Part of my routine for the business part of my art practice is a group of annual grants for which I apply. The application submissions come out at various times of the year and I track these on my calendar. For each submission, there’s a flurry of writing, choosing images to submit, filling out financial information and more. There are usually at least 2-3 months (sometimes more) before the announcement comes out. I’m generally juggling writing and waiting to hear on various grants simultaneously so that when a rejection comes I still have other possibilities out there. Still, it’s always hard to see those lines about the numbers of artists who applied and what great work it was and how the jurors had a hard time and by the way you weren’t chosen.
Each time I go through this process I learn something. It’s a great opportunity to review my work and think about what I’ve done and where I’d like to go with my art career. Putting myself and my work on the line like this isn’t easy, as anyone who does any sort of art related application knows.
Several weeks ago, a skinny Gottlieb Foundation letter found its’ way into our mailbox at the Oracle post office. I opened it figuring it was a rejection, but it was a Congratulations! I got the grant!
I’ve spent the time since then absorbing my good fortune and making lists. I want to use the recognition and the funds in the best way possible to further my art career.
Another layer to being awarded this grant is that I have a distinct memory of sitting in the library at Santa Barbara City College as a freshly minted art major, reveling in the large selection of art books. At the time I was pretty naive about the scope of the art world. I came across a book that included some of Adolf Gottlieb’s work and was immediately enthralled by it. It had a powerful impact on me. To think that right now, today, after all those years, I have an Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Individual Artist Support Grant is almost beyond my comprehension.
But just wait—I plan to grow into this opportunity with all that I’ve got, making the most of it in every way I can conceive.