Ms. Fields claims that when she won her first Oscar for Norma Rae, it was all so new to her and all very hard to believe. When she won her second Oscar in 1985 she was better able to fully appreciate the honor and to her it proved that the Academy really accepted and approved of her work. Thus her actual quote, "...You like me, right now, you like me."
I think I can relate to Sally Fields at her first Oscar event.
May 17 - 18th 2014 I was one of 187 artists allowed to display my artwork at the annual East Lansing Art Festival in East Lansing, Michigan. The event is juried. This means you must apply for a fee and a jury determines if you are allowed to display your art. My category was “Mixed media” and I was told that there were over 500 applicants from all over the world applying for the event. Though I didn’t win a prize, I meant it prior to the event and I mean it now when I say it was an honor just to have been a part of this very prestigious art show. I was in the “Emerging Artist Category”. How fitting that it was a year ago May 2013 that I even started my art form of Needle Felting on canvas. May 2014 a jury determined it was appealing enough to show my art in our East Lansing Art Festival. What a thrill!
One of the (many) highlights was when I checked in at a designated tent for all participants and a very nice festival staff member walked up to me and asked, “Are you an artist?” I almost giggled my reply, “Yes! Yes I am!” because as a new artist I realized I could actually call myself an “artist” thanks to this very event! He handed me my packet with a large name tag with "Artist" prominently displayed under my name. What a high point! Still, it wasn’t the only great moment during that weekend.
Not only were there 187 artists who participated, but there are numerous craft businesses that participated to sell their wares in another section of the festival. In addition, in 2013 it was estimated some 60,000 or more people attended the weekend-long festival. A large crowd was expected and despite the cool weather, there was a huge, huge crowd.
The entire event, from the time I set up and picked up my artist packet until 5:00 pm Sunday was very well organized. Friday, May 16 was set-up and unloading in front of our designated tent. The whole process was orderly. Several members of the East Lansing Art Festival Board stopped by during the festival weekend to introduce themselves, hand out information or answer any questions we might have. I was very impressed by how well organized the entire event was. There was even an artist dinner reception Saturday that was generously provided for all artists who wished to attend. Every step of the way I was impressed with how well this entire event was put together from soup to nuts.
As a new artist, the experience, the connections and the opportunity to put my art work on display was invaluable. Due to the experience with the East Lansing Art Festival, know it will better help me pursue my dream of becoming a full-time artist with what is sometimes referred to as “Painting With Wool.” I could never thank the board of the East Lansing Art Festival enough for the opportunity.
That’s my piece for today.