Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, June 13

I’m back from the Oil Painters of America show and I have to say it was a fun time up in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. I flew into Spokane, Washington at one in the afternoon on Friday and was given the key to my rental car. They pointed me to the slot it was parked in, there I threw my duffel bag in the back seat and climbed in to find out that the key didn’t fit. I grabbed my bag and walked back to the counter to find out what the story was. A concerned lot attendant walked around pressing the auto key lock until she heard the audible beep coming from a white Toyota Camry in some other area. They had mixed up the cars in the wrong places, problem solved and I was out of there.

Dave Strayer, who went to school in Spokane, told me to check out the Spokane River which flows through the middle of town. With the high snow melt the river was at record levels. I crossed several pedestrian bridges they had over the falls and stared down into the abyss of white water. The turbulence looked like it would suck an eighteen foot raft down under water and keep it there for weeks. It was a sight to see the power of the river flowing at that level.

A short drive later I was pulling into the hotel parking lot. The opening at the Devin Gallery started at 5:00. I kept wondering if there was going to be any kind of food there, since they talked about dessert and coffee at the nearby Coeur D’Alene Resort after the prize announcements. We were first to hang around the gallery until eight in the evening and then walk over to the resort to find out who won.

For me it was fun to meet all these new artists. Bryce Liston has been going to these events for some time now and knew a lot of the people. For me it was fun to match up a face with a name.

We all walked over and listened with nervous anticipation as the names of award winners were read off. The first award was for $20,000. And I knew I was never going to win that one, the artist had to reside in the Midwest. Then the awards and winners were slowly announced. The list went on as they read the twenty or so awards valued any where from $500 to $1200, awards from frames to artist’s supplies and everything in between. Then I heard my name and saw my painting flash up on the screen.

I had won the Animals Award of Excellence for $1000. Finally after countless times of entering the show I won something. Had this to do with me being there for the first time, I’ll never know, but it made it all worth while. It validated my existence as an artist!!!

I walked up and congratulated Dan Beck, the $25,000 Gold Medal winner. Maybe nest year I thought.

We walked across to a restaurant and ate a late night dinner, after that it was a local sports bar drinking with other award winners until two in the morning. I am going to have start going to more of these events!

Richard Boyer

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