Dreams, Gratitude and Opening Night

On Friday, I had my first official art show opening. It was terrifying. And amazing. And scary. And overwhelming. I won’t rehash how the project came to be (you can read all about it here), but it was sensitive and emotional subject matter and I was so honored to just be asked to tell these stories…let alone be featured in an art showing!

If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember my life list from years back. It’s no longer active on this site, mostly because my life kept changing so I felt like having this master “LIST” was a little silly, but I still love the concept. I wrote down all of my wishes, big and small, even if they seemed completely insane. Some of them have come true, and many of them have not, but having my photographs displayed in some sort of gallery show was definitely at the top of the “probably never going to happen” portion of the list.

But it did. Miracles are all around us.

Walking into Aimee’s Coffeehouse on Friday was more overwhelming than I had anticipated. I had sort of blown off the whole thing as no big deal, until saw my images adorning the wall. And then under the sign that said “Artist of the Month” was my face and bio. The smiling faces of the women who spent so much time putting the Phoenix Project together and creating this amazing concept were all there, along with a few of the women I photographed. My kids and husband came too, beaming at me and snapping photos as I dumbly stared at the displays in awe. A few people came up to me and said, “You’re the photographer, right?” I then tried to sound smarter than I felt and answer their questions, even though my head was spinning. Oh yeah, and my dad was there. Totally surreal.

I am so grateful and filled with appreciation that this project, three years in the making, is finally living! The Phoenix Project will be on display at Aimee’s Coffeehouse in Lawrence, Kansas until the end of June. All the art displayed, including my photographs, are for sale, with the proceeds benefiting the women, men and children that are served by the Willow Domestic Violence Center. If you’re in town, stop by and check it out! And if you do, send me a photo! I’ve loved getting texts and images from people who have gone to see the show. It makes my day to know people are seeing the work and being touched by it.

As always, thank you. If you’re reading this, you’re a part of this journey. I couldn’t have done it without you.

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