A very big award

In my posting on April 25, Another goal met: CPSA signature status, which was about my third acceptance into the 2013 CPSA International Exhibition, I concluded with:

So what’s next on my list of art goals?  Winning an award in this show!  I wonder how long that will take?

Little did I know that it would happen in that very show, only three months later!

My Tree of Character has received the Dixon Ticonderoga Award for Exceptional Merit, which includes a $1000 cash prize.  This is one of the largest awards in the annual show.

Tree of Character, 15"x20", colored pencil on Stonehenge paper

Tree of Character, 15″x20″, colored pencil on Stonehenge paper

You can view all of the wonderful award-winning pieces here.  The announcement of the awards has also been picked up in the greater art world, such as Fine Art Connoisseur.

Duriing the awards ceremony, I already knew that I was going to receive one of the awards, I just didn’t know which.  There are 5 $400 awards, 3 $600 awards, 4 $800 awards, 3 $1000 awards, 1 $2000 award and 1 $3000 award (for Best of Show). I became progressively more nervous as the winners’ names were called and they walked across the stage to receive their award while hundreds of people applauded and their winning piece was projected larger than life.  Finally, there were only three of us remaining, and CPSA president Cindy Haase asked us to come stand on stage for the remaining announcements.

Holly Siniscal (right) and I await the final award announcements. Photo by Gayle Uyehara

Photographer Gayle Uyehara caught the half-second in time between my piece being projected on the giant screen behind the stage and my name being called.  I didn’t know it was back there.  That expression on my face is “Am I dreaming? Is this real?”

The most surreal aspect of it all was afterward, both that evening and during the show reception the following night, when artists whose work I idolize, who are some of the best and most recognized colored pencil artists on the planet, came over to me to offer their congratulations, and it was if I’d been “one of them” all along.  The experience is hard to describe.

This is the most significant award I’ve received so far for my artwork, both in terms of money and in recognition.  I can only hope to do be able to accomplish it again.  My next goal!

Me and my certificate for the Dixon Ticonderoga Award for Exceptional Merit