A little day trip

I attended the 59th Annual Delta Exhibition in Little Rock, Arkansas yesterday. This exhibition showcases contemporary artists from Arkansas and bordering states.

And now for the drum roll....

I was chosen for one of the Delta Awards by juror Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art.

I was chosen for one of the Delta Awards by juror Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Bradley spoke of the sense of place in the Delta and the natural power of the Delta landscapes as well as the tension that artists portray in their work between what is familiar and what is new. Here's part of her juror's statement: "As much as I found some artists savoring the details of their worlds, I was truly struck by others whose works evidenced a great unease, eerie expressions of a world slipping into an abyss, emanating tones of fear, anger, and anxiety."

Prior to announcing the award winners she showed a curious collection of historical paintings depicting women creating art using fiber and clay. The fact that she chose (blindly) three women artists who are working in fiber, porcelain and metal was particularly exciting for those of us who work on the edges of paintings.

Delta Exhibition crowd

It was standing room only at the opening celebrations. Music blaring, the catfish, hushpuppies, wines and pies tempted us. What I could see of the artwork over and through the heads of the crowd was spectacular. I'll have to find a way to get back to the museum to see the works in a more concentrated way. In particular I loved the work of David Bailin. His piece, Halloween, took my breath away. I wish I had taken a picture of it but there were always crowds obstructing my view. Here's a link to his website: Halloween. He uses, charcoal, pastels and coffee to create haunting works about his father.

My piece was toward the back under a spotlight with a deep gray wall behind it. Very dramatic.

My favorite part of any show is watching people studying my piece. Some shared their thoughts about the work and even saw things in it that were unintentional on my part. I love that part of art. It has its own life. It walks its own path. I am a conduit for other's visions.

child's eyes

Over and over again I am reminded that awe is the realm of wonder. Children take us there. Leaping into the unknown is their only choice. They've never been here before.

Fountain child, Paula Kovarik

My piece, Pollinators, was accepted into the Delta Arts Exhibition in Little Rock this year.

This week I went to the Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock to see my piece, Pollinators. I had the double delight of seeing an exhibition of children's artwork in the reception hall. I was awestruck.

These children have a raw sense of composition, color and energy that is unmatched. Their spontaneity and eager mark making make the art in the other rooms look like they are napping. Kudos to their teachers who must be standing by with pride and joy.

The Weird Girl by Camden Wells, first grade

Monster by Roman Serfaty, first grade

I wish I could publish all of the pieces I saw that day. They bring joy and wonder to a day filled with heartbreaking national news. If only we could channel that child-mind to our understanding of life every day. If only we could turn the course of violence into orange monsters that can be contained on sheets of newsprint. If only we could protect these innocents so that we can learn from them. If only we could see that life is joy and wonder.

And awe.

Sliding with abandon.