My second Juried Art Exhibition

Last October for the first time I entered a Juried Art Exhibition. It was a wonderful opportunity. One I never envisioned myself doing. But so grateful that I did.

As I write this blog post today, I realize that it’s been exactly 8 months since I last wrote. Yikes!! I’d love to gain some momentum with writing again. Let’s see if this will do it for me.

This past April a new art gallery opened in town, Cailuan Gallery. My painting “Dreaming, Underwater Dreams” was accepted for the exhibition. I was thrilled. When I sent photos of 3 of my paintings, I purposefully, for some reason didn’t want to send a photo of that painting. I felt that it shouldn’t be entered. Not sure why because I really like that one. I realized only after I had sent out the email, that I had indeed sent a photo of that painting. A week later I received an email saying they wanted to show my painting. I guess there were no error after all.

This month Focus Art Association was having another exhibition. I didn’t pay much attention, since I knew that there was no way that I could enter this time around. I had way too much happening in my life. Then one evening, my husband was reading the newspaper and he says, do you know that Focus Art is having another Juried Art Exhibition? I knew. But, in that instant after hearing him tell me this, I knew I had to enter one of my paintings in particular. It didn’t matter if I had time or not. I had to do it. The painting I thought about, was the one I had given my son for his 25th birthday 2 years ago. It didn’t matter all the things that were happening in my life, something told me, do it!!

When I painted this piece for him, I had a very clear intention for it, and it had to be hung a certain way. It had a healing message for both of us that was hidden underneath and inside the layers of paint. When I presented it to him for his birthday that year, he understood the message. The look on his face when he saw it, said it all. So with this art exhibition this month, I knew I had to enter that piece especially, and I’ll share about that next.

It will be 2 years in a few more weeks that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That day, lots of things were going through my mind, one especially, and that is that I knew without a doubt that we had to put our son’s name on a wait list for a residential placement. I didn’t know what I’d be facing with my health in the months to come. I absolutely needed to know that he would be cared for if I couldn’t take care of him for whatever reasons. So the very next day, I made that call and his name was placed on an urgent list for a residential placement.

Just a few weeks ago, we finally received a call telling us that a spot had become available for him. My husband and I went to visit the home three days ago. This was something that we both have dreaded since our son was diagnosed with autism 24 years ago. Over the years, not too distant past, I began realizing that taking care of him for the rest of my days, was definitely not in my best interest or anyone else’s. So this week we went to visit this residential home for him where he would get 24/7 care from support staff. My husband and I were both choking back tears as we walked towards the home. Once we entered the home, the 3 residents living there welcomed us with their big smiles and friendly handshakes. The tears dried up, and our worries and sorrows began to shift a little. Somehow, it felt that everything will be ok. We hope that our son will also feel good about this when we will take him for a visit. We go with him for a visit early next week. We feel he’s ready for more experiences and opportunities that as parents we can’t necessarily give him at this stage of his life. Like any typical young adult, they move on with their lives. He’s no different really, only thing he needs way more support.

Once we visit the home with him, then we must make a decision fairly quickly whether we accept the placement for him or not. This is one of the things happening in my life, among many others right now. This was the reason I felt that there was no way that I could enter a juried art exhibition. How could I? I didn’t feel that this was a priority right now. But I did anyway. And after doing so, I realized that I had said yes to myself. I was saying yes to my creativity, my passion, even my dreams. And with our son probably moving out in the near future, then I will have an opportunity to hang up my full-time Mom hat. For me being a stay-at-home Mom has lasted over 28 years. It’s time for me to discover who I am apart from being just a mom all the time. Having chosen to enter my artwork in this show proved to me that I’m serious about beginning to discover who I am as a person, as someone separate from my kids. I was proud of myself for having said yes to me.

By choosing to enter the painting that I gave to my son a few years ago, I felt that it would help bring something good with this transition that’s about to unfold for all of us with him.

I brought 4 paintings in to go through the juried process. I sat in on a Saturday listening to the juror critiquing 181 paintings. Three of my paintings were accepted for the exhibition, only one of my paintings came back home. 3 out of the 4 paintings accepted. Wow!! Last fall’s exhibition, I had brought in 3 paintings and 2 were accepted. I feel that I might be on to something here. 🙂

The painting below is my son’s, titled “Energy Connection”. It was accepted for the art exhibition, and I was so deeply touched that it did.

Last fall I painted the one below and my daughter loved it, so I gave it to her at Christmas. I then asked her if I could borrow it to enter it in the art show, she was happy to let me take it. It also got accepted. That one titled “Retro Vibes”.

Below, on the right my son’s painting, and on the left, my daughter’s painting. I was happy that they both got accepted and were hung up close to one another.

The Vernissage / Award evening was last Friday. I attended with my daughter. I loved how the paintings were displayed this year. There are so many talented artists in our community. It’s beautiful to see. The exhibition is still on for 3 more days if you haven’t gone, be sure to attend if you live locally.

Below, my small framed Acrylic Ink on Yupo Paper painting, titled “I AM”. This one is going to a friend of mine.

There was so much beautiful art work, all from local artists that filled the walls of this big room. It was a feast for the eyes.

There was 130 paintings hanging on the walls. At the Awards evening, 20 people received prizes for First Place and Second Place, and some received Honourable Mentions. My name was called for the Mixed Category, and I received an Honourable Mention for my small piece titled “I AM”. I was incredibly thrilled. I couldn’t believe it, my painting had been chosen for an award. It took me days to stop smiling and feeling all giddy. 🙂

Here I am receiving my award. 🙂

Thanks for dropping in to browse at the beautiful artwork, and to catch up with me and my rusted attempt at writing.

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Comments

  1. Diane Wolcott says:

    Suzanne! You should be so proud! I would be giddy and smiling, too! It means even more that the pieces you submitted had such personal meaning. I know you must be relieved, and a bit anxious about Kyle’s living arrangements, but like you said, he will continue to grow as he is exposed to new people and things, even as he continues doing what he already does. I’m very happy for you all!

    WOW! It doesn’t seem like two years have passed already since your diagnosis! I understand about the writing, too. I go for months without writing in my journal and often feel like I’m not writing about things that really matter to me. Sometimes I’m shocked at how much time has passed since I last wrote! Oh well, we can’t do it all, can we? At least not all at once! Having said that, I’m so glad that you decided to go ahead and submit for this exhibition. There is such a freedom in discovering ourselves, the real us, apart from being a wife, mother, daughter, etc.. I am on that journey as well and loving it! All the best to you!

  2. I am so excited for you in so many ways! I think it is so wonderful that your paintings were accepted and so beautifully hung, Suzanne! A big sign from the Universe to keep on painting and showing your work, no matter how crazy your life gets. It is sort of a grounding for you, it seems, to be creative. You go, girl <3

  3. Hi Suzanne, it’s lovely to pop in here after all these months and see you write as if you never stopped. I am so happy to read so many good things are coming to you with all you have been through. It’s so nice to see you painting big and entering juried shows and how fun to win an award!! Bravo! 😀 Suzi

  4. Hugs to you. Your love for you son comes out so clearly in your words and the painting is absolutely beautiful. Congratulations on having it accepted and good luck on your journey! It’s so inspiring to see the connections you are creating between your life and your art.

  5. June Marcano says:

    Hi Suzanne, glad to see you writing, again. I was wondering how you were doing. Congratulations! Love your paintings! You continue to inspire me Sending you Love nd Light. Yes!

    • Hi June, thanks so much for dropping in to read my blog post and for asking how I have been doing. I’m doing really well thanks. I did take a long break away from blogging I realize. Slowly working my way back into it. 🙂

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