My painting had a great spot. People would come all the way across the room to look at it, because it drew them in. Ah, the power of figurative art! :-)
Here I am with my painting. We had to ship it to Houston, due to its size - I was relieved to see that it made it there in one piece!
My painting was actually hanging next to the winner (on the right in the photo above). This year's winner was a Houston artist named Michael Bise. His winning piece was a large graphite drawing of a grade school class. There were curious-looking circles scattered throughout the drawing, which made for an interesting topic of discussion among those of us who hadn't a clue what they meant!
Ice sculptures and desserts!
Human statues, and elaborate floral displays.
Here I am taking a closer look at the winning piece and discussing it with one of the other guests.
Steve and I both agreed that, compared to the art festivals I've been a part of in the past, this event was completely different. The guests here loved and appreciated art, and wanted to take the time to look at it and talk to the artists. By comparison, visitors to art festivals tend to breeze by or avoid eye contact with the artists, because they're afraid of getting solicited, or they are simply ignorant about art. This was not the case at the Hunting gala! Steve and I really had a great time mingling with guests, eating food, drinking wine, and enjoying the overall atmosphere, which celebrated art and culture.
And at the end of the night, I was proud to say that I SOLD my piece! There is no greater compliment to an artist or affirmation of their work than when someone is willing to purchase it! I am thrilled that "Music of the Spheres" has found a new home.
The next day, Steve and I explored Houston a little before heading back to Dallas. We visited Hermann Park (complete with an outdoor theatre, an obelisk, Japanese gardens, and a large sculpture of Sam Houston), and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The museum has a fantastic collection, including a beautiful portrait by Sargent.
"Mrs. Joshua Montgomery Sears," by John Singer Sargent (1899)
Overall, we had a great experience, and I look forward to entering this competition again next year!