…Sports metaphors do not apply to Art.  I make art.  I seldom watch (or play) sports, unless a blood relative is kicking around a soccer ball with me, or I’m watching kid-pitch baseball.  One reason I was attracted to making art from the sweet age of eight, was because of the magic moment of getting totally sucked into the creative process.  It did not require a “team”.

For other kids my age, maybe it was connecting the bat to the ball at just the right moment, and watching the crowd go wild with excitement, that drew them to sports.  Making art, rarely has anything to do with an immediate public reaction, but instead, takes one on a journey into the inner self, through play, research and obsession.  The process is its own reward.

     The reward is there until the day you decide to put your stuff out for others to see, react to, and possibly not in the way you desire.  Entering a juried exhibition is a risk that many artists prefer not to take.  What If???...IT does not get accepted?

   Over the years, I’ve learned that it can be an emotional experience to have a piece that you’ve nurtured like a new baby be rejected. HOURS spent sketching, thinking, pushing around paint. Why Did They Not Accept It? One’s critical eye and over-active imagination could easily propel one into a wrestling match with inner gremlins.

   But, what if, instead of roiling in a self-induced state of despair, one relies on others (did I say “the team”) for an objective critique? If you can be willing to look at something with a fresh eye, and listen to comments, whether or not you agree with them, if might send you back to the easel or workbench with a newfound determination to work through the  “loss.”  Ask more questions, look more deeply; try new ideas, and maybe the “loss” will be turned into a “win”.   The  “win”, ultimately is very subjective, and can’t be measured in points, goals, or public reaction.  Now…on to the new canvas.

Sherry Houpt
Member, Art Hotel Artists Collective

Are you old enough to remember the childhood game 'Operation'?  Before Wii and XBox Live, even long before Pong or Pac-Man the closest thing to an electronic game was 'Operation'.  Although it did not involve the  realistic graphics gamers of today are accustomed to, it did make noise and light up. Assuming that is, your hands were jittery as you tried to remove the funny bone from your patient. If you were a wobbly surgeon,  you'd be called out with a loud buzz when your tweezers touched the no-zone, causing your patient's nose to light up Rudolph red.  There were multiple tiny  choking hazard sized items which required precise extraction, including butterflies in the stomach. Only the most sure-handed got the opportunity to continue the game. Maybe a few of those kids actually grew up to be surgeons, who knows?  What I suspect is, at least a few of them grew up to be artists. 

With  serious focus on carefully tweezing out the individual love themed pieces for a February exhibit, h'ART Attack jurors  (Michelle Stroescu, Karen Jacobi, Linda Ford) proved themselves a skilled team. The participating artists, also steady handed in their creations.  Still, don't be surprised if you hear a loud buzz. Unlike the game of 'Operation', it's a good thing. It will be coming from those taking in the visuals and finding the funny bones and broken hearts at h'ART Attack.