Second Place Overall in the 24th Arts in Harmony 2019 Annual International Show

I’m happy to share that my painting Reconnaissance won Second Place Overall in the 24th Arts in Harmony 2019 Annual International Show! Arts in Harmony is a broad juried international exhibition with no discipline restrictions or show theme. As you may have read in my previous post about the show, it will continue to be viewable at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343, through Sunday, February 17, 2019. There are two subsequent traveling shows as well, so we’ll see if my work is selected for either or both of those once the main show ends.

Winning this award was a particularly pleasing result because for a couple weeks I thought Reconnaissance might not have even made it to the gallery space and instead ended up in a pile of undeliverable mail somewhere! For the first time ever in many years of shipping, the UPS staff member who created my shipping labels accidentally voided the first label - sending it from my address to the show pickup location - from UPS’s system when they created the prepaid return label instead of adding the prepaid return to my account as a second label. This meant that even though there was a shipping label on the box, UPS itself had no tracking ability or even any documentation at all that I had shipped a box with them, and scanners wouldn’t register system information about that label either. Luckily, the workers who handled my box’s transit must have relied on the good old-fashioned paper label with addresses in order to get it to its destination, because it clearly arrived on schedule!

The Saga of My Most Recently Commissioned Amphiuma Painting

Recently, I was hired to do another commissioned painting of an amphiuma - an aquatic salamander with vestigial legs that looks like an otherworldly sea serpent or eel.  My patron saw my first commissioned amphiuma painting done for Dr. John Pojman (it hangs in his office above his amphiuma Chrissy's aquarium) and wanted an original piece for herself.

The new amphiuma commission.

The previously commissioned portrait of John's amphiuma Chrissy.

Unfortunately, after mailing the new piece off to my customer and tracking it through delivery, there was radio silence.  I worried that she didn't like the piece but also considered that she may have just been waiting to open it on a specific date (an upcoming birthday, for instance) so I made a mental note to send her an email in a week or two to check in.  Before I could, she emailed me, and it transpired that the package was, in fact, not delivered (or possibly, not delivered properly and stolen off communal property).

Queue multiple weeks of back-and-forth with UPS, but finally the insurance paid out such that I had been paid to make the commission and my client received a refund on never having received the commission, so we were both made mostly whole again.  Even though it's possible it's now lurking in a box in a UPS subbasement or was pawned for the value of the frame, I like to imagine the painting is hanging in a place of pride over a drug lord's couch somewhere.  Since I do have the digital image, though, I can at least run off reproductions, so it's not completely lost to the world.