"A Rake's Progress" Goes to Nashville
The Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) has a summit each year, in a different city in the US. Along with the conference they have an international juried exhibition. This year, a piece I entered was selected by the jury for the show! I am especially proud of this piece, and honored that it was selected. The venue for the Mosaic Arts International is The Parthenon in Nashville, a full scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 for the centennial of the state of Tennessee and now it’s in a park and is a museum. It’s very cool that our exhibition gets to be there, and that the show is up for almost four months! The summit is April 23–28, so I am looking forward to the artists’ reception on Wednesday, April 24.
I’ve been a member since the very early days of the organization. My first conference was in 2004 in San Francisco. It was a heady time, when many people were being introduced to the art of mosaic, with the possibility of it transforming from an ancient art, mainly for functional and decorative purposes, to a contemporary fine art medium. In the ensuing 15 years, artists around the world have taken the art form to new heights. I was just finding my way back then dabbling in ceramics as well as mosaic, and every year I’d create things that looked completely different than the year before! “Finding My Voice”, I guess you call it. Back then the field of entries for the exhibitions was a bit smaller, and many were beginners. I was juried in to quite a few of those early shows, but I knew it was just a matter of time until there would be stiff competition, and I wouldn’t get in. This is what you expect, entering juried shows, so I felt I was lucky in having such success early in my career. Finally the year came when I didn’t get in. Phew! I was glad that first rejection was behind me. It made me want to keep working to improve my skills, and refine my voice. And, I was steeled for further rejection. An artist has to have a thick skin to persevere and keep making art. It’s hard, but it’s all a part of it!
Success, failure, joy and pain are all a part of life, and art making. The way to keep moving forward is to get into your studio, as much as you can, and work! Putter around and experiment, keep learning from masters, drink in the beauty around you, and get to work. Don’t wait for the lightning bolt to hit you; you need to be open and actively pursuing your creativity.
Click here to see the final work.