To speak of many things…
First on the list is that after ten years as a resident artist, I am leaving the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Now just because I am leaving the RCA, does not mean I am stopping being an artist… far from it…
And yes, it has been a blast. I met so many people, and the purpose of the Rotary Centre, to foster and nurture emerging artists, I feel has been completed in my case.
When I first came to the RCA, I was fresh out of university, new to Kelowna. I had applied for the RCA in March 2002, the same week I heard about it, and haunted Randy and Carlyn’s offices steadily until I found out I was accepted.
I had so many dreams and thoughts and wishes and goals when I went in to the studio that August 1 – eight years on my own, and the last year and a half with three friends- I am very proud to say I think I accomplished 95% of what I was hoping and more that I did not even imagine. There are life drawing sessions now within Livessence, which grew from my drawing sessions – man that was hard work to get going – twice a week for two years, how did I do it, I am not sure even now. Participated on the board for the Arts Council, and then later helped to establish the Arts Awards with Corinne Zawaduk and Sharon McCoubrey. Still on the board for the Kelowna Museums Society – and trust me, these guys are a blast – not what you would typically consider a museum crowd.
I met a tremendous number of people from all walks of life – I remember I was so shy at the very beginning, barely could talk to anyone. (Okay, I am still shy, but not as bad!) I hid in my studio most of the time and worked my ass off, both online and off. People – including other artists – thought I was crazy for spending as much time as I did developing my online presence, selling work to begin with on ebay to pay bills. I am so glad I did that – it opened doors for tolerance that I would never expected. Many of my ebay artist friends I still keep in contact with – I find them incredibly invaluable as a source for common sense and insight.
My work has gone all around the world, clients from so many countries. Being the world citizen I am, I can only say how wonderful that makes me feel knowing that somehow my work has connected with others of different cultures and thoughts. I must be doing something right.
I did a stint as an instructor – both privately and in classes. I want to tell all my former students that you were all so fabulous for coming to see me, and thank you for believing in me enough to allow me to be your teacher.
I was on CBC Radio three times – once with Marion Barschel (Daybreak South) in Nov 2010 regarding the Culture in Kelowna and twice with Sheryl McKay (NxNW). The second was March 2008 regarding the Okanagan Erotic Art Show. Sheryl said I was the first person in a live CBC interview to say the word *masturbation* on the air. That’s pretty distinctive. The first was in 2004 during a focused interview when I was in studio 203, and she came to visit all the artists.
Because of the “safety” of the RCA, I was able to branch out in areas I would never have thought possible. Exhibitions, books, painting gigs…. I am now working on my fifth book, three catalogs later (Livessence and two Okanagan Erotic Art Shows 2009 and 2011), and one based on my own work. More are planned.
When I think of what I have accomplished in ten years, all I can say is I am so glad I was in the RCA, it gave me the freedom and the confidence to spread my wings, it gave me the support and structure necessary, and it gave me the belief in myself, because they believed in me.
What a gift, and I thank you!