The following post is contributed by Collective member, artist Tricia Hampo, First-Place award winner in the Collective’s 2021 Fall Juried Exhibit.
My name is Tricia Hampo and I have been creating/crafting since I was able to hold a crayon in my hand. I received a BFA in Graphic Design from The University of Michigan and a Teaching Certificate in Art from Eastern Michigan University. Of course, life gets busy and other things managed to take precedence to my creative endeavors from time to time. I created glass beads and sold to jewelry designers for about 12 years until I felt I had exhausted that medium’s creative possibilities. So, I picked up the paint brush for the first time in a very long time, about 6 years ago. Since then I have been exploring many different mediums. I often tell people I have art A.D.D. I want to try everything.
Currently my favorite medium is oil and cold wax medium. I’ll also claim that I did not choose my current favorite subject matter, it chose me. I don’t think I ever would have imagined I would paint portraits and figures to the extent that I do.
I will tell you that I defeated my inner critic this time by being awarded first place in the Collective’s Fall 2021 show that is currently hanging at Mallets Creek Library in Ann Arbor.
I am honored and humbled as there are so many outstanding pieces of art in this show. One of the Library’s employees commented on how nice it was to have art on the walls again. I couldn’t agree more. It looks beautiful and makes my heart happy.
I often find myself looking at the walls in all the various offices I visit and thinking how much they need real ART on their walls, not just posters and product advertisements, but real art made from local artists. After all, how much time do we find ourselves waiting with nothing to look at but our phones?
Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from the screen and see some real art?
To look at all those gorgeous brushstrokes and colors up close?
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend that time imagining what that artwork is saying to us and let it take us on a voyage of discovery?
I’ve got to believe there are a lot of artists out there with some stunning art just sitting in the corners of their studios just waiting to be viewed and enjoyed.
I, for one, can’t wait to see it!
For a few years, I played with the idea of joining an artists guild. I held off joining for so long because I didn’t think I was good enough. Aren’t we always our own worst critics!?! I also thought I’d feel like an outsider, as I did not know anyone else in a guild. However, that is also the reason I had for wanting to join a guild, so that I could meet, share and create with other artists of all levels and interests.
I also had a number of paintings sitting around in my studio and my family would often ask me what I was going to do with them? They would say, “you should at least share these with others,” or “perhaps you can make someone smile, contemplate or reflect” and “they certainly aren’t doing any good just sitting in your studio.”
They were right, so I figured why not. So, I joined the Huron River Art Collective. As I searched their website for opportunities to get involved and benefits of being a member, I discovered the Exhibits page. Here was an opportunity to get my artwork out there for the public to see, perhaps smile, reflect and maybe even purchase for continued enjoyment.
Then, guess what?
My inner critic immediately spoke up, “you’re not good enough to be in a show”,
“why would you want to spend money just to have someone reject your art?”
Quickly, I decided to squash my inner critic and go for it. As artists we have to have thick skin. Art is very subjective. We have to know that we cannot always connect with everyone. First and foremost my intent in creating is not necessarily for my viewer anyways, it begins with me. My art begins with what I hope to accomplish, what I hope to communicate. It is a way to express my thoughts, stories, feelings, hopes and dreams. As a favorite quote of mine says, “Every ARTwork” is a voyage of discovery”, this is not only true for the artist, it is also true for the viewer.
The Huron River Art Collective 2021 Fall Juried Exhibit is currently on display at the Malletts Creek branch of the Ann Arbor Library through December 3rd. The closing reception, with juror, Durwood Coffey, will be on the evening of December 3rd, 6:30p – 7:45p.