I am a huge believer in the power of encouraging creative sparks. I know that it has changed the trajectory of my life in ways that not even a winning Powerball ticket could, and I believe meaningful encouragement, if it were shared with as many people as possible, could fundamentally change the world we live in.
A few years ago I lucked into a writing class at Hubbard Hall, a community theater and art center in Cambridge NY. Everyone in the group was nervous the first night — we had all seen workshops where competition squashed creativity. In the end we came away from the class as a tight knit group of students that continues to encourage each other.
For me, the workshop was a revival of a love affair with art. Our teacher, author Jon Katz, refused to let us speak ill of our work. It made us all better artists and writers. My revival spawned new connections with other artists and the confidence to encourage others — even perfect strangers.
Today all that engagement that and encouragement culminated in an art field day.
I kicked off the morning at the public library in Petersburgh, New York to hang my first solo art show and then wrapped up the afternoon at the member art show at the art museum in Manchester Vermont.
Seeing your work in a juried show at a real live art museum is the thrill of a lifetime, but it was also a bit daunting. I will admit to feeling like a very small fish in a gigantic pond dominated by very nice whales, but it was fun. It helped me set a new bar.
Nothing, however, can compare to the morning fun of going to the library hanging up the work, chatting with patrons as we hung paintings and went back to a delicious lunch made by the curator of the show. I spent the early afternoon talking with my new friend about art and life on what could’ve been an otherwise very dreary January day. I left her house feeling motivated and serene at the same time.
I won’t lie–we bought a couple of Powerball tickets, and if we won $900 million, you’ll hear me whooping it up across the Internet. But I don’t think even that princely sum could have bought a better day than the one I’ve just had.