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Lace Curtain Liza

Diary of Adventures


9 August 2010

The Proctor Arts Festival was this weekend and they had their annual art competition at Mason Church. I entered my sock monkeys, which were hilarious. One was Zebulon and the other Zerena. Zerena was dressed as a belly dancer. Zebulon was fashioned after the Afifi Shrine Circus clowns. When I entered, the former pastor of Mason Methodist church asked me what category I wanted to enter my monkeys and I replied “fabric arts”. Then he told me I would win because no one else entered. They state in their guidlines that no one is turned away, it is open to anyone.

This event asked the artists to enter one piece for competition and one for exhibition. I brought with me my painting, “Lace Curtain Irish”. After much playful bantering between me and the pastor, I said to keep it as the painting for exhibition and the monkeys for competition. In fact after I settled this with the good pastor, I walked away and looked at what was entered. I told myself I should have entered Lace Curtain Irish for competition.

When I went to see my work on display, they had changed my entry to monkeys for exhibition. There was even a yellow sticker over the original designation and I did not get my ribbon or cash award as promised.

My monkeys were ROBBED. I saw the minister, Eugene Kester, at the fair and asked what had happened and he claimed that the monkeys were enterted as exhibition, not competition.

Someone changed my entry status. It isn’t fair. Since I would not have any competition because no one else entered under fabric arts, they decided not to give an award. Someone was offended by a couple of silly monkeys!!!

One year I painted a portrait of my granddaughter’s blanket toy, Parmesan, and entered that into the competition . It wasn’t even hung, even though they claim that anyone can enter anything. At that time, Eugene has just lost his wife and I didn’t want to cause him any more distress, so I let it go. His explanation was it was left behind the couunter. So I brought that painting back the next year for exhibition, to his obvious chagrin. I never questioned why he seemed disappointed. I would never go there because after all everyone thinks they know good and well “what is art and what isn’t”. After this event, I am seriously wondering if they play by the rules they established for themselves and for artists too.

This was either politics or there was some snooty judge who does not think sock monkeys dressed as a belly dancer with her sidekick Zebulon in harem pants are indeed art. I beg to differ. The Tacoma Art Museum sold a book about the art of sock monkeys for a while a year or so ago.

I went back to the church took some photos of those trouble makers, Zerena and Zebulon. I’ll peel back the yellow circle sticker that says “Exhibition” and reveal what was behind that too. Domeone wrote the letter “E” for who knows what reason.

These are things that make every artist groan. That a competition could change their rules and regulations at the last minute to suit their overblown egos is the stuff of nightmares for an artist.

I have always respected Gene Kester and hold anyone who chooses the life as a minister as someone worthy of my highest esteem. Always. I deeply respect this profession. This probably is not about Eugene making the changes. I would find that hard to believe. He is a very nice man and a good person. He has my highest esteem.

This stuff is a farce, with serious implications too. It was dirty and they know it. No respectable art festival makes the rules and then changes them at whim. Zerena and Zebulon hold no serious grudges, but they do resent not getting their five minutes of fame because no one else entered in their class. They won by default.

And anyway, as any art lover would know, belly dancing sock monkeys are wonderfully whimsical and certainly ARE fabric arts.

Zerena and Zebulon think the Proctor Arts Festival was up to no good monkey business.

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