as an artist, much of our credibility and value is based off the number of places our work has been exhibited, which galleries, museums, and institutions. although my sight is always set on iconic, museum worthy imagery- what i found was that there was too much of a disconnect from the work and the community in which the art was created from. not to mention from a financial standpoint, all the application fees that come with submitting work that might very well get rejected anyhow due to the subjective nature of jurors and the selection of “winning” images felt like wasted money.
it would be great to say that i could do it all. but as a mother of three and in this season of my journey, money is as sparse as time. where will my time and money be used most effectively? through life’s trials and errors, God’s grace led me to a place of many practical questions: would i rather be at an exhibit opening or be at home making dinner for my kids? do i want to pursue this relationship/endeavor or do i want to put my kids to bed? this was not a matter of parenting- but an ownership of my time and the realization of power i had over it. i think because we cannot see it with our eyes, time is something we often take too lightly. in the same respect, something as flammable as money, is upheld with far too much importance.
unlike time or money, gestures of kindness are immeasurable. it is not a cheap cliché that any act of kindness is ever too big or small. beyond that, these are the very actions that open doors for communication, compassion & healing. feelings of living within a hopeless society and a very broken world are understandable but never an excuse. our very weapons against injustice and hate is the awareness in our minds in communion with action. in and of itself kindness may look meek and gentle, but the delivery in which our kind actions be carried out must be with fervor.
one way i’ve found peace in stepping away from the gallery world in pursuit of kindness, while also fulfilling every artists’ nature to share work is to gift framed prints of my neighbors that have been photographed by me. within this exchange is fruit we bear — joy, love, understanding, hope, a restored faith.
the lie is, we are fighting a war.
the truth is, the war has already been won.