I am the Queen of having the booth next to the award winner. Last year at Schlafly, I was sandwiched between Best of Show (my friend Greg - I try not to hold that against him) and 2nd place which was a jeweler. At Shaw last year my friend Caroline won Best of Show. At Brookside this year, Best of Show was across from me plus I was next to 2nd place. It seems that I bring good luck to those around me, ha, ha, like I have anything at all to do with their winning. And even though I have been pleased for the prize winners, I have secretly been hoping that one day it might be me.
At my most recent show, Madison, I witnessed a walk by judging situation. All 3 judges placed their sticker on my sign without ever entering by booth. In fact, none of them even so much as glanced at my booth, at me, or my work. They simply placed their sticker without even breaking stride. It was so disappointing. All I wanted was for them to look at my art and thoughtfully consider me as a contender.
Today the judging was amazing. There were 3 judges and each one walked into my booth and said hello. Each one really looked at my work. Two of them queried me about the art, my process, the techniques and what inspires me. One even circled my name as he left the booth. I felt very validated and, for the first time, believed that my work had truly been considered.
So when my name was called I was just ecstatic. Of course I acted calm when I walked up to accept the ribbon with my fake nonchalant but gracious attitude. Inwardly I was jumping up and down like a kid. I won an Award of Excellence which means I got this big ass red ribbon and a $500 cash prize plus admittance to next year's show without going through the jury process. I know it wasn't best of show or even best of my category, but to me it was all the world. It was my first award and an amazing thrill that I will never forget. I'm just so excited!!