Saturday, April 28, 2012

Professional Development

In the past month I've had a little flurry of professional development opportunities that have been kind of exciting.  First, I was contacted through my Etsy site by No. 27 Gallery in Rochester, N.H. about having a show of Gyotaku fish prints on rice paper.  I said, "Sure!".  They curate a number of small spaces around Rochester N.H., and we're scheduled to have a show in "The Portable Pantry" in September 2012.  Never done anything like this before, so should be interesting to see what it's like and if it generates any interest in Brian and I's collaborative work.  Between now and then, Brian and I plan to work up some new original fish prints, and I'm thinking I might also like to experiment with some Gyotaku collage or fabric pieces as well.

Next, Brian and I were invited to be vendors at a local Japan Festival this past weekend that was held at Aikido of Champlain Valley in Burlington, VT.  There were several other vendors present focused in traditional Japanese arts including bonsai, origami, and ikebana (flower arranging).  While we sat at our booth selling our Gyotaku wares, we were treated to demonstrations of Taiko drumming and Aikido martial art.  I really liked learning about the philosophy behind Aikido and the focus on being present in one's own life (living in the moment) and maintaining a calm focus during what could be otherwise stressful interactions.  I think I might check a class out sometime, maybe when Henry is a little older and we could do it together. Our booth was next to the Japan America Society of Vermont, and we were invited by their president, Larry Solt, to participate in their Matsuri (festival) next year held at St. Michael's College.  That should be a lot of fun and so interesting to be surrounded by a culture I greatly admire.  I wonder what my great uncle Taka would think?

Lastly, I now have a member profile on the Surface Design Association website.  So, I'm all set to be "discovered"!  I had my Surface Design critique group today, so now I'm all filled with new creative ideas and inspiration - such  a good feeling!