Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The City Arts Factory

When I was younger I wanted to be an animator. By the time I got to college I wanted to majored in Graphic Design. I always imagined I would be producing work for studios or clients. Towards the end of college I began working with the performance art company DRIP and knew from the start that is where I was supposed to be. Once I started this website I found that I had an amazing outlet to focus my creative energies as well as develop my interest in writing. The more I think about it the more I realize that I am so lucky to allow myself the freedom to follow my creative endeavours as opposed to a traditional career path. I am certainly not walking the path I had planned for myself but I do feel as though I am moving in better direction.

Originally I had never imagine that I would have work on display in a gallery. As my path changed I started to see new possibilities. One of my friends made me aware of the City Arts Factory, a gallery in downtown Orlando that has open submissions every month. The theme for August was animation and I had some perfect pieces of work to submit. I took three of my best works from my previous post Digital Portraits and they got excepted into the show.

I went to the opening reception the following Thursday evening. I had never had my work on display like this before and I was completely overjoyed. I ran into professional photographer Douglas Nesbitt, someone I have known for a while through working at Starbucks. We stopped to talk for a moment over the snack table.

"Hey, I'm glad to see you here supporting the arts."
"Actually, I have some work on display!" I said announced
"Oh, show me which ones are yours."

I lead him towards the end of the room.

"These three are mine" I stated proudly.

He looked them over for a brief moment.

"These are good. I had no idea you made anything like this." He paused to continue looking at them. "You should raise the price."

I was elated by his vote of confidence. I told him that I had struggled a bit with the price. I took into consideration that this was my first show. I did think I went a little low but I wanted to give them a good chance to sell. I was just excited that Douglas thought so highly of my work. It was kind of a Cinderella moment. Most people know me as that girl who works at Starbucks. It is always gratifying to be recognized as an artist.

Most of my friends weren't able to make the opening and my family lives out of town. I didn't realize how important it was for me to share this moment with someone until my friend Matt got there. I showed him my work and he smiled "This is it! You're and artist!"

Photo by Matthew Dodenhoff

We got some wine and walked around the gallery just taking everything in. Even though Matt came to support me he still wanted to see everything else in the show. The walls were packed with beautiful pieces; every room held treasures. We talked about our favorite pieces and met several amazing artists. After we had toured the rooms we went back to see my pieces. We were talking for a moment when I noticed a few people were discussing my work. 

I snapped a quick photo. 

"I can't believe this!" I whispered to Matt "I've never seen people talk about my work. This is incredible! I wonder what they are saying."

We paused for a moment to eavesdrop. They talked about the color and the style; I couldn't make out every word. Matt and I were still caught up in listening when they turned around to see us staring. Matt and I nervously sipped out wine and looked away. They didn't know I was the artist and they gave us a quizzical look before continuing to looking at other pieces. I leaned over to Matt and smiled. "Maybe next time we should look less suspicious."

After Matt left I began to mingle with the other artist. I got to meet so many talented people with such wonderful works of art. I was pleasantly surprised because when I mentioned that I had work on display most people immediately recalled which ones were mine. I was so happy to see that my work stood out enough that they could remember what it looked like even after they had been looking at hundreds of pieces throughout the evening. 

It was a profound reminder that even though I have experienced a number of twists and turns on my path that I am still moving in an amazing direction and it just feels right. I am starting to realize that the person I am growing into is more vibrant than the person I thought I was going to be. Evolution is beautiful. 

To view Douglas Nesbitt's photography please visit: http://www.djn1111.com/index.html

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