Art Is You …….Who Knew?
For a long time I had been an educator … but not in the world of Creative Mixed Media. My venue was in health care and I had been there for years. For stress relief from my job, I would simply create. How wonderful would it be if I could continue to make a difference, educate, and touch the lives of others ….through creating, through art. And so it began with the inception of Simply Pretty Stuff. I decided to have at it.
Fast forward to 2011 when I decided to try a class and apply to vend for Art Is You. I went to AIY without knowing a single soul there. I was sooo nervous. I thought to myself, “Who were these people really? Would I fit in? What if no one liked my stuff? Why, oh why, did I drive so far to come here? What if I absolutely skew up with my jeweler’s saw? And how many extra blades do I REALLY need to bring Richard Salley?”
OKAY, let me tell you, from the moment I arrived, it was like I came back to friends after being away for awhile. “What was this magic? And how could I be having so much fun with literal strangers?” I cannot explain what had happened that week at Art Is You, but I can tell you …I was home and involved in something WAY bigger than just your run of the mill art workshops.
The instructors were kind and patient. The other vendors were supportive, and many of the attendees became my true art sisters. There was a tremendous generosity in giving and donations for such worthwhile charities and causes, such as women’s shelters and children’s hospitals. Instructors donated art or supplies, students donated time during evening activities, and the public supported all our efforts by buying, as they attended open events and vending nite. Not an evening went by without a flurry of activity and sharing after a day of fun filled workshops……
So now, by the end of each retreat, and when it is all said and done, I never want to say good`bye. I sigh for weeks. Yep, for weeks. So, what I do until the next AIY is that I keep in touch with as many of my friends as I can through email and social media, by stopping to visit when I travel and happen to be passing through a town where art sisters live, by picking up the phone and sharing creative ideas, by sending off thinking of you gifts to some, and by collaborating with others on exciting publication efforts.
My life has been so genuinely enriched because of the Art Is You family. Am I ever glad that I filled out that first registration form, marked that calendar, and attended the most fabulous art experience and most sacred kinship I thought imaginable. Join in the fun. We are waiting for you…………..
Let me share just a few of the pictures that capture the excitement, the caring, and the sharing of Art Is You beyond the classroom!
|the first art sister to greet me in 2011|
|Just one of those evening events...Making T shirts with screen print....step right up!|
|Symbolic and iconic|
|collaboration and fun.....memory making.|
|Welcome to AIY!|
|there are tu-tu's|
|and tiara wear?|
|did I say tiara wear?|
|and an occasional tiara in the bushes|
|and then a tiara with a tu-tu!|
|...and my favorite in pink.|
|Letting loose at vendor nite are a couple of instructors extraordinaire|
|with more excitement at the end of a day...|
|and did I mention, yes... excitement?|
|Excitement here too|
|sending to our enlisted.......|
|making clothes for girls without|
|art and affirmation|
|paint on for a cause....|
|and in the end, dance!|
|keep the music in our hearts....|
|and celebrate art sisterhood|
|like no other|
|with old acquaintances|
|bound by art and the heart.|