I’m two days out from finishing my Artist in the Schools residencies in the Pribilof Islands and am a bit delirious (inevitable head cold from all the dirty little hands, a long evening ahead to finish what needs to be done before tomorrow) but I’m also very happy.
I got the good news a few weeks ago that my project grant was funded by the Rasmuson Foundation for $7,500. I am very surprised and grateful for their support. The Foundation contributes to the state in all sorts of ways but their Individual Artist Awards make a huge difference in the lives of Alaskan artists.
In addition to my general attitude that my chances at anything of this sort are slim, I put out what I felt was a risky proposal. Nothing to lose, I figured. It’s not going to happen. When I got the call I thought that it was just to tell me that my strategy was clever but didn’t really fit the parameters of the program. Surprise!
My grant funds design and fabrication of collaborative furniture with a cabinetmaker that incorporates my carved and painted wood pieces (and who, I wonder, could that cabinetmaker possibly be?) The tricky part of the proposal was figuring out how to get around the fact that for various tax reasons Rasmuson can’t fund collaborative projects. I woke up one night thinking “well, hell, why don’t I just hire the carpenter?” Bingo, apparently. (By the way, if any of you reading this are discouraged applicants, persist. I think this was at least attempt #10, maybe #11.)
They ask all grantees to sit on the announcement (not easy!) until they announce it publicly, which happened in Anchorage today. Unfortunately there was no chance of attending the festivities as my residency here runs up to the end of the school year on St. Paul. While I missed a cocktail and fancy dress party in Anchorage last night, I did get to spend the evening in the company of fur seals and shorebirds instead.
In other recent good fortune, I won a purchase award in April at the “Art about Agriculture” invitational exhibition at Oregon State. I have to laugh that in the last four weeks I’ve had to pass up two free trips to pick up awards and asked others to fill in for me – not like it’s something I usually need to consider factoring into my schedule – and I need to thank Teri Sund and Jocelyn Young for being my stand-ins in Corvallis and in Anchorage.
And last, but definitely not least, I just signed the official contract with UAF for the Life Sciences building project. Whew. I am slowly realizing that although I have a lot of work ahead of me, unless I screw up in some colossal manner I can pay the bills for the next year. THAT is the best news. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to see my way clear that far ahead.
More on the upcoming June Alaska House show shortly. Believe it or not, for once I actually got some of my own work done during an AIS residency! It’s been great to be in other places, but I’m also really looking forward to home and spring.