Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. A. Lincoln
I have had to ponder this for a bit, it all felt too jumbled emotionally to share. I honestly couldn’t decide if I was happy or sad or both. At this point, I feel the emotion just “was” and defining it ultimately served no real purpose. It was instead an opportunity to move through it and find a way to the other side.
A few weeks ago, would have been my tenth anniversary having a studio at the Hungerford. I bring this up only because leaving the Hungerford marked a huge transition for me. I made note of the date literally the day before. As I said above, I wasn’t sure if I felt happy, sad, or otherwise.
The Hungerford was my first “real” studio. I made a studio space into a gallery. I embraced the esthetic of not so long ago industrial and created my own real-world gallery. I supported artists there. I had a new exhibit with a guest artist (or artists) every single month. I held workshops there. I held events that supported and reached out to the homeless, women in crisis, and those being treated for cancer. I held meetings to support small business Marketing, Artisan Socials, and more.
I worked so hard there… I grew as an artist and a person there… I made some dear friends there… it was home.
In January of 2020, I made the decision that it was time for a change. I love(d) what I was doing- but something in me knew it was time for a big change. I had a lot of time to think about this as I spontaneously drove to Florida by myself (after an invitation twelve hours earlier from my son and bonus daughter) to spend a week with them. I did it! (If you only knew how out of character this was for me)
When I got home about ten days later I knew that change was in the wind. It was happening, I just wasn’t sure how. ( The last time I felt this way I went back to college.)
Enter a Facebook post by Brandi Marino. Brandi shared about a new collective at the Piano Works Mall. I decided to go check it out. My original intention was to see it and if I liked it, consider opening a second site for Create Art 4 Good. Perhaps I would hold workshops there.
Two days later, after seeing the space twice, I made the decision to move from the Hungerford to Central Creatives. (My husband was not pleased, but thankfully he was supportive)
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew this wasn’t just about changing location. It was about changing the business altogether.
The universe must have agreed because out of the thin air I had people volunteering to move me. SO many people! It was really quite amazing. (talk about grateful!) I moved in on February 23, and on February 29th, we as a collective had our first big opening.
Then… the global pandemic hit, and we shut down.
Why on earth am I telling you all this? Well… you see, I changed far more than location. I changed the business. While I still try to support my fellow artists, I do not have a new exhibit every month (who could in a pandemic?) This forced me to make some changes. I am certainly not suggesting that I love the pandemic, but as my mother would have said, “There’s always something to be grateful for.”
What I am grateful for is that I have found a way to prioritize my own work. I have taken quite seriously my art, my greeting card company, and my mission. I still pay it forward with a portion of the profits going to charity. I still support other artists- I am a pretty good cheerleader, but also I have taken over Rochester Artisans started by the ever wonderful Stefani Tadio. This is a group that assists other artists with all things business. It gives me joy to facilitate that group. I even still do a workshop or two. During the height of the pandemic- zoom became a very handy tool. So the changes are there, but maybe it is more of a shift. Perhaps it was time.
So, I might not be at the Hungerford. But I am celebrating a business that is twelve years old. I am celebrating my own personal and professional growth. I am celebrating surviving and even having moments of thriving in the pandemic world. I am grateful for the opportunity to take my own work more seriously, and the courage to do so. I am grateful for you.
(whew, this was a long one, wasn’t it?)
I believe, with my whole heart, I am in the right place.
The best is yet to be…
Thanks for listening! With so much love,
8 thoughts on “In the right place…”
YOU, Susan, inspire me. You always have..since the day I met you at Roc City, thanks to your lovely sis, Christine. All of us go through these incredible growing spurts, and are they ever scary. Love and congratulations to you for thriving in these times and through your own doubts!
Oh, Lin, you are such a good human. Thank you for always sharing your love and support. You are and have been a bright star for me since we met. (Thanks, Christine) sending you so much love!
Linda is so right. You have been an inspiration to many, including me! I was amazed at your gallery in Hungerford, was so honored you hosted a show for me there and have completely enjoyed our time together, whether showing, chatting or creating! I’m looking forward to working together at Central Creatives!
Jodie, my talented friend… you are a gem, thank you for your comments. You saved me with that show! remember? I think the universe meant for us to find each other. I look forward to the future! Sending you love-
Susan, you are an inspiration. I look forward to a visit at your new studio! And I am proud of you.
You are one of the kindest people I know. I am so honored by your comments.
Sending you so much love,
I am so grateful that you have kept me on your mailing list. I still remember fondly our connection through the WICSD. I have been a cheerleader (in absentia) albeit on the sidelines for you for a long time and regret that time and distance have gotten in the way of a reconnection. It would take a very long time and message to fill in the gap, but I wanted you to know how blessed I have felt to be counted on your list of friends. I have always admired your talent and ambition and hope to right this wrong.
You have always been someone special. Each time we meet you are a bright light and a warm heart. I am blessed to call you friend.
I hope our paths cross soonest.