The minister wasn’t buying it. I had smiled wanting to avoid the pleasantries, the tea or coffee, and being my charming self. 

Now I had just enough time to clean the cat mess (which I did in record time), do a quick sidewalk check for the same cat’s gifts (sometimes he stacks bodies for extra credit) before I could change into a dry shirt. 

I stepped out onto the porch, and there it was: a suffocating lavender covering every surface, like a giant wave had rolled over, and then receded. Here I’d been worried about a few dead moles, birds, bunnies, mice, or the occasional bat. Paint, the color of light romance, soaked the entire scene. Shapes suggested the doorbell, the welcome mat, the mailbox, and all the rest. 

–excerpted from “Solve for X” by Lucy Gildersleeve Willoughby