Monday, January 27, 2014

Valley Artisans Market

I just celebrated my 15th year as a member of an artisans cooperative in my area. I remember the excitement when I first heard about its existence and the pleasure I got visiting the shop to look around and gain inspiration from all the amazing artwork created by local artisans. I remember the courage it took to approach the woman behind the counter to ask for a jury application, and the greater courage it took to fill it out and hand it back in. And I remember the thrill that ran through my veins when I found out I was accepted. That one leap of faith took me from hobbyist hidden behind closed doors at home to artisan. Make that Artisan with a capital A. What surprised me most was how all the members were excited to have me and my work. They weren't laughing or pointing. They were inspired and excited. By becoming a member there, I embraced my new life as an artist and I have never looked back. There is a gallery in the back of the market that has monthly exhibits. It is on my bucket list to some day have my own shown in that gallery. I didn't do it for many years because I was intimidated by the size of the room and what I would have to make to have a cohesive show to fill it up. Now I am so busy with my full-time papermaking business that I can't imagine when I would have the time to put together a show. We just recently freshened up the store and I moved to a new display space. The work displayed is a mixture of many different media, from paper sculptures to my framed Petal People to plantable paper tags and cards. Just the thought of all my work tucked together there and pleasing our customers and browsers give me infinite satisfaction. Thank you, Valley Artisans Market, for accepting me into the fold and changing the course of my life!

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