Despite the ten some odd inches of rain that poured on the city of Chattanooga while I was there, the city's good nature and dedicated sculptors produced an informative and relevant conference for all attendees. The many sculptors and the art community I met were down to earth people with the same passion in their eyes and as those I already admire in my city, Chicago. That is part of why I fit into sculpture folks, I think. At the end of the day we like to make stuff and we like to share it with other people. I learned more insight about the Jurors for the Inside and Outside Exhibits (of which I am part) and why they chose the art they did as well as, more of their background in the field of art.
When I first met someone, I would introduce myself as dusty and they would look to my name tag and a confused expression came over their face. At first, I figured my last name threw them for a loop, as it usually does, but then I kept hearing, "Oh, you're dusty... congratulations!"I could see that many people were thinking, "Huh, I thought you were a boy..."
Often they then would ask if I was in school school. I'd respond "Yes, I finished with my BFA in 2003."
Again they are thinking, "Hmm, you look pretty young."
Oh well. After networking with various artists and others in the art scene I luckily could redeem myself for not being what they expected through my medium of choice and the fact that I was in the exhibits.
Upstairs I met a very nice lady sculptor who noticed my name and was like, "Hey come over here, I want to talk to you!" in a very sweet TN accent. So, I did and we chatted about art and life and at the end you would have thought she was my mother the way she was acting proud for me. "What an affirmation for you!" she said, "And you are so young! Congratulations!" She also encouraged me to go into acting if the opportunity presented itself...
I was among those who exhibited in the Conference 2009 Indoor exhibit, Couple and Rising, and the Conference 2009 Outdoor exhibit, Ready to Scale. I was lucky enough to be chosen to have three total pieces on display and I guess people noticed that. In the tight knit community everyone already seemed to know who I was and that my parents were coming along to see my work. They were so sweet to ask me where they were and how their drive was going.Carol Mickett. I could see her confusion as I greeted her and thanked her for her time spent on the show and speaking at the conference. Once she realized who I was, she said, "Well, we thought you were male. But, I am glad you aren't!" She then went on to tell me her critique of my work. She was taken by how delicate my pieces were although they were made of steel. She liked the tension she saw in the overall forms. Her only real was critique was to work bigger. Which reaffirms my desire to do so.
Actually, wanna know a secret? All of the pieces I entered in the show, I actually consider maquettes and I intend to make larger as soon as I get the right opportunity. The outside piece is called Ready to Scale for that reason.
All in all I am delighted with my trip down South. In my opinion, Tennessee never disappoints. Go visit and go look at the public art! Now let's all cross our fingers that one or more of the pieces will become part of someone's permanent collection there!
This is the plaque for my sculpture. If you squint, you can see the number to call and code for the audio tour!
This is the closest mile marker to my sculpture....just in case you are looking for it.
And finally, here are my dedicated and supportive parents who drove through crazy rain and got stuck in Nashville for two hours to come and see their daughter's Exhibits. They even brought me some beautiful roses to show their love. They are an amazing example to grow up with.
Mom, "Hey Den, I want to smell those flowers up in the tree..."
Dad, "Sure, hon..."