living a dream come true...Installment ONE
It has been over a week since my opening at the Butterfield Too Gallery. It has taken me a while to reflect on what this huge step as an artist, coach and seeker means to me.
Two years ago I started to create the prayer bead sculptures as a way to express my pain, fear and the power of hope that my prayer life was beginning to bring me. I began sharing the stories behind them with friends as part of the creative process and what I realized was my prayer process.
As I shared the stories, I realized that the prayers they represented were universal in theme. The pieces were my way of visually expressing my challenges, needs and desires. The work brought me through very hard times in my life and allowed me to express complicated thoughts in a way that blessed me with a sense of peace, joy and acceptance.
I used the work to live through a divorce, a life threatening illness, the death of my mom, financial ruin and the loss of my life and dreams as I knew them.
As I created the pieces, I tuned into my greatest pains, fears, joys, hopes and desires as creative fuel. The prayerful creative process helped me not only create a body of work that documents my journey, but also helped me to literally recreate a life full of meaning and joy. My relationship with myself, others and God evolved with such grace.
The whole experience of bringing the work to the gallery space was an adventure that I could not have predicted, yet as I lived it felt so right. I had been talking to Jan Miller, the owner of the gallery, about my sculptures since I began working on them. We would have casual conversations and I began to imagine them in Butterfiled.
Butterfield is the best gallery here in Saint Augustine. The work is authentic, conceptually sophisticated and well executed. I knew the work needed to continue to evolve if I were to be asked to show...I continued to refine the work and create pieces, I felt were at the level of Butterfield.
Last year, Butterfield expanded and opened Butterfield Too, which is a space that provides smaller spaces for artists to show. Perfect, I thought, my way to inch myself in. Finally I gained the courage to ask Jan if there were any openings, with a huge smile, she said. "YES, as a matter of fact. We would love for you to apply."
Well my heart went wild with excitement. I had envisioned the work there and had imagined what it would be like to bring the prayers out into the world. She described the application process and told me the date I was to present my artist's statement and statement of intent. I smiled and walked away, with a giddiness that I can still feel as I write this...I was on my way to a dream becoming a reality.