Since its starting year -- except for the pandemic "time-out" -- I've happily participated in a local art show/sale.
This particular show has always held a special place in my heart because its proceeds go to a wide range of local charities.
Despite my history with this show/sale, it wasn't until this year that my eyes opened to something I’d overlooked. I had worn blinders.
Being an artist is a state of being; I've always known this to be a big part of my identity; so awards and ribbons haven’t mattered to me. Outside recognition is nice, of course, but my goal in making art is to dance with the Holy Spirit – He leads and I follow. For me, nothing else can top this taste of heaven. Once an artwork is done, I’ve already moved on, mentally. I’m usually preoccupied with plans for an upcoming art-making adventure, so I appear “spacey” to some people; but so what?
Believe this or not: Because I’ve always known I’m an artist, it had never dawned on me that some people make art hungering for outside recognition. They look to the bigger world for validation.
Over the summer of 2022, I’d participated in an online class of more than a 1,000 participants in English-speaking countries around the world. That class started to open my eyes; then, participating in this year’s local art show completed the picture for me.
I'd been so busy living inside my own little soul that I had never before glimpsed a wonderful truth --
A very important function of this show ... and probably many other shows/sales ... is that ribbons are hung and award certificates are handed out. This is priceless encouragement for people who are drawn to art-making, yet seek outside affirmation. In giving public recognition to these people, this kind of show chases away the mini-demons of self-doubt.
I applaud that.
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