Finding my Family in the Art World
When I began to put my art out in the world in 2006, I had no idea where I was heading. We had been selling our hand-dyed clothes for eight years on the Ontario craft show circuit and seeing other artists selling their art inspired me to do the same with my work. The theme of my images is to the least “mainstream”; at first I would say that my art is “spiritual” and along with the arts & craft shows, I went to try to sell my greeting cards in local metaphysical bookstores. I never felt totally comfortable with this description and I found at craft shows that a lot of people that were “normal” (not into any esoteric practices, meditation, yoga etc…) liked my work too. I saw that people would instantly open up in my booth, relate personal life stories in relation to my paintings, some people felt relief from physical pain, felt peace or simply joy when experiencing my paintings and the texts that accompany them.
So I decided to call my art “healing and spiritual art”. But still, I didn’t feel that it was exactly saying what I wanted. In a way I felt that these words still had a “new age” tone to them, and although I relate to a lot of the heart of this movement, it became quite a stereotyped adjective that I did not feel suited me as a whole.
I kept going on the internet and typing keywords to see who was doing what in my field of interest; I call it “looking for my family”. Everything opened up when I came across a site from France called Les Arts de l’Eveil. The founder and director of the group, Diane Saunier, has gathered 50 artists (architects, textile artists, poet, dancers, sculptors, painters, and many more). Her mission is to bring beauty, joy and meaning in society through organizing or enhancing events with the work of these artists. Diane has a profound understanding of the stage we are at as a humanity along with its challenges and the possibilities for solutions. She has identified artists that are catalysts for positive change in the society and I am proud to be part of her innovative vision. For me to realise that this whole adventure with my art is not just about me making a living from doing what I love was a “aha” moment. It is now about being part of a bigger picture, part of this planetary movement toward conscious change along with all the amazing visionaries, leaders, associations, and enterprises that work for social justice, environmental issues, political unity and integrity and economical equalities.
The next person and group I came across a few months later was Renee Phillips from the Manhattan Arts International of New York. I saw her call for artists with the Healing Power of Art competition that she organizes every year. I loved her work and passion for transformational art as well as her extensive experience in coaching artists in their career.
So far what I had seen from the art world was either local Canadian galleries looking for the typical “canoe by the lake” paintings, extravagant modern art or abstract that I could not understand without reading pages of material to understand the artist concept. I thought my art would fit in the native art galleries as they understand the work of spirit, but since I am not native, I was not welcome in that club, and all the other galleries that I had contacted were very cold toward the symbolism of my paintings. Seeing that Renee, an established figure of the art scene of New York, was so enthusiastic about what interests me most helped me foresee that I did have a place in the world of art.
Since this realisation, life has presented me with different projects, venues, partners that are very engaged in the building of a just society and it became a natural place for me to be an active player with my art in that whole movement. I can say now that “I have found my family” !!!!