A to Z: E is for Eclectic

 

1: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles
     2
: composed of elements drawn from various sources;
Greek eklektikos, from eklegein to select, from ex- out +legein to gatherFirst Known Use: 1683

Its a word I like. Eclectic. There is an artistic air there, a little bit left of center, not the norm. And I really like the synonyms: Magpie, motley… When I was in college, studying art and education, I was already taking a more diverse path than many of my fellow art students. While they were concentrating on mastery in one medium… ( not to get philosophical, but do we ever achieve mastery? Then what else would there be to do, if not grow, learn and evolve…) I was developing proficiency in many mediums. (My words, not the college’s.) I was headed to the classroom – what better breadth of knowledge than a plethora of skills and experiences? Yet being such a Jack-of-all-trades was frowned upon. It was implied that I lacked the requisite focus or skills needed to make it “out there”. The jester, in his bells and motley tunic often juggling many balls – the artist, working in different materials, tending to many projects at once. I like the Jack of all trades metaphor, and while I continue to strive to be  a master… I think I am making progress.
Artsfest booth
( My booth set-up for Artsfest 2010)

This entry was going to be “D is for dilemna” but it is resolved now, and “Eclectic” is a better fit. I recently applied to one of my regular festivals, in the fall, in a city where we used to live. The entry categories, always a dilemma at festival time…Am I a ceramics artist? No. That brings to mind functional wares when seen in the event program. And I am definitely NOT a potter. (No offense meant. I just am not into function.) So I write in “Mixed Media” if it isnt already a listed category. I have tiles to bring, shrines, maybe clay, maybe in tins or boxes. Could bring collages… Then there are the pendants. Clay really is the unifying element in my work. When you see my booth all set up, decaorated, ready for business – clay is 90% of my offeriengs. Many pieces are not purely clay, but incorporate found objects, mini books, collages – hence the Mixed Media moniker. My pendants are clay. They are partnered in motif with my tiles. I work in symbolic images and icons – would you like to wear that raven? Or hang it in your house? 
ravens in kiln
pendants
This show tightened up their guidelines. Unless you are juried into the jewelry category, you may NOT bring any jewelry. I emailed for clarification. And sat with the dilemma for a while. Do I take only tiles and shrines? Or do I apply for jewelry? If I apply for jewelry, the competition is stiff, but I could possible have an opportunity to take earrings, stamped metal, resin, some of my new work. Here is the deal-maker: If accepted for jewelry I CAN bring tiles and shrines as well. (But not the other way around) SO I went for it. And as I write this I haven’t heard back yet if I am accepted. Please think good thoughts for me, lets put the idea out there in the universe  – the first show I ever did will also be the show at which I debut my jewelry officially. There is a karmic balance to that, don’t you think? 
wishing well
I have made a wish. Here’s wishing you well, also!

 

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