The impact of Impact Returns

 Kenwood Public Art Project- my bench at the southeast corner of Seminole Park, September 2017

Kenwood Public Art Project- my bench at the southeast corner of Seminole Park, September 2017

I just attended this past Thursday the Emerging Artist New Work Exhibition.  It was an amazing show splendidly presented and well attended.  It reminded me why we do what we do and suddenly punctuated the grant title that made this show and the grant I received, of which this blog is a required outgrowth, both possible.

IMPACT RETURNS…….

Elizabeth Brincklow (Engagement Director and Exhibition Coordinator) said in the program for the exhibition: “Together within the gallery space the totality of the new works create torque, meaningful tension and unabashed beauty”

These words evoke the evening for me exactly.  The performances and the installation of the visual work inspired passionate conversation that rang in the building as I entered and even before I saw the crowd, I felt the crowd.  The energy and the intensity of what that space and those artists projected upon the guests attending was electrifying.  

I had some very interesting conversations as I experienced the show.  One of which I am still pondering.  The question of how we as artists stay true to ourselves while making our vision accessible to the public.  How do we connect…..How do we impact? And I kept turning Impact Returns over and over in my head.  Thinking that really it is quite an ingenious title for the program.  Creative Pinellas says on their website:  “We called our 2017 grants program “Impact Returns” to reflect the increased number of grant opportunities for artists and arts & cultural organizations and the resulting beneficial impact for the entire arts community and the citizens of Pinellas County.”

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 Ok…. But my mind went to  Impact as the explosion that is Art on the senses….how color or movement or sound engage us deeply, completely, surprisingly. And I think Returns speak to what it gives to the community and what it gives us as artists.  Returns are what comes back when we take the chance to engage with the public, the nonprofits, the government, the people inside the process and outside of it. It is the Impact that understanding, cooperation and support create in building a livable, sustainable community. Artists make that happen.

Thank You Creative Pinellas! It’s been an honor to have been selected for this year’s grants program.  In the last two blogs before the grant ends on December 1st, I plan to catalog the 15 new paintings and the show that opens November 10th, the public art project I participated in and the White Raven Project that I am currently involved with.  I have tried to use every moment and every dollar to engage, communicate, create, sponsor, facilitate and support my community through my art.  These are the Returns and the Impact from me as a Returning Artist.  

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The impact on the studio 

Words simply fail to communicate the profound gratitude I feel to be counted as one among this community of Artists and Makers.

Website at dyaelkelley.com