I was delighted to find out today that I have been accepted as a new member in Gallery 114. After a wonderful experience with Taproot last month, and being honored by being chosen best artist in the exhibit, I decided to make the leap and apply for membership. Now, as a member, I look forward to many opportunities to exhibit and share in the creative endeavors that this gallery and it's talented artists journey through. It is a time of new beginnings and what a great day to be given this news, at Jenni's house on her 30th birthday. Lots of excitement and lots more creating to come!
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” ~Nelson Mandela
It has been about a year since I have put myself out there and taken the risk, that always comes with showing my art to the public. This past year has been filled with many emotions that have drained me, and often stood in the way of my creating. Usually when something is moving me in life, I am helped to move through it by creating. This past year though I have felt stuck. I never thought I would ever be at a loss for creating, but although many creative impulses have moved through me I have felt somewhat paralyzed to create consistantly. When I saw the call for entries into Gallery 114's annual juried exhibit Taproot, it somehow stirred something inside of me, that compelled me to take the risk and submit images of my work. The theme Taproot intriqued me. I explored the word more thoroughly and thought of the center as well as the rootedness from which my work grows, what inspires and connects the artist to this limitless world. So I put myself out there and dared to fail.
I chose four pieces and when I was informed that they were all accepted into the exhibit I was filled with many emotions. Excitement and sense of accomplishment that comes from being accepted by your peers, to join in an exhibit, as well as the fear that comes from showing your vulnerable side, since my work is all a very personal reflection of my life, and in essence a part of me. I cannot ever separate myself from my work, my creations.
The First Thursday reception was upon me, and I was surrounded by my family and friends, who came out to support me and help celebrate, even some wonderful surprises from friends near and far that brought great joy to me. I entered the gallery with the trepidation that always seems to accompany me to these events, even thought I don't invite it, this shadow side always seems to hitch a ride. Not only did my sculptures stand front and center looking so strong as they felt anchored in the gallery, but the piece that somehow, as a harbinger, Jenni had chosen to use on the announcement card she created for me, heralded a sign that said First Place!
I was in shock, disbelief and pride that I am still in the process of digesting.
I close with a quote, shared with me by the wisest woman in my life, who always knows the most inspirational, supportive things to say, just when I need to hear them, Jenni.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
I am a collaborator with nature, often using found objects in my clay sculpture. My greatest inspiration is my motherhood and nature. Working with clay is a tactile, spiritual interaction. It's a dance as the image emerges and takes on a life form of it's own. The story gradually reveals itself and not always upon completion of the piece. It is a gradual unfolding.... "What the caterpillar thinks is the end of the world...the butterfly knows is only the beginning!"
I keep my spirit vitalized by creating mixed media sculpture, sculptural drawings, exploring narrative photography, writing, participating in collaborative art projects, volunteering for various Portland organizations, walking in the woods and along the Oregon coast collecting the next sculpture inspiration that nature offers me, enjoying the solitude of the Lake in Washington, kayaking, camping, snorkeling in Hawaii, making my voice heard as a quiet activist for various humanitarian issues, appreciating live theater and music in Portland and enjoying the vastly rich life that Oregon has to offer me, but especially spending time with my family. I am savoring my new journey as I explore the middle road of Buddhism. I try to live an "intentional life" every day with "Jo Y"! I feel like a square peg who has finally found her square hole!
I am an artist/partner of The AIR Gallery