Having settled down for the night, prior to returning home from a trip north, I opened Instagram to find a message from an artist friend. He was congratulating me on being accepted as one of the nine recipients for the current Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant. Since the panel discussion was just that morning, I hadn’t anticipated hearing anything about my application until later in the week. You can imagine my surprise, mixed with some disbelief, and then excitement with the news. Upon checking my emails, I found the official notification – it was true!
Recently, I was chatting with a friend about it. Her response was, “Haven’t you already emerged?!” I laughed, but it was an interesting question. Truth be told, I feel like I have been emerging for a long time now.
I am an older artist, having lived and practiced my art in the Tampa Bay Area for 20 years. I have been active in the arts community in a number of capacities, have garnered recognition in area shows, and am honored by those who have continued to provide significant practical, critical and moral support for my practice over the years.
There are levels of artistic growth and exposure, however, that I feel compelled to reach but have not as yet. Being given the opportunity to participate in this program will help and support my efforts to stretch to that next level and beyond. I am grateful.
As you probably know, one of the program’s expectations is that each grantee will write a weekly blog. And so, as I begin with this my first blog, I am titling it, “Emerging: From Behind the Studio Door.” It may not be catchy, as titles go, but it is an apt descriptor of what I am looking forward to over the next several months of this grant period. And so, I welcome and thank you for joining me in this weekly exploration of emergence, of what it means and what direction it will take me; I am anticipating quite a ride.