This past November, I was accepted to showcase my artwork at Friendswood's Annual Art In The Park festival. Not only was this my first time at Art In The Park, but it was also my first experience at an outdoor event. As luck would have it, the weather was absolutely perfect and drew a large crowd for a weekend of fun.
Among the countless white tents were charming jewelry makers, eclectic craftsman, hands-on pottery makers, skilled photographers and talented artists covering a wide range of subject matter and artistic styles. Aside from the art, they also filled the days with great musical performances, a variety of food trucks and an Arts & Crafts Station for the kids.
Since AITP was a 2-day long event, I was able to find some time to walk around and mingle with the other showcasing artists.
Now I have always found that, regardless of their chosen crafts, artists have so much in common and have always been quick to support and help others along the way. I had the pleasure of meeting so many kind hearted people who, upon finding out I was fairly new to the art community, jumped at the opportunity to give me advice, connect me with other professional artists and support me down the road to furthering my career.
Among these people, to name a few, were AITP's 2015 Artist of the Year, Michael W. Gilbert, an unbelievable metalsmith from Houston, his sweet friend David Cook, and Isaac Rodriguez, a talented painter from La Porte, Texas. All three of these men opened up about the hard lessons they've learned, the passion they share and amazing words of encouragement and praise for my own work, something I will always be grateful for.
To make the weekend even more special, they announced me as the peoples choice award for AITP's Artist Of The Year 2016, securing my front row spot in next years show and allowing my work to be the face of AITP 2016!
I can't begin to tell you how much of an honor it was to receive that acknowledgment, considering the amazing artists I was up against, but it was even more special knowing that I could come back to such an awesome event and hopefully pass my experiences on to another up-and-coming artist, like so many others had done for me.