Steve has been going to San Jac the last few semesters to work on a Fine Arts Degree. He has only been able to take one, maybe two courses a semester. After all, we don't want him away from home every evening. Even two nights a week is a stretch for me.
Last semester he was only able to take Art History II, but they had an assignment to create a piece of art based on one of the artists they had studied, or a genre of art that they liked. (All of my specifics may not be correct here, but that's the general idea of the assignment.) Steve chose to do a re-make of "Medea and Children" and he mixed and matched a few paintings to his own liking.
I absolutely fell in love with this painting! It is my most favorite work of his. To be perfectly honest, and he knows this, his work is a bit "out there" for me. The themes and images are a bit distasteful to me most of the time. But this one really hit the mark, for me, anyway.
The Clear Lake Arts Alliance Center was having a jurored show and Steve entered this painting. He knew that is former drawing teacher was going to be the juror, but he hoped that it wouldn't influence the juror's decision, one way or another.
When he took it to the gallery he came home less hopeful than when he left. He said he saw a lot of good pieces that were entered and didn't know if he even had a chance to get in.
A few days later he got a call from the curator and she told him that he had won a "Juror's Choice Award", which is similar to an Honorable Mention award. And she asked if he would be willing to talk about his piece and answer questions. I was SO THRILLED for him! He finally got some recognition. We looked forward to the opening to follow in a few weeks.
The whole family piled into the car, dressed so as not to embarrass the "Juror's choice" artist. On the way Steve said, "It would be a dream come true for me if [juror's name] didn't even know that that was my piece that won." I assured him that I don't think his teacher would have played any favorites, after all, it was his name on the line.
Shortly after arriving his former teacher came up and said hello and asked Steve, "Do you have a piece in the show?" Steve and I just gleamed knowing that Steve had gotten in and received an award without any prejudice.
One of the cutest parts of the whole evening was how proud the kids were, especially Nathan. I have a pic here of him showing a stranger, "Here's my Dad's painting." He did that much of the evening. When it was time for the artists who had won to speak, Steve reluctantly answered a few questions (he has mega fear of speaking in public, but did it!). The curator asked if anyone else had a question and guess who raised his hand!? Yes, it was Nathan. Steve said, "Yes, Nathan." And Nathan asked, "I was wondering how it feels to have your work accepted in a show." The other adults stifled little giggles and smiled while Steve said, "It feels really great, thanks for asking."
To put the icing on the cake, Steve won $100. The Best of Show won $200, he flew in from New York, so we joked that it probably went to pay for part of his plane fare.