“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Crystal loves a challenge. So when I got a text from her expressing frustration with photographing some artwork that couldn’t be moved from their locations, I knew it had to be something tough. I walked over to where she was working, and sure enough, the assignment was tough. But it’s in these moments that I think Crystal shines the brightest. If anybody can make lemonade out of lemons, it’s her. She inspires me everyday.
“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres
This gorgeous piece of glass art by Dale Chihuly was gifted to Keeneland from Makers Mark. It’s on display in the Keeneland Library. Chihuly’s work is eye catching to say the least. It can be incredibly complicated even in a seemingly simple form. I’ve never seen a piece of his work that’s boring. It’s always very fluid and colorful like this one. I do giggle from time to time. Each individual piece – on its own – reminds me of something sculpture professor Gary Bibbs drilled into our heads (for those of us in his classes); one does not want to make work that could be used as a candy dish. But my giggles soon fade when I consider the intricacies of the work, and the interconnectedness of each form to the others. It’s far from a candy dish. I really want to see Chihuly’s large installation piece at Makers Mark distillery. I’ve seen photos and it looks pretty incredible. Art makes my soul sing.
“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
The new School of Art and Visual Studies at UK had an open house this evening to celebrate their new building. The first person we ran into was, of course, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval. The funniest line of the night came when he said to Crystal, “And what about you and your first marriage?” “She backed out,” I said quietly. “I’m not married,” Crystal said, holding up her ring finger. “No, no, your first marriage,” Arturo repeated. “She backed out,” I said louder. “I’ve never been married,” Crystal said with a hint of consternation. And then it just sort of spiraled into hilarity from there.
It’s a big deal that UK finally put its art students in a decent space. When Crystal and I went through the program we were in the Reynolds Building, an old tobacco warehouse. The bathrooms didn’t have stall doors. Cockroaches the size of whales would drop from the ceiling. Floors were so flimsy only God kept some poor art student from falling through. Back then there was talk of doing away with the fine arts program all together. Let’s face it, art students don’t generally go on to become CEOs or heads of Fortune 500 companies. That’s money that will never come back into UK’s coffers. If we’re lucky, art grads will make enough money to survive, though only just. The rest of us get real jobs and do art on the side. There’s not a lot of financing to come back. Our wealth lies in something other than money. So, it was a happy day to be able to tour this fantastic space and celebrate UK’s recommitment to the arts.
Perhaps my favorite part of the event was the pseudo photo booth they had set up in the lighting studio. Crystal and I walk in with our matching Canon 6D’s, whip ’em out, and the guy just sort of looks at us. Then we point them at each other and he got it immediately. It was a hoot.
Seeing artwork from our classmates, and other alumni from all over the country was heartwarming, and I just adore Crystal and Arturo. They made my experience at UK exceptionally rich. And look at us all these years later, still fun and frisky and happy to see one another. I wouldn’t take anything in the world for their friendship, and I’m so proud that UK stepped up to the plate and gave quality faculty like Arturo someplace decent to teach new artists. It’s been a long time coming, and what a great space it is. Well done.
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
~ George Washington Carver
I saved my money to buy a beautiful piece of jewelry by my friend Deb Chenault. At Woodland Art Fair in August it caught my eye. I knew it would be perfect for my presentation at the Library of Congress a few weeks later. After all that excitement, I got on the plane without it. I was so bummed. This morning I’d had enough of the beautiful artwork staying at home, so around my neck it went. There’s just something about a fine piece of artwork on your body that makes you feel extra fantastic. Part of that might be all the good energy artists like Deb put into making it. Thanks for the goodness, Deb. It got a lot of compliments and I felt like a million bucks.