Last May represented a major coupe for the local art collaborative, Sistahs of the Arts. This was a big step for us because it was our first major show and the fact that the funding was provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts out of New York City, was all the more reason to give a shout.
In addressing the theme as an individual artist, the inward search and sharing of what factors have contributed to me being where I am today as a creative soul proved to be more of a purging than anything else. My initial vision for my entries were to revisit my birthplace and the summers spent there with my first creative mentors...my grandmother and two aunts, lovingly known as Big Mama, Aunt Near and Aunt MeMe. Memories of barefoot, carefree summers, sticky hands holding dripping Popsicles, dresses sewn by my Big Mama and Aunt MeMe with beautiful smocking...but that didn't happen. Instead, I was catapulted into my college years at Dartmouth College where in my junior year a visiting professor publicly skewered me during class, questioning out loud my abilities as an art student and my misguided hopes to ever become an artist. This painful life changing experience would at first cause me to make an inner vow to never make art again(which sadly, I tried to uphold for the next ten years)and later in life would serve as the catalyst for my embracing a teaching and lifestyle in which encouragement of dreams is crucial. Some might say I took the lemon and made lemonade!
As you view the sideshow, please note the first image(which didn't appear in the show) titled, "The Vow" followed by three faces which are appropriately titled, "Angst,Awareness and Acceptance". The larger pieces(24 1/4" x 48 3/4")are titled "Submission"(young girl on her knees with arms reaching up to the heavens) and "Dream Keeper"(in the foreground the present day me carrying out that dream,secretly thanking the inner child for not letting go of that precious part of her. In the upper left is the four year old me sitting with a dream of one day becoming an artist).
Now at the beginning of this new year I'm heading off to Tanzania to not only share the benefits of working together as women artists, but the all important message of keeping and nurturing our dreams until they become our reality. Oh, and let me mention I'm sipping on a tall, cool glass of lemonade!!!