Saturday, March 24, 2012
Humble Pie & Celebration Of Arts......
This past week the Five Wings Arts Council held the first of what I assume will be an annual event with great success and rightfully titled the 'Celebration of Arts'.
The celebration began with a social and processioned with a wonderful dinner and was held at the Prairie Bay Restaurant in Baxter, MN.
Amidst the attendance numbers of 150 was a few featured guests. The Executive Director of the Minnesota State Arts Director, Sue Gens. The Director of Arts Programs from the McKnight Foundation, Vickie Benson, and the Executive Director from the Minnesota Citizens For The Arts, Sheila Smith. I was fortunate to have reserved seating with these ladies that play a very important roll in the arts, and very much enjoyed their company thru the event.
The event held an entertainment of vocal performances, followed by an onslaught of well deserved awards with applause to those who have played their part. The beautiful awards were created by artist in Pine River, Minnesota and went to support in the following areas. Community Arts Leadership Awards, Distinguished Arts Organization of the Year Award, Arts Advocacy Award, Past FWAC Board Service Awards, and the Student Artist Grant Recipients. Also beautifully created by a local artist, the impressive Master Nominee Awards and the Guilded Feather Award.
I had chose to hope that I wouldn't be put in a position to sweat profusely and humiliate myself by giving a speech, and rather than preparing one ahead, I had to deliver on the spot.
The accomplished presentations by the featured guests thru out the event were entertaining and put me in some sort of a mood. The sort of mood that makes an artist grateful to be touched by the warmth and caring support in every form.
I wish you had been there, so you could have heard. Not that the 'on the spot speech' was a revelation, but because I want you to know. (and I really need to add a few more )...
The beginning of an attempt went something like this.... after getting a bit accustomed to the microphone...
"I wasn't planning to say anything, but as I sat, listening as the awards were handed out, I began to understand a bit what it feels like to be a celebrity. Not that I think I am a celebrity, but, because I understand why they would cry. So with that I would thank all those previously mentioned tonight, in their part they have played. Mark, Vicki, the McKnights Foundation, for help along the way...."
As I drove away, I understood what it then felt like to be a bit of a celebrity who had forgot to mention some very important names, which is why I wanted to create this post in the first place.
Some of the following were remembered publicly, however, I want to mention them again.
My parents... you are the first on my list, who, when I think of whom to be grateful, and my family... for continued support and encouragement. Thank you for always being you.
For those who have pulled from their pocket to put in mine, large and small amounts, thank you ever so much. It is your support that enables me to continue living and working toward my goal.
For those who have supported the arts in ways of appreciation and acknowledgement and community events. Thank you for caring, and giving the arts recognition.
The FWAC, Mark, Vicki, Nancy.... past and present board members, and the Mcknight Foundation... For your hard work and the grants I have received along the way.... I only dare take a lid off of what your assistance has done... Thank you !
The States Arts Board, for constant improvements, and giving me reasons to dream of grants that would help me achieve the steps along the way.
The Minnesota Citizens For The Arts, for your dedication and hard work.
The First National Bank of Menahga & Sebeka, as well as the Cottage House, for sharing often, your public space.
To the Kurtti's for continued support. An attempt to express my appreciation would be understated. Thank you.
There are so many more, that play their part. The hard work of curators, support systems, and effort of galleries. Artists who have openly shared and know what it is like to have 'been there', and who 'are there'.
Last, but not least, a personal favorite and good friend, Artist Raymond Wattenhoffer, and another artist, who I regretfully did not mention publicly, Nancy Leaseman, who I appreciated often during her employment at the FWAC.
I also shared upcoming information, such as my attendance at the Scottsdale Artists School with artist Milt Kobayashi... (I will be leaving the 1st of April and fly back on the 16th)
The subject of leaving UGallery was lightly touched, with the intention of continued purpose and meaning towards the Guilded Feather Award.
Desert was not humble pie, though it well could have been, as my 'speech' had slated for last.
* I will be updating this post with the artists names and links for their work next week*
To view the workmanship of the 'Guilded Feather' award... click on the image for full screen...