A Reflection on Recognition

Enjoying a quiet and peaceful winter, I had quite a surprise come February 23rd when I received the Berea Arts Council’s 2019 Artist of the Year award. The first words out of my mouth were “how could this be?” I was grateful to learn about this a few weeks before, so I was not an emotional mess at the event and had time to plan my words.

Being an artist can be a solitary life--one where a battle with resistance is a persistent source of irritation at best and a total distraction at worst. Resistance to showing up, resistance to doing, negative internal nagging about everything we do or don't do, about our ideas, our skills and even the value of our life.

Receiving that award in front of my community, my family and my peers gave that resistance a kick to the curb, for a while anyway. It is our responsibility to do our work without regard to how it will be received. Otherwise, we are doing the work of pleasing and not our "work." To quote Robert Bresson, “To make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”. Recognition is sweet as it validates our efforts, our dreams and that our work does matter.

The Zen proverb “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water” seems appropriate here. Before award, making art, offering workshops. After award, making art, offering workshops. Back to work!

My mission is to empower women through creative expression and connection. I invite you to join me in a safe, relaxing and inspiring environment to connect to your creativity, to yourself and with others. The spring and summer schedules are now on the website under workshops.

“This was a lovely opportunity to explore new pathways to renew my spirit and connect to other women in positive ways.” Participant Art Retreat

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