When I was in high school, my art teachers included my work in school wide displays of student’s work and asked me to bring back pieces that I had taken home to be entered in the district wide art show. Most of my work was nature themed acrylic paintings. It was over three decades later before I again submitted any of my creations to contests or exhibitions for judging and viewing by the public.
My foray back into competitions and shows began with some small Etsy team design challenges. My photographic art garnered good feedback and I found myself with my first actual placing in January of 2010 with my “Sparkles” holiday card. In February of that same year one of my recycled wood creations was selected by the eco-friendly category judge as one of twelve finalists in the 2010 Handmade Olympics. With the exception of the Handmade Olympics, these were all fun, peer reviewed and voted on contests that I have continued to submit pieces to as a design theme matches something I have already created or am inspired to create. It took a push from another art teacher and artist for me to submit my art for viewing and review by a larger audience and jury.
After my "push", I submitted two framed photographic art series pieces to the Arlington Museum of Art’s Community Showcase last fall. I entered one of those pieces in the Arlington Visual Arts Association’s Regional Juried Show in February of this year. I was keeping my fingers crossed that my entry would get chosen just to hang in the show. I was very happy when it was picked to hang and received a merit award too. My Gulf Fritillary series piece is currently hanging for public viewing with the other works selected for the show at the Bob Duncan Community Center in Arlington through March 30, 2012. It and the other winners will be moved to the rooftop gallery at the Arlington Museum of Art for display through May 25, 2012.
All of this, in addition to customer feedback at the local arts and crafts shows that I have participated in, led me to contacting a local gallery to see if they would be interested in displaying my work. As a result, my framed Jacobean Lily Series piece and gallery wrapped canvas print of Aliens Have Landed (seen above) are currently hanging at Gypsy Riddles Boutique and Gallery in downtown Arlington TX.