Monday, January 22, 2007

Gallery Stroll and Thank Yous

I don’t know who reads my blog anymore, but I want to extend a special thanks to my friends for coming out on Friday night to Gallery Stroll.

It means a lot to me when I see friendly faces walk into the Rio. And the Grantees Showcase is my biggest event of the year. I put more time, effort and creativity into preparing for the Grantees Showcase than any other exhibit we do, because it is a year-round process. I didn’t even have to recruit anyone this time. Well, except for my parents. But my sister and her husband showed up (their first time), and you showed up and you brought friends. So thanks for coming, and more importantly, thanks for STAYING. Not only did it mean a lot to me, it meant a lot to the artists who performed such as Michael Greenfield (he did the reading), Steve Ricks (he talked about his musical composition) and Jayne Luke (she did the 10 minute play). You guys made up a good portion of their audience, and whether you enjoyed their project or not, an audience is all they really wanted.

If you couldn’t make it out on Friday, the next Gallery Stroll at the Rio Gallery is March 16th. That’s the Fellowship exhibit. That should be a good one too. It features four visual artists who each won $10,000 to create new work.

There’s nothing like hearing the right words at the right time. That doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, it’s really memorable for me. A couple weeks ago, I was coming out of a meeting for the project grants we give. I inherited the role as committee leader when it comes to this grant. I didn’t ask for it, but our former committee leader was in a terrible car accident over the summer and out of the office for several months, so I took over. I didn’t know what I was doing, I had little experience when it came to managing a grant program, but with the help of everyone else, we were trying to pull it off without our familiar leader. He came to our meeting that day and he told me on my way out that I was doing a “bang up job.” I really needed to hear that after a frustrating meeting. He told me again on Friday that the Showcase was a success and that it’s turning into something the artists really enjoy. It’s a nice feeling, knowing you did something right.

The mother of a girl in our ward gave the R.S. presidency a thank you card on Sunday. She thanked us for visiting her daughter earlier last week. The funny part was, we didn’t get to visit with her. She was on the phone and didn’t answer the door for a few minutes, and when she finally did open the door, she didn’t even get off the phone. We just dropped off some cookies. We left thinking the poor girl thought we were crazy and obnoxious. It was so sweet of her mother to encourage us like that.

I got another thank you card from a girl in my ward on Sunday as well. It was the most random thing ever, and I think she wrote several of them, but she thanked me for a few things I’ve said and simply for being me. That’s probably one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received. It’s nice to know that people not only notice you for the noticeable things you do, such as lessons you prepare or talks you give, but knowing that someone appreciates me for who I already am reminds me that I don’t always have to go out of my way, and that I’m doing something right already.

So I had a feel good weekend. I’m not sharing these things because I want you all to know there are people out there who appreciate me. I guess I just want to say that these nice things have encouraged me to be more appreciative of those around me and to let you know how much a “thank you” can mean. So if you get the chance, tell someone that they’re doing a good job or you appreciate their example. You never know how much they need to hear it.


Steph said...

I enjoyed Gallery Stroll last Friday. Being a non-creative tax accountant, it blows my mind that people can come up with such amazing music, art, etc.

Ilene said...

I want to come and appreciate. I used to appreciate art now I appreciate a non-poopy diaper. Hmmm. I should become an artist and do a "Mommy" art show. Anyway, I will be calling you soon to pick your brain- I have to talk on art appreciation at a ward function again. I shouldn't tell people what I majored in anymore; they expect me to still know something about it.

laura said...

Another art appreciation talk! How does it feel to be THE cultural touchstone of your ward? I bet there are others hiding under the radar over there in Eugene. My ward recently discovered there are others who can play the piano besides me.

I wish you could come and appreciate Gallery Stroll too, Ilene. I really miss you!