Publicly Speaking

Finally, after a week of birthday and anniversary celebrations, I can refocus on my artwork.  As pleasurable and necessary as those family events are, they sure compete for one’s time and energy.

Yesterday (Monday, 5/6), I had the honor of participating in a presentation for the Georgia Arts Network Annual Conference at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth, GA.  David Thomas, Artistic Director for the ART Station (and the closest to a “boss” that I have right now), was a presenter, and he spoke on the role of the arts in tourism.  He showcased our Stone Mountain arts incubator program (SMart, Inc.), and brought us artists along for a dog and pony show.

I brought with me the following piece to present to the audience of GA art community leaders.  (I didn’t labor over its selection; it just happened to be in my car after the show at the Atlanta Artists Center ended.)

"Midsummer's Sunset"

“Midsummer’s Sunset”

I experienced one of those rare moments in life when what we have become—all that we have experienced and learned—is united in a single act. All my youthful drama and speech experience, all my teaching experience, all my practiced ability to use formal persuasive techniques on an audience came together for the five minutes or so that I stood up there in front of meeting-weary arts organization leaders and convinced them that our program and my art are worth hearing about.  I didn’t use a microphone—I know how to “project”—and I spoke from my heart.  (I shook a lot afterward, but they didn’t know that.)  All of us artists did amazingly well for being from such diverse backgrounds.

The presentation culminated with face-to-face, one-on-one conversations with conference goers—the best part of all.  I gave out lots of business cards, answered a lot of questions, and was invited to participate in festivals and exhibitions all over the state.

At long last, I feel as if I belong.



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