Did you know there is no such thing as "Art Supporter's Day"? A gallery owner I know recently brought this to the attention of his artists. After searching for info on the topic, he discovered there was an International Artist Day designed to appreciate artists, but no special day set aside in consideration for those who support arts in their community. This letter is in consideration of the gallery owner’s mention of this subject.
I am an artist. That may seem like a simple enough statement. However, it took me a long time to be comfortable calling myself an artist, though most that know me have always considered me one. Artist’s statements often reflect the difficulty many creative types have in proclaiming themselves an artist. I believe this is because artists are continually changing, growing, searching. Some of us are never quite comfortable putting a label on our passion. For an artist, explaining why we do what we do is not so easily expressed in words. Possibly this is why many artists write their statement in third person. I am confident calling myself an artist today, not because I have been coloring outside the lines since I was a child, but because of the encouragement, feedback and support that others have shown me along the way.
I am grateful for the support each of you has provided me. For each time you shared positive feedback on my artwork. For each time you posted a complimentary remark on my website. For every opportunity you allowed me to display my work at your venue. For the times you accepted my work into your juried exhibits, and even for the times I received a rejection letter, because it was then I took a closer look to find ways to improve. For the time you took to select my piece, out of so many others on display, to photograph and mention in your article. For all the times you posted my show information on your blog. For every time you accepted my press release. For each pointer you offered on wiring, tags, framing, and writing an artist statement. For every aahhh you graciously offered after looking at a new piece I was excited to show you. For all the times you magnetized my childhood sketches on your refrigerator door. For the art you purchased and the questions you asked about the intentions of my work. For the lessons you taught me on composition, technique and art history. Mostly for the encouragement you provided me over and over again to do the one thing that allows me complete freedom to express myself.
I am an artist. I am confident calling myself that these days, because you made me believe it was true. Although I cannot always put into words where my creativity comes from, I am very clear on where my inspiration comes from…you.
I humbly thank you for encouraging my individual efforts as an artist.
I sincerely thank you for every big and little thing you do to support the arts in your community.