the Reception...

Hannah views my artwork installation.
Friday was the Reception for the Open Studios Preview Exhibition at our local Art Gallery. Its pretty exciting for such a small town to have such a nice art gallery in the first place and it was an honor to have my work hung amongst some might fine artists.

My sister-in-law Ceal, took all of these shots with the exception of the last one which my hubby took for me. I was very bad and didn't take any pictures myself of the art that also hung because I was kind of nervous and overwhelmed by the whole thing. 

If you follow me on Facebook, you may recall that I mentioned that this was my FIRST gallery showing aside from college when I both hung and showed our gallery shows since I practically LIVED in the art department. I took a Gallery Methods class during that time which taught basics of readying and displaying artwork. While that class has served me well over the years, it wasn't much help when it came time to ready some of these pieces for display. I have learned my lesson, that I MUST figure out a method to hang the piece BEFORE I start building the piece because once it is all tiled and built, it can be a b*&#! to prepare.

Anyway, my parents all came and of course my hubby and daughter. I think it was pretty exciting for my daughter to see my work hung in a real gallery because while she has always seen me make art and I have never denied her any art supplies or space to create her own, I want her to know that it is never too late to do things. Its never too late to try new things and to tackle new goals. She can do anything if she sets her mind to it. Whether she is 15, or almost 45 like me, she can do new things and be nervous but feel proud of herself because she just jumped in with both feet.

Visiting with my friends.
The other thing that made me feel amazing was that some of my friends made this event a priority in their lives. I invited all my family and local friends and their kids.. because, let's face it. Art is important!  It meant the world to me that some of my friends took time out of their Friday night and came down to the gallery to support me and cheer me on. My friend Theresa, is a new friend from school. We hit it off quickly and I love her kids. She and the kids all came and gave me hugs and showed me how proud they were of me. They couldn't stay long, but the act of making a few minutes meant a lot to me. My friend Tracy, came with her family too. She was one of the first Mom friends I met here in town and we have kept in touch and now work together. After the reception she sent me a text thanking me for including her in my "celebration". Really, I felt I should be thanking her.

So even though this shot isn't the best shot, it is the most meaningful to me and will serve as the best reminder of how I felt that night. The man in the picture is Mr Kent Child, who is a fellow artist and who, with his wife Kathleen, happens to be my neighbor.  Mr. Child also served as an instructor and Dean at Gavilan College while I attended and after. What was meaningful was that during the reception he took me aside and made a point of telling me how much he enjoyed my work and how much of a gift he thought I had for composition, design and color. He seemed genuinely excited to have a "newbie" participating in the Open Studios process and especially one that brought something different to the table. 

WHY, does this mean so much? Of course everyone likes to receive kudos, but it was the affirmation that I was good enough, from a "stranger", that made it more worthwhile. Of course I value what my friends have to say, but don't you find yourself always wondering if they are "just telling you that to be nice"? I have had to overcome some serious self doubt and feelings of unworthiness during this process. Its different than being published in a magazine or book. Somehow if they say NO it doesn't seem so personal, at least not to me, as to have your work scrutinized in front of you. I know many of my fellow Open Studio artists where wondering what the heck I did when I spoke at our organizational meeting. "Mixed Media and Polymer Clay mosaics".. what?? Well, now they know... :)

Next step is the Open Studios Tour itself. I have just three more weeks to finish everything up and get ready!! Hope to see you there...

Ella's image in my mirror. "Ella" painting by my friend Chenoa.
Me and the pieces that I selected to hang.


  1. I'm SO proud of you! Wish I could have been there! I can't wait to see you and to be there during Open Studios!!! It's going to be AWESOME!!


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