ARC Gallery in Chicago. It was almost a surreal experience. I learned that more than 400 pieces of art were submitted and 36 were accept. When I went to visit my piece, "Mirage: Not Always as It Seems," I discovered that I was one of four honorable mentions. There are also one best of show. If as the evening could not get better, one of the board members approached me about applying for membership in the gallery because my piece was her favorite and she was thrilled when it was accepted. She also liked the other piece I submitted and felt if this indicated the type of work that I do that I would be most welcomed into the gallery. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I am still processing it all. And, yes, I am considering applying because it scares me and I haven't done enough things that frighten me.
I thought I would share the other piece I submitted. I have been creating a series of dresses in cloth, clay, resin and paper. "Not in This Body" has to do with women and transgenders who do not feel at home in their own bodies. I was so proud of myself for actually being able to create barbed wire out of clay and successfully getting it out of the kiln in one piece.
"Mirage: Not Always as It Seems" deals with home not always being a safe place but the outside world does not know this. It's a deeply personal piece so having it accepted then acknowledge by the judges - Trevor Martin (Director of Exhibitions and Associate Curator at the School of the Art Institute) and Asha Veal Brisebois (graduate student in art administration and policy student at School of the Art Institute Chicago)- is beyond words for me. My parents never embraced my desire to create art. They thought I should become a teacher or a secretary. Seeing the world differently was something that made them uncomfortable. Deciding it was time to risk more has paid off more than I ever imagined. What risk have you taken that has paid off more than you imagined?