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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beading at the Fair!

I am so very excited to announce that I have been invited to participate in the Minnesota State Fair  Fine Arts "Studio: HERE" program this year!  In this curated exhibit, a practicing Minnesota artist is installed in a small studio space in the middle of the gallery show, to providing a window into the WORK of creating art.  The fair runs 12 days, and 12 artists (one for each day) from a range of disciplines are invited to spend 12 hours, working and interacting with gallery visitors.
Detail from my 2010 Fine Art Show entry, which won the Jewelry Catgory the only year is was offered.
"January Dawn"
 When I got the invitation, of course my first reaction was to think that I might not be worthy and that the organizer might not understand that I am a part time bead artist, who supports herself with a full time ballroom dance competition costume business.  So I dashed off an e-mail explaining that there were other local beaders with much more experience than my own, books to their credit, and international reputations.  I explained that I was not a "professional artist" making my living through my bead art.  As I fretted about the annoyance of having integrity and telling the truth, a friend offered me her definition of  professional artist vs. amateur artist, which I found very amusing: 

"An amateur artist is one who works an unrelated, full time job to support the pursuit of her art work. A professional artist is one who has a spouse who works an unrelated, full time job to support the pursuit of her art work."
My 2011 entry to the Fine Arts Exhibit, which was not accepted.
"Persephone's Return"
Fortunately, I was informed that the curators were looking for individual artists with a combination of experience, a body of work, and eduction, as well as passion for their work, and that I would do nicely.  So I accepted!

Other friends tried to imagine the scene.  One of my favorites came from my fB friend Chris Maj: "How cool is that?! I envision groups of tourists being led by a tour guide whispering "And here we have the Bead-a-saurus Sparkletastica. The female of this species spends her days hunting the tiniest, most colorful beads. We have caught her in a rare moment as she weaves the adornments she will use to attract a mate."
My 2012 entry in the Fine Arts Show, which was juried in and was sold before the show opened.
"Daisy Buchanan : Innocence in Decay"
Actually, I imagine it will not be very different from demonstrating in the Creative Activities building, which I have done for several years as a member on the Upper Midwest Bead Society.  And I alternate between being really excited to talk to people about what I do, and mild terror.

SO, I hope any of you who are able might stop by on my day in the Fine Arts gallery, Friday August 30th from 9am to 9pm, to say hello.  Wear your UMBS shirt if you have one, and help me move forward my personal mission to make sure that there is room for bead art in the beautiful Fine Arts Gallery each year.  Please submit beaded art work each year to the juried competition if you have something to offer.  It is not an easy show to get into.  There are over 2500 entries each year, and just over 10% of those are accepted.  BUT, persistence pays off!  I have entered my "Picnic in May on Lilac Way" this year and do not yet know if it will be juried into the show, but I am allowed to have one of my pieces on exhibit for the run of the fair, so once again, beads will be represented in the gallery.
My entry in the 2013 Fine Arts Show, jury status as yet unknown.
"Picnic in May on Lilac Way"