This image is one of 10 installation images I submitted to the Wyoming Arts Council’s Visual Arts Fellowship competition, and much to my delight and surprise, my work was selected to receive one of three awards! I’m still pinching myself a bit, since I’d applied several times before. This is an honor that one always hopes for but doesn’t dare expect. I’m very thankful to judges Pedro Vélez, artist and critic from New York City, and Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art at the Portland Art Museum.

Even though Wyoming is a sparsely populated state, lots of artists choose to live here and create. There’s freedom in the vast expanses of land and sky, and even though we live far from each other, artists from all over the state are connected. We connect via social media throughout the year and meet annually at the Wyoming Arts Council’s CLICK conference. It is an exhilarating weekend of workshops and networking. The Fellowship winners are announced at the conference, so this year I experienced the thrill and support of being congratulated by my friends and peers.

To make the honor even more exciting, the two artists who also received Fellowships are my good friend Georgia Rowswell, who creates stunning pieces of layered cast-off fabrics, and Susan Moldenhauer, an amazing photographer who has inspired me for years with her images and her curatorial work as director of the University of Wyoming Art Museum. In a couple of years our work will be exhibited together in the Biennial Fellowship Exhibition. Our work will be very complimentary and I’m excited to see how the exhibit is curated.

The exhibition curator will come visit my studio to select work, so I better get moving!