Every year before the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Christmas Craft Fair opens to the public, there is a brief gathering of booth holders where we are greeted by provincial government dignitaries and the Executive Director of the Craft Council and where awards are announced.
This year, I was chosen for the Craft Award for the Interpretation of Provincial History, sponsored by the Historic Sites Association (HSA) of Newfoundland and Labrador. Back in October, when I threw my hat into that ring, I certainly did not expect this wonderful outcome. There are many amazing craftspeople in this province doing remarkable things. I sat among my peers that morning and listened as Andrea MacDonald, Executive Dircector of the HSA, began talking about this year's winner.
It gave me chills to hear my artist's statement read aloud like that. I filled up and yes, I did cry a little. I found myself reflecting back on my decision to leave my government job to pursue my passion full-time and the very steep learning curve I'd traveled to that very moment. Since making my decision, I've had my share of self-doubt and wondered more than once if I'd made a very self-indulgent mistake. And there I was on the morning of November 9, 2017, listening as Ms. MacDonald described my artist's statement as "powerful" and how she was drawn to my work. For the first time since my journey began, I felt a sense of legitimacy and validation, that I truly belonged in the world I now inhabited.
The resulting local media coverage of the award was unexpected. It was family that let me know I'd made the paper and the local television news hour. My mother called me while I was waiting for the ferry to bring me back home. It was nice to know that at age 54, I can still do things that surprise my mother and make her proud.
For more information about the award and the Historic Sites Association, go to: http://www.historicsites.ca/blog/2017/11/9/the-2017-craft-award-for-interpretation-of-provincial-history