Wonderful Overwhelming Amazing

When I was writing up the proposal for Word of Art, I kept it strikingly similar to Drawn with Words, the Art in your Eye program I had participated in the year before. Same word count, same provision of 16×20 canvas, same book format.
But there was one major difference.
I wanted to hold a reception where the authors and artists met and mingled and were able, if wanting, to sign each other’s books.

This past Friday, my dream came to fruition.

Centerpieces provided by Kristin Oakley, photo by Sharon P. Lynn, cupcakes by Christina Lamphere.

Centerpieces provided by Kristin Oakley, photo by Sharon P. Lynn, cupcakes by Christina Lamphere.

The Word of Art Exhibition and Book Release Reception was held September 5, 2014 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and it was fantabulous*.
The talent was wonderful.
The excitement was overwhelming.
The turnout was amazing.

The book is pretty cool, too.

Word of Art book and reception program

Word of Art book and reception program

There was food and drink, camaraderie and compliments, autographs and art purchases.
(And heat & humidity! But we don’t need to dwell.)

Authors read their pieces and then the artists spoke about why the piece inspired them as the audience followed along in the book. The program was efficient and well-received thanks to a delightful emcee and an assemblage of fabulous talent who, although eager to speak, respected the time. At the end, guests were encouraged to vote on the best collaboration of Word and Art and then awards were given.

We were honored to have esteemed author John Gile select his choice for Best Word, Immigrant by Karna Tecla

The Immigrant written by Karna Tecla

The Immigrant written by Karna Tecla

and fine artist Tom Heflin select his choice for Best Art, Just a Moment . . . by Nan Seidler

Mixed Media created by Nan Seidler

Mixed Media created by Nan Seidler

The People’s Choice Awards went to author Jessica Parker

Cream written by Jessica Parker

Cream written by Jessica Parker

and artist Sheila Welch for best collaboration with Cream

Acrylic painted by Sheila Welch

Acrylic painted by Sheila Welch

Thanks to a mighty fine committee**: Kathleen Tresemer, Catherine Conroy, Kristin Oakley, Linda Kleczkowski, Deborah Lucas and Pat Bryan. Many decisions were made around the diner table!
We appreciate the support from ELC including Caryl Barnes, Jeff Birch, Pat Becker, Jennie SparkWeaver, and Pastor TroyAnn.
In Print was a huge help in getting this program off the ground. Thank you to board members Sandy Colbert, Bob Francis, Sharon Boehefeld, and Chris Cacciatore.
Thanks also to our judges John Gile and Tom Heflin, Dan Grych of The Art Box for providing hardware for hanging, Caitlin Podemski for adding musical ambiance, Jake Oakley and Christina Lamphere for their divine contributions to the food tables, Shannon Anderson, and the Jefferson High School National Honor Society student volunteers who assisted with the evening.
Not to leave out my thanks to amazing public support! Friends, family, neighbors, and word and lovers.
The Word of Art exhibition opening was better than I imagined because of the wonderful collaboration of so many people.

OH MY GOSH, how could I forget to than Super Dave and his powers of book-delivery?!
Talking about saving the day!

The gallery was lovely. It was standing room only. We sold out of our one hundred books!

We will definitely do this again.

In the meantime, we will be printing a second run. To order yours through paypal Members Purchase, $16*** for In Print members, or Non-Members Purchase, $21***, or with cash or check for $15 IP members, $20 nonmembers, at the In Print meeting, Saturday, Sept. 13, 1-4 pm at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, or by check to In Print P.O. Box 2146 Loves Park, IL 61130

Now that you are a little more familiar with what In Print has to offer, if you would like to join, please click here. You don’t want to miss the book fair in October!

Also, Authors, Artists and patrons interested in buying an available canvas from the Word of Art exhibition, please contact the artist. I can connect you if necessary. The purchaser pays the artist who then provides a 25% commission to the church. We will mark the art “sold” and you can pick it up once the exhibition closes.

Word of Art will run Sept. 8 through Sept. 26. The ELC gallery is available for viewing on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm. Enter through the north entrance, off 2nd Ave.

From the moment I got this niggle of an idea to the final applause of the evening, I have had prodigious support and encouragement. I wish I could define the depths of my gratitude in regards to this whole process. As a writer, moments like this confound me. “Thank you” is not just an acknowledgment, right now it’s my heart.

Thank you.

Thank You.

Thank You.

My sincere apologies if I have missed someone or forgotten something.
I’m still just wonderfully overwhelmed and amazed.

I welcome you to send me photos to post here!

*Sometimes you need a collaboration of words to properly describe something.
**During the planning and execution of the event, I dubbed them WoA! Women of Action!
***Those dratted digital “convenience” fees.


About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
This entry was posted in Holidaze, It's all about me, It's all about You, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to WoA

  1. The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley says:

    Mary, got a little teary reading this! The Word of Art book is absolutely stunning and I’ve been showing it to everyone. The book itself is a work of art. Also, the reception far and away exceeded my expectations. To walk in and find standing room only was unbelievable…and that was a big room. Another thing I loved was the spirit of the evening. Being able to watch artists and authors connect (myself included, I loved meeting the artist who based her work on my poem!) was really a special part of the night, too. We had a lot of talent in that room.
    Again, amazing job to you and your Word of Art committee. You all did a marvelous job.

  2. Christina says:

    I’m so excited for you! I am still so bummed I missed it and I can’t wait to come to it next year!
    P.S. Thanks for the cupcake credit!

  3. Pingback: Word of Art TWO! | Mary Lamphere

  4. Pingback: When the Party’s Over | Mary Lamphere

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