You know…I don’t know where to start. I have good news…but it’s like I am almost afraid to share it for fear that something will happen and it will fall through…or not be real. But I guess its okay to share…so I will.
If you follow my ramblings or any social media blahdy-dah…then you know I make art every day. But before that… I have been making art my whole life…from when I carried around a Sheds Spread butter tub filled with crayons around with me , along with my Barbie coloring books of course…from middle school with Mrs. Berliner…to being inspired to be an art teacher myself by my amazing art teacher Robin Calcutt…to my days running around with charcoal and glitter on my face as an undergrad at the East Carolina School of Art…to going back for my MAEd and taking textile classes again with my beloved Christine Zoller, who encouraged my love of embellishment and color (but said, ‘hey Jen, take it easy on the glitter’)…to finding and losing time and motivation for making art after grad school…to coming across the Creative Every Day challenge…making art every day, meeting my creative girlfriends down here in Florida and finding excuses to have girls art nights…being a part of the dream that is Art Hive Magazine (Jess and Angela, thank you so much for including me and my craziness!) …art…has always been in my life. But I don’t think at any point I thought to myself, I am going to be an ‘artist’ when I grow up, which seems weird, right?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a geologist. Seriously, I was a total rock nerd- I had an amazing collection, too…wish I still had it. Somewhere around middle school art became, well…me. In high school I decided I wanted to be an art teacher…and in college I became convinced that I didn’t belong in the gallery world and neither did my art…so I didn’t try. My work wasn’t serious, the colors were too bright…too much embellishment…no one ever said it per se but I just looked around and that’s how I felt. I have the technical training, I have completed drawing, painting, ceramics, surface design, weaving… I have learned tons of art history (and I love it!) but my work is more whimsical than the formal training I received. I just didn’t think there was a place for what I do. Even though I make my art every day…and even though I have over a thousand pieces of work on hand… I still never thought I would have my work accepted by a ‘fancy white walled gallery’.
But on Tuesday…it was. My work was accepted.
I contacted the gallery a while back via their web site…sent some information and received an email to set up a meeting, so I did. To prepare for the meeting, I went through my work from the past three years and made digital files of the pieces I liked best from each year…then selected some physical pieces to take with me. I went to sleep not really sure of myself but still excited.
So that is how it came to be that me, gal from North Carolina, who likes to make pretty faces, will have work in a real gallery. It was a dream that I didn’t allow myself to have. But…it happened.
My hope is that folks coming in will like my work. I hope that the prices will allow them buy it, or buy it for others. I hope that it will one day hang in regular houses and even fancy houses. I hope that working class people, professionals, young hands, and old hands will have the chance to purchase the work. I hope that it will make money for the gallery so that they can continue to give back to the community and to help even more artists. I hope that someone will see it and feel inspired, maybe someone will dreams of seeing their work hanging in a gallery too.
Just like I did.
So anyway…thanks again to Elizabeth, Ken and Sharon for taking the time to look at my work…and for giving me a chance.
Artist and Art Teacher