Cohort Check-In Recap


April 10th marked the third of the virtual cohort check-ins as part of the Creative Pinellas 2024 Emerging Artist Grant. We are weeks away from the exhibition opening and this is the second to last virtual meeting between the Creative Pinellas grant staff and the 10 grantees. We started with scheduling; reminders for artwork drop-offs for next week, scheduling interview sessions, and important dates and times for the opening event and exhibition.


A helpful boost this week was the marketing toolkit. Remember my question from my last article, “How much do we share beforehand? Former grantee and Marketing Associate Ketsy Ruiz (Sketzii) said it depends on how you want to promote yourself. Some people like to show the whole thing as part of story-building while others show partial views and create suspense. The most important part to keep in mind is that there is a huge difference between seeing work on social media and experiencing the same work in person. Senior Director of Arts and Cultural Programming, Beth Gelman, added that multiple museum studies with the prominence of social media platforms show that the more people see work online the more they want to see it in person. It adds a touch of familiarity, like seeing an old friend. 


After reminders, we took turns asking each other different questions, and I noticed a pattern between some of what we discussed that I thought was worth sharing. The first was how the Emerging Artist Grant has pushed some artists in new directions. Artists have evolved for varying reasons whether it be having time and space to create new work, outside factors causing pressure yet freedom to pivot, allowing for messes, adding splashes of colour to works that would have been black and white, or having a performance leaving a lasting impression. Maybe it is reading about other grantees’ processes and taking notes, or being in awe at their prolificness, or better yet the friendships and bonds that have formed. In any case, the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant is transformative. I’ll more than likely be touching on this point in more detail when we have our final group reflection session in June.


Another topic that came up was the debilitating pursuit of perfection. An apprehension of not being able to make any changes because work has been completed and finalized and soon to be delivered and installed. As artists, we have such an attuned attention to detail and it is a conscious effort to learn to let go. One of the greatest quotes from an author that impacted me in a time of consolation is from the book “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy – “The greatest illusion,” said the mole, “Is that life should be perfect.”

The bottom reads “My dog walked over the drawing – clearly trying to make the point.”


Some of the artists’ work, including my own, are reflections of past experiences. For my next article I will be delving into my artistic process,and showing behind the scene glimpses into how I build an oil bayscape. 

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