September’s Photos

September is over, as is summer, and I’m getting close to the end of my “Carrying Around a Camera Everyday” project. Or, maybe not, maybe I’ll do this forever. Or I’ll get really ambitious and do the 365 project (which is a terrifying prospect, but doesn’t that mean I should do it?) Anyways, enough of me figuring out what to do with my life- here are some pictures:


I took a lot of my pictures at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, because really, there is so much to see. There are a couple hints from my most recent photo shoot concerning dreams, but you won’t be seeing the results of that for a long time- so enjoy the teaser.

Well, that’s all for now. Happy Shooting!

Somebody, Pinch Me

My life has been ArtPrize this past week, and I’m SO okay with that. On Sunday, I had a lovely brunch with donors of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where I met some wonderful people and was able to discuss my artwork with them.

But, really, I’m so excited it’s unreal.

On Wednesday, the opening of the competition, I went downtown and visited my work for a few minutes (I really wanted to check out how busy the museum was- it was busy.) I visited a lot of the venues in Center City and a few in Heartside, and man, there are so many talented artists! I was overwhelmed once more by how respectable this exhibition is, and how I’m surround by thousands of works by very worthy artists.

Also, I saw some cyanotypes. That is the sign of my people- they are around. Somewhere. But not lurking in the shadows, because, y’know, sunlight is needed for cyanotypes. Cyanotypes are pretty hip right now for photographers. We like to think we’re meta.

I keep expecting that I’ll get used to how crazy this whole thing is, but every time I start to feel even a tiny bit complacent, something cool happens. The other morning, I got called to set up an interview. And, a few nights ago, a friend of mine (thanks, Julie!) told me that my artwork was on the front page of the Grand Rapids Press.

My work.

On the front page.

Of an in-print newspaper.

Somebody, pinch me.

My work was also on I just keep finding out about these things second hand. It’s like I’m living in two totally different worlds right now: by day, I am a hard working student itching to graduate. By night, I am the artist who created Home Sweet Home.

There have been a couple blog posts about my work, but my favorite article was by Rachel Watson. Her post is a great read, so check it out!

I returned, once more, on Friday with a couple of friends, and I sat in front of my piece for about an hour, just watching people’s reactions. I had one guy standing right next to me, photographing my piece, and I chuckled a little because the artist was sitting right next to him, but he was oblivious. A couple people did double and triple takes, recognizing me, so even though I chopped all my hair off I guess I’m not as incognito as I thought I was. Darn.

The funny thing about this was I was actually waiting in line at my own piece, trying to snag a few of my postcards. And no one, except one highly observant lady, noticed. And, thanks to my friend (Caroline you rock!) here is photographic evidence, because I’m a photographer and I’m all about that sort of thing:

People were standing in line waiting to get at my piece. I got a bit teary eyed, because seeing all of these people really look at my work is a dream come true. And it’s all because I took a risk. And, on the bus, I talked to a lady who remembered my piece. This experience is truly rewarding.

So, yeah. If you’re around, be sure to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum to see my piece (and vote for it!) Also, I have postcards for your enjoyment, and everyone loves postcards, so hey, incentive. I’m also on the front, and that face may be famous some day.

Go look at the art. Get cultured. Also, the food in Grand Rapids is amazing, and all the artists are fun and quirky. ArtPrize is from September 24th- October 12th. Don’t miss out!

Happy Shooting!

ArtPrize 2014!

I’m super excited to share that ArtPrize 2014 is underway and my series Home Sweet Home is exhibited the Grand Rapids Art Museum!

It’s been an interesting journey for me. In May, I figured I could give this whole ArtPrize thing a try, not thinking much would come of it. So I applied to a few venues, and the last one I applied to was the GRAM. I wasn’t sure if I should try and connect with them, because I mean, it’s a museum and I’m just a college student, but I figured the worst that could happen is they would tell me no.

And that didn’t even happen.

I guess I wasn’t aware how big of a deal this is. I know ArtPrize is one of Michigan’s biggest tourist events, and I know a lot of my peers go to it, but I never have. So when I was filling out a contract with the museum, when I was arranging drop-off times, when I was interviewed for the exhibition, when I was asked if it was okay for the press to contact me, and when I got the list of these dinners/luncheons with important people, I was honestly overwhelmed. I still am.

Also I got a cool sticker when I came to drop my stuff off. Stickers mean serious business.

Last night was the Grand Rapids Art Museum Member Preview. I was so nervous all week, I couldn’t sleep, and all day I felt sick to my stomach. I never wear makeup, and I wore makeup, if that puts into perspective how anxious I was about literally everything. I kept thinking about never-would-happen scenarios, and I finally relaxed when we got to the museum and saw my work hanging up in the gallery. Everything looked wonderful.

There were a lot of people there, more than I was expecting (I don’t really know what I was expecting anymore.) It was so surreal, watching people read my artist statement and then slowly take their time looking at my images, reading the captions, sometimes going back to look again. There was one gentleman who sat on a bench and stared for at least ten minutes at my work- that was possibly my favorite part of the entire evening.

Talking with people about my work was great, since I don’t normally get to do that outside of a classroom setting. So, having people recognize me from the photos and come up to ask me questions was fantastic. I got questions like, “Is this for real?” and comments like, “This must have been really emotional for you.” I replied yes to both. I must have said thank you hundreds of times last night when people congratulated me or told me they enjoyed my work. All of the stress leading up to last night was 100% worth it.

Another surreal event: seeing my name is HUGE letters on the gallery wall. When we walked into the first gallery and saw one of the artists’ names, my best friend says to me, “Your name is going to be in big letters like that.” That didn’t quite register with my brain until I saw it in person.

I really enjoyed seeing the other artists’ work, and it’s an honor to be in the same venue with all of them. I’m pretty sure I’m the youngest artist there, so to be included with these practicing artists is truly humbling and exciting. Each piece in the GRAM for ArtPrize is extraordinary, so if you plan on visiting be sure to stop by! ArtPrize officially starts Wednesday, September 24th, and goes until October 12th. Hope to see you there!

And, as always, Happy Shooting!

P.S.- Here, have a visual representation about how I felt after last night:

P.P.S.- ArtPrize is a contest where the public casts a vote for their favorite piece! To learn more about this process, please visit: