Well the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Art Fair was this weekend. It’s a nice little one day show. It’s my local show, so it was nice to see friends and family.
Some folks are unaware that at most art fairs there are awards given. At this fair, there were category prizes, best in show, and several runners-up. The best in show award went to Scott Hartley! I featured his work last month when I traded some work for a print. I talked to Scott at the show and realized that last time I didn’t link to his website. Well here it is!
Another painter whose work I’m enamored with is Jeff Condon. I met Jeff last year at an art fair and have been pining over one of paintings/pastels ever since. Jeff won the prize for best paintings on Saturday!
All-in-all it was a good show. I had a woman customer come into my booth, who told me she’s been collecting my work from the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Gift Shop. That is always nice to hear. As she went on, she asked me if I recognized her, which I didn’t. When she told me her name I got goosebumps, as she announced that she was my nemesis in college. I don’t know if I would go that far, but she did have a profound impact on my college career.
As some of you may know, when I was a sophomore in college a dear friend and golf teammate of mine was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Her name was Maggie Wardle. It was a very devastating time in my life and it seemed that one event after another took place during that 10 week quarter.
This woman (whom shall remain nameless) worked in the financial aid office and because of an oversight with my high school GPA, my academic scholarship was in jeopardy due to NCAA regulations. Basically, I could continue to play golf and loose my scholarship or quit the golf team. It was really the last thing I needed. After long talks with my golf coach about the financial ramifications, I decided to quit the golf team and focus more on my artwork. It wasn’t a difficult decision, due to the fact that since one of my golf teammates was murdered, playing on the team would be painful.
Why am I telling you this? The lady I ran into felt horrible about what had happened. I told her it was ok. She wanted to know if I still played golf and I do sometimes. But what I told her was that it was just bad timing and because of everything that went on (there is more) I’ve become a better person. I’ve always enjoyed the old adage “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
It was very nice of her to reintroduce herself to me, because she didn’t have to. After the initial shock wore off I realized I had forgiven her, after all it wasn’t her fault. If I had played that last season (junior year I was abroad) and not focused on art, I may not be where I am today. And let me tell you, I really love making pots, much more than a 18-hole tournament.