Mississippi 2021 Invitational

“The Mississippi Invitational, a biennial exhibition, is a survey of recent works created by contemporary visual artists living and working in the state. … This year’s works were selected by Houston-based guest curator Danielle Burns-Wilson.”  –from the Mississippi Museum of Art 

I am delighted that four photographs were chosen to be part of this exhibition, which is one that I always look forward to visiting!

Hold Nothing Back at Fischer Galleries

This past March and April, I was honored to show a body of work at Fischer Galleries that I began making in 2019 and that solidified during the quarantines of 2020-2021. What began as my personal reflections on the flexibility required by motherhood morphed into meditations on the universal pressures women face as they juggle work, school, home with almost no margin.  With cues taken from the cycle of seasons and life, I seek out the moments of joy and terror. 

Burnaway + South Arts State Fellows Interview

From the SouthArts website: 

“The 2020 Southern Prize and State Fellowships exhibition extended online with a series of conversations between the nine artists and Burnaway, the leading arts magazine celebrating art from the South. These lunchtime conversations—held between February and April 2021—explored each artist’s work and what it means to be an artist who lives and works in the South. Each conversation was led by Erin Jane Nelson, executive director for Burnaway, and the winning artists. Attendees participated in a Q&A with the artists about their work.”

Thank you, SouthArts and Burnaway, for hosting this conversation!

To see a 3D tour of SouthArts 2020 at the Bo Bartlett Center, visit here and scroll down to the exhibition.  

Mississippi’s 2020 State Fellow

In this season of uncertainty, being named Mississippi’ State Fellow for 2020 by South Arts brings a glimmer of excitement and anticipation.  I am humbled to be included with past South Arts Fellows Coulter FussellDominic Lippillo, and Rory Doyle in representing a cross section of art in Mississippi.  It also fills me with gratitude that South Arts is dedicated to undergirding southern artists through their generous support and through spurring us on towards artistic excellence.

While the work awarded is deeply personal, my wrestling with acceptance and contentment in the pressure cooker of motherhood, it is imagery I pray is encouraging to other women as we navigate how to juggle careers, children, relationships, homes, personal interests, and, now, in this strange season, schooling.  We are not alone, yet often experience extreme isolation.  May this be an outstretched hand, an acknowledgement that there can be humor and beauty in the chaos.

For more information on the other state fellows (congratulations to all of you!) and the Southern Prize, please visit South Arts and read the press release below.  

“South Arts is immensely proud to support every one of these artists, craftspeople, and tradition-bearers,” says Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “Especially as our country enters the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, artists are among those most vulnerable to losing income. Yet their creativity, work, and stories are what carry us forward and will be integral to rebuilding our communities.”

Applications were open for both fellowship programs in the fall of 2019. The State Fellowships application pool was reviewed by a panel of experts including Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Edward Hayes, Jr. of The McNay Art Museum, independent art historian and consultant David Houston, and Marilyn Zapf of the Center for Craft. The panel made their recommendations based on the artistic excellence of their work and inclusiveness of the diversity of the Southern region. The Folk & Traditional Art Master Artist Fellowship applications were reviewed by a panel including Native American potter and storyteller Beckee Garris, Zoe van Buren of the North Carolina Arts Council, Mark Brown of the Kentucky Arts Council, and Evangeline Mee of the Tennessee Arts Commission. The panel made their recommendations based on the artists’ history and mastery of their respective tradition as well as the proposed lifelong learning opportunity.

The nine State Fellowship recipients will be featured in an exhibition that is scheduled to open at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia in May 2020; due to the current closures of facilities, this date may be postponed. The announcement of which State Fellowship recipients will also be named as the Southern Prize winner and finalist will be announced at a ceremony surrounding the opening of this exhibition.

“I would like to thank each and every one of our donors and sponsors,” continues Surkamer. “Their support and investment in the arts, culture, and tradition of our region is vital even in the best of times, and their ongoing generosity is more important than ever before.”

14th Julia Margaret Cameron Award: Honorable Mention

Quite unexpectedly, I received an honorable mention in the Fine Art category for the 14th edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award.  The award was juried by Elizabeth Avedon, Rebecca Robertson, and Analy Werbin. 

According to their website, “a total of 805 photographers from 67 countries have submitted 6,240 photographs for consideration of the pre-selection team of the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, and the final selection of the jurors.” 

In March of 2020 in Barcelona, several images from the It’ll Do Till A Mess Gets Here series will be shown alongside the winning exhibition, a phenomenal series by Szneshana Von Buedingen.

Meandering In a Not So New Direction

It is difficult for me not to over schedule.  

The fear of missing out, the desire for community, and for deep roots will kick in and before I know it the days and weeks are overfull with good things.  Yet, I will be dreading the month before it even starts.  

To combat this tendency, this year I have sought, often unsuccessfully, to leave days empty– not allowing anything to be scheduled.  My hope is that is gives me, our family, time to experience seasonal rhythms, as well as time to really rest, something which is also not easy for me, as I have recently recognized that I slip into tying my worth to how much I can measurably do.  How does one undo that pattern other than learning to sit with an outwardly quieter pace of life?

While I meander in this not so new direction, it has led to not so new work –thoughts and feelings that I have wrestled with that are finally starting to solidify.  I am grateful to Racheal for sharing it on her blog a few weeks ago!    

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