“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”
~ Helen Keller
This time of year my sedum begins to turn deep pink. Bees adorn the blush plateau like gemstones gobbling up the last of season’s nectar. Some people are like sedum. Like bees to sedum, we’re drawn to them because they’re kind, intelligent, creative, and fun. They are god’s nectar. Pam Oldfield Meade is like sedum for all those reasons and more. I’ve known her so long I don’t remember the first time I saw her. She has been a tireless advocate for the arts in the foothills of Kentucky. I watched her lead a ragtag group of disparate artists and turn them into a cohesive force of good in the community. I had long ago backed off exhibitions because of the time and expense it takes to do them, but Pam won’t let me fold completely. Every time she’s involved with an exhibit, like yesterday’s Pickin’ in the Park, she invites me to join her. I love her for thinking of me, for always encouraging me, for never leaving me behind, and for believing that my work is good enough to be shown. But more than that, Pam is an inspiration. Over the last three decades I have watched her artistic muscles stretch from simple folk art to complex, multifaceted work that imbues Eastern Kentucky art with a mature vocabulary that’s second to none. I want to grow as an artist as she has grown, and find a voice that’s as beautiful and true as hers. Pam is a great artist and an even better friend. I would be lost without her. How lucky am I? Pretty dang lucky.