This past spring, I submitted short pieces to a contest called Word of Art. They were five of over 150 submissions. These pieces were posted and artists were invited to read the pieces and choose one or two to create a 2D canvas that related to the written word. Two of my submissions were chosen. The 30 pieces that were chosen were then complied in a coffee table book.
The finished book was presented to the public in an exhibition and reception in early August. The reception was greeted with a standing room only crowd. After people had taken time to meander around the room and view the art and read the accompanying piece, the authors were given the opportunity to read their pieces and the artist, the opportunity to explain how they interpreted the piece and what inspired the artwork.
Three awards were given at the end of the reception: judge’s choice for the written word, judge’s choice for artistic interpretation, and the peoples’ choice for best union of word and art.
As John Gile explained what he was looking for in the written word, I listened carefully. Did my work fit what he was saying? Then, in no special order, he identified the four runners-up and explained how he judged the work. In my mind, I was saying, “Yes, I can see that in the piece of writing,” but I was also saying to myself that my work was not as well written as each of them. When Gile got to his choice for the best piece, I was blown away when he read the title of one of my pieces “The Immigrant.”
He explained why he thought the piece stood out and then he asked me to read the piece again. It was such an exciting night just to be published and share my work, but to be honored in this way felt inspiring.