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Wednesday, April 8

a network

That's what we art gypsies have. Artists on the surface, carnies at heart, setting up our traveling shows, enticing you in with our cleverness. And all of us connected, somehow, by our addled creative brains and by a shared psyche that makes us feel at home under a 10X10 canopy. A network.

We share our frustrations and successes freely. Last year, a woman I mightily admire, who also exhibits as a paper artist, won best of show and, when her name was called, I sort of yipped and applauded wildly. A customer turned around and asked did I win? I said, no, someone I really admire did and she thought that was so special. Not in our world.

(yes, there are curmudgeons and unpleasant people, too. I choose to ignore them)

So, when I was feeling frustrated by the application process yet again, my friend Conard sent me words of wisdom and turned me back on the path. Then another friend, the memorable and talented Don Olney, husband of the equally talented and memorable Cheryl, sent words of commiseration and nuggets of an idea for alternative paths we can take.

I will connect with Don about Buffalo's Urban ARTisans, maybe send him scurrying off to book hotel lobbies all over Rochester. And maybe at Kenan we can schmooze about it over snacks in the parking lot. Network.

We are happy to be members of the new Burchfield Penney Art Gallery and, while visiting the gift shop, I was pointing at things and saying "Look! Annie's jewelry! Molly's journal's! Anne's photographs...and on and on" The shop manager said she was so impressed by the camaraderie and lack of competitiveness between the local artisans. Me too.

So, today, when I was comparing dates with someone else anxious about the Allentown notices, I found myself really hoping she would get in. It is her best show. Sure, I still want to open my letter and have that ribbon fall out (A'town has us wear these ribbons that look like you just were voted prized heifer at the fair), but I really want her to get in, too.

Because the network is made up of all of us, connecting, bitching, praising, gossiping, sharing, whining, celebrating. We need it, because nobody outside of this life could ever understand it.

We need each other.

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