Friday, July 10, 2009

Tucson Museum of Art and the Arizona Biennial '09



There are a few moments in one's life that are so meaningful that the details, large and small, converge into a kind of storm, a bit like the welcomed monsoon lightning that surrounded the glass walls of the Tucson Museum of Art tonight, bringing a rain of clear moments to a lifetime of dreams--and work with hands and paint.

Twenty-four years ago I was cleaning pools for a living (just out of college). Each week I cleaned the TMA's fountain (just outside the west door from the museum).

I distinctly remember standing out there sweating in the summer heat, losing prime on the pump, fighting with the skimmer and the crappy suction of the damn fountain, looking wistfully toward the cool, air conditioned comfort of the museum. As I turned to look at the entrance doors, I wished then that I could be inside.

Tonight I got that wish.




I stood there with friends and family of forty years, eight years and few years and looked across the entrance hall toward that fountain and smiled across the distance.


Here are a few photos from tonight's reception.
It was a delight to see so many people attend. When they stood in front of my painting....whoa, I was in a dream. When they read my statement, I was grateful and happy that they were not bored.



I heard the words again, "Success is not a function of individual talent. It's the steady accumulation of advantages."

28 comments:

kathrynlaw said...

Heartfelt congratulations Melinda, a well-deserved honor! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment in your life, and such a great story.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Kathryn. I wish you and our other blogosphere artists/friends could have attended.

Now I'll have to go back and have a proper look at the show!

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Melinda. I am very happy for you and know how much this show means to you. Thank you for sharing your story.

- Grant Wiggins

Melinda said...

Thank you very much, Grant. It means a lot to me that you stopped by and commented.

Wishing you every success.

Edgar said...

It was such a pleasure and honor to see your beaming face at the reception. In my opinion it is a recognition you have had unfairly delayed, but it nonetheless comes at a good time, yes?

I'm in AWE! SHAM-WOW! ... and to quote Wayne's World, "I'm not worthy!" i.e., "Congratulations."

This story is so moving. It really does help to restore my faith in the ultimate rightness of the universe. Thanks for that.

my croft said...

The quotation seems to be from Malcolm Gladwell, via his book Outliers.
http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/malcolm-gladwell-on-outliers-the-story-of-success/article104648.html

Barbara Muir said...

Wow ! WooHoo! Hip Hip Hurray.
I can imagine that day. I used to work on the reception desk of our big gallery.

You are amazing, look just beautiful in the pictures, and deserve this more than anyone! Congratulations.

xoxoxoxoxoBarbara

Melinda said...

You are so dear to me and I wish that you could have been there. I saw one of my old art history professors there, carrying an odd skateboard. Now I'm thinking, what fun it would have been if you and I ran away with the skateboard and tried (ha) to ride it through the museum halls, screeching "WE ARE ART! That's so crazy it just might have worked! And we'd be laughing our heads off. Tucsonans are so casual, they may have thought it was performance art.

Thank you so much for you kind words.

Linny D. Vine said...

YIPPPPEEEE, MELINDA!!!! Thank-you for sharing your wonderful evening with us. My heart and I are doing the happy dance for you!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Many, many, congratulations, Melinda, I'm sooo pleased for you :o)

It's a wonderful experience for an artist to have their precious work shown in public for all the world to see, and doubly so for you to be in the Arizona Bienniale. It provides some well deserved external validation and appreciation for you talent!
My very best wishes for the show!
You go, girl!!!!

Karen said...

Gigantic congratulations from me too! I cannot imagine anyone having been bored by your statement. I think your writing always has a way of getting at 'it', putting your finger on something we sense but maybe have not yet put into words.
So happy for you!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Linny! I have a very nice image in my head of your dear heart and a happy dance.

I really appreciate your comment!!

Melinda said...

Thank you, David! It means a great deal to me to have you comment. I KNOW you understand all that goes into the work and the prep for such an exhibit.

I hope that it inspires you to keep going, keep looking toward that day that you'll receive the proper validation that you so deserve. I know it won't be long.

Melinda said...

Thank you, Karen!! It is because of you and a few other artists that I am in the exhibit. Your work, your process and your generous comments provide much appreciated support and community. That makes all the difference.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

I've given you the Bella Sinclair award. You deserve the Nobel Prize for art, but I hope you will accept this humble token of my great esteem for you and your work.

xoxoxoxoxBarbara

Melinda said...

You've made my day, Barbara. I am humbled, grateful and touched to my core that you would think of me deserving of such an award.

Thank you so much!
Virtual hugs!

Tammy Hext said...

Congrats Melinda! And thank you for visiting my blog. I am enjoying yours and I will be back to look again.
Tammy

Paula Villanova said...

Congratulations, both on having the vision to see a dream, then to make it happen with your artistic vision...and the invitations are mighty creative too!

Melinda said...

I'm so glad you stopped by, Tammy. Thank you! I enjoy your blog, too, and will see you there soon.

Melinda said...

Hi, Paula. Thank you so much for your kind words. The postcard was a moment of funny sent to print...seems to have worked. ;)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the PERFECT storm! Life is funny, isn't it?
I think God smiles at us when we are struggling through the tedious moments in life, because He knows what's in store for us down the road a piece.

Congratulations and a warm hug!

Anonymous said...

P.S. love that picture of you and your son!
(I'm guessing it's your son)

Melinda said...

Thank you so much, Silvina! I'm in total agreement. Virtual hugs back atcha.

Funny thing: We went back on Sunday to really see the exhibit and, I said, "I wanna go by that fountain and show you guys how difficult it was to clean." As we approached, there was a dove struggling under the waterfall portion, not able to get our from under it. My son, Ell, took off his flip flops and got in and scooped up the exhausted bird and brought it back to the deck, saving if from certain death. Kinda symbolic to me...

Yes, that's my boy!

Jeane Myers said...

oh, my! congratulations! so satisfying :) and a good marker....

Melinda said...

Thank you, Jeane! And, thank you for visiting. Yes, it's a great marker, a brief stop along the way...

susan hong-sammons said...

Dear Melinda, Congratulations!!! What a beautiful show. It must feel wonderful to see you work in such a place surrounded by other fantastic art. I hope to get to see and and will direct friends who live in the area there.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, that is rich with symbolism. So now you have to get Edgar involved with the fountain somehow. Maybe some midnight skinny-dipping is in order. : D

Melinda said...

Ha! Very funny, Silvina. :) Nice idea...except the fountain is only about a foot deep. Guess we could stand under the waterfall and pretend we're near real water, right? hmmm