Friday, July 25, 2014


Here is a lovely photo of me at an art openings enjoying the wine, the cheese, the talking about art. Sure, it looks like a dream life that day, but rarely do artists talk about what went into the opening. No, I am not talking about marketing, or struggling to find time in your studio - I am talking about getting accepted. Not just for juried shows, but for grants, residencies, galleries, fellowships, solo show exhibits, publications. 

There is nothing worse than waiting to hear about that result -  a grant application, a fellowship application, a residency application. I feverishly check my email hourly on the day of the published announcement. Then the email arrives and I open to this:

We appreciate all the effort you put into the application proposal and thank you for giving us the opportunity to see your work. Unfortunately your proposal was not selected for funding. 


We regret to inform you that your submission was not selected

It is without a doubt completely disheartening to read. No matter what successes you have had in the past, your worth seems to rest upon that email or letter received at this moment. To read many of these a month is paramount to jumping out of a window. Recently, I read a post on Facebook about a fellow artist  friend who was very frustrated with a recent rejection. I thought what would I say to this person because I have been there, too. 

Here’s what I do: 

1   I step back and re-evaluate for what opportunity I was applying. I find it very helpful when the organization published  has published the “winners.”  I will soon discover that I was not a good fit for them. In other words, the committee selected all digital work, or traditional landscapes. Sometimes, it seems that I should have been selected. When I look at the work objectively, I think I should have been there.  If this is the case, I will place the application in a folder to reapply. Sometimes reapplying helps the cause. Maybe I haven’t had enough experience yet for that particular position. Maybe I need to fill out more applications to get really good at it.

2    Apply to more opportunities that are carefully selected to where you are NOW. Too many “yes”–es to exhibits, grants, etc. feels like I am not reaching high enough or maybe relying on the same opportunities too often. I challenge myself by pushing my boundaries and apply to new galleries or shows. Conversely, too many “no”-s  could be that I am overreaching. I study the competition by reviewing the resumes of artists that were selected. My a-ha moment was once I saw that the selected winners have had dozens of solo shows over the years, I realized that I was overreaching. I put that application in  a folder marked a couple of years from now. To stay in the game, you need to get out there and the important part here is to get back on the proverbially horse and re-apply to  better choices. 

3   Finally, I remember the primary reason why I make work. The real reason is not seek fame or fortune – although that would be nice. I think as people, we have a deep need to be understood, to be heard and seen, to be valued. It makes us feel real – like the Velveteen Rabbit. When that rejection comes through it is a reminder for me that I wasn’t seen or heard. I lick my wounds and get back to the studio. Before I can be seen or heard, I need to tell a story and it is the telling of that story that makes me want to create.  I look at what was submitted. Could my images have been photographed better? Could my selection of images been more cohesive? Does the root of the problem lie in the work itself? What do I need to say more clearly to be heard? 

      The most important part is believing in myself - even when those rejections come in.  What drives me  to keep going is this internal fire to keep making and creating and to be heard. I need my story to be heard even if the only person listening is me. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Orphans, Brawlers and Bastards

In case you were missing my monthly blog updates, I want to share with you the many changes this past year.  In July, I lost my father. Nine months later, in April, I lost my mother.  I realized that I am an orphan.

One of the many tasks in dealing with death is that fact that  my siblings and I have had to clean out their condo in order to sell it. As a result, my husband and I inherited two sofas, a couple of carpets and lots and lots of books. We just finished cleaning our house, moving the furniture in place and are now in the process of settling into this new looking space. My daily groove has been altered.

Physical changes  in this new environment  can be overwhelming and amazing at the same time. I mean it is the same house that I have lived in since 2001 - but there is such a huge difference in how I operate my daily life now that physical space has been changed. 

Another major change is that I am no longer an elementary art teacher. After 15 years of teaching in the public school system, I woke up today realizing that I am now self employed. 

Yesterday, was my last day at the school. My students gave me lots and lots of cards. I wish them well and I will miss them. But I am so ready to work on my art full time- it just feels like this right and the moment is perfect.  In addition to now being  a full time, self employed artist, I am also teaching at Ocean County College as an adjunct professor.  In preparation for my fall class,  I am really cleaning my office. What not? Changes are sometimes unsettling as well as exhilarating - even though my heart and head knows this change is for the best. 

I don't know how much the title of this blog post relates to this post, expect that I am an orphan. It is just that I am listening to that Tom Waits cd now and it seemed like a good idea. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

New York Spring Exhibits

Selfie with Tara Donovan, Pace Gallery NYC

I highly recommend spending some time in the city with artist friends. The weather is marvelous and there plenty of shows to see and  talk about:

MoMA: Lygia Clark 

Nancy Margolis Gallery: Gregory Hayes

Andrea Rosen Gallery: Mika Rottenberg

Cheim & Read: Joan Mitchell

Hauser & Wirth: Anna Maria Mailino

Gagosian Gallery: Julian Schnabel

Tina Kim Gallery: Alexandra Lerman

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Summer on the Island

I am so thrilled and honored to be exhibiting with the Sculptor's Guild for the Governor's Island Art Fair (GIAF) this summer. In 2012, I had visited the art shows with Kristin Osgood and thought that it would be amazing to have an installation in one of the houses. You can read about that trip here. If you want to read more about GIAF, click  here. 

This is the view of Manhattan from GIAF. Lucky for us the day was beautiful.

Of course, installing art work for the GIAF has its privileges and that is driving on the island. I was first on the ferry with my truck and the view was amazing.

Look for my work in Nolan Park - Building 19A, second floor.

All Trees of Wood Shout for Joy, 2014.
7 pieces, variable sizes.
wood, roots, stumps, thread rod and wire

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Art Take Away for Education

The School of Social Work at Monmouth University will  be celebrating its 40th Anniversary in the 2014-2015 academic year.  Forty years of preparing social workers at either the baccalaureate level or since 1998 at the graduate level is quite an accomplishment.  We are quite proud of our alumni and their achievements and look forward to celebrating all throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. We are equally proud that our graduate program has also been recognized in the 60th position as a “Top 100” program by US News and World Report.

One of our first events that will kick off our anniversary year will be an “Art Take Away for Education” on June 20, 2014.  This event will be held in Rechnitz Hall, a brand new Art Gallery building on the beautiful Monmouth University campus.  The “take away” guarantees that everyone who comes to this event will leave with a piece of donated original art, whether it is sculpture or framed painting.  All proceeds will be put towards scholarships in social work for our graduate students.

If you are interested in making a donation of one of your pieces of original art that will be part of the take away and silent auction during this evening, please print this information.  Monmouth University is planning on photographing a select group of pieces and putting them on a website for invited guests to view before the event along with information about you and your work.

Art Take Away for Education

To donate to the “Art Take Away for Education”, please return the agreement below with your artist’s information to Monmouth University and mail to School of Social Work, 400 Cedar Avenue, West Long Branch, NJ 07764. If you would like to e-mail your information you may do so to

For additional information, call the School of Social Work at 732-571-3543.
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Name of Art Piece: __________________________________________________________________

Name of Artist: ____________________________________________________________________

Medium of Art:_____________________________________________________________________

Value of Donation_______________________________________________________

City and State: ___________________________________Phone: ____________________________

E- Mail _______________________________________________________________


Authorized Signature: _______________________________________________________________

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Exhibits Celebrating the Natural World!

This spring seems to heralding art inspired by the natural world. 

The first exhibit, entitled Expressions of the Natural World: A Juried Exhibition, is located at the Monmouth Museum on the campus of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. The exhibit is open from March 16 – May 4, 2014. 
Some of the highlights are:
Riccardo Berlingeri's work entitled Mimic, which is made from Recycled plastic water bottles. This was a new piece from 2014 in which Berlingeri melted the plastic water bottles. 
the artist and his work

detail of Mimic

This piece I purchased - Crow Hill is an etching by Patricia Wynne.   As contract artist for scientists at research organizations, her detail was impeccable. I look forward to seeing this piece every day.

My iPhone image does not do this piece, a graphite on paper drawing, justice. Carol A. O'Neill's piece, Fallen, is delicate and charming. She is also pictured here with me and my piece, the green encaustic piece paired with a real bird's nest.


Also at the show was friend and sculptor Amy Puccio. She is pictured here with her work, Avant Gourd, a wood mosaic piece.

Some other notable works:

Wendy Osterweil's Dawn at Birds' Gate, art quilt, silkscreen printed with fiber reactive dyes, machine quilted

Maria Lupo's Mossman, a sculpture made mixed media with Spanish moss.
detail of Mossman

James Murray's Gravity-

Alan Walker's Fishtyct, acrylic on canvas-

Christine Cote's Wild Apples 5, an archival digital print-

Another show celebrating the natural world is at JAM Gallery.  The show is entitled "ECO-ARTS" is on view from April 4-June 1. The JAM Gallery is located 321 East King Street • Malvern, PA 19355. I look forward to seeing everyone at the May 2 opening! Check back for a review of that exhibit next month.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Highlights from the Fountain Fair

Highlights from the Fountain Fair-

Here I am with my cousin Roslyn at the Fair with my piece Washed Up. The piece is 45" x 45" . 

Here's an wide angle lens shot of the Sculptors Guild Booth.

Stuck in traffic to the Lincoln Tunnel - I couldn't resist this shot of the Empire State Building with the moon.

A special thanks to Thea Lanzisero and Elaine Lorenz for organizing the Sculptor's Guild Booth; much thanks for Roslyn Esperon and James Rosenthal  for coming all the way to NYC to see me!