Pivotal Event #8 “Dancing in the Street”

If you had been walking along 4th Avenue in Kitsilano one fall day in 2010, you might have seen an artist dancing in the street. That artist was me. I was dancing and singing “Yes, oh yes, oh yes!” and receiving curious smiles from the well-wishers passing by.   Let me explain this rare burst of spontaneous public display: I had just received a phone call from the Art Rental & Sales program at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Back in the spring of 2010 I had submitted to their annual juried art call (images, bio, artist statement, etc.). This phone call was to inform me that I had been accepted into the program. Could I please come by their showroom with some paintings so that they could choose which pieces to add to their collection? Why yes, I most certainly could!   And so I was dancing, amazed at my good fortune. I knew that some very high-profile artists had been accepted into that program, and though I wasn’t yet in their league, it was pretty amazing to think my work would get to “rub shoulders” with theirs. I took a taxi (another rare event for me and this was before car sharing) and brought in four pieces for them to look at. They accepted three. 🙂

And so began one of the sweetest, most trustworthy, rewarding long-term business relationships of my art career. I continue to enjoy this relationship because of the wonderful opportunities the program provides, and also because of the fine people staffing the program.   One moment of that first phone call still holds a special place in my mind. I asked what it was in my paintings that the jury had responded to. I had expected an answer along the lines of  “The jury members especially liked your dark paintings (or your light ones).” But the answer was that they liked the ways I applied paint to the surface. I was amazed at the scope of this answer, because it meant that they could see the common threads that wove through my diverse palettes and techniques. The jury members had related to the style of what I had created as much as to the individual pieces. For me, this answer meant, “Keep on painting the way you’re painting. It’s working.” 

Photo above: Hawks Series 03 – circa 2010 – One of my first three piece accepted into the AR&S program

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