Tag Archives: NEA

Tidbits of This and That

Just some general news and video shares today. My iPhoneography solo show is set to run August 8th through September 5th at Gallery 1075, 1075 West Capitol Ave., West Sacramento, CA. There will be an artist’s reception on Thursday, August 9th from 5-7pm and all are invited if you are anywhere near the Sacramento region! I think it will be a fun introduction to iPhoneography for our local community.

I am very honored to be included in the following video along with some of the biggest names in iPhoneography. The video was created by Knox Bronson who is the curator for the site Pixels: The Art of the iPhone.

In 2010, I was the first of two recipients of the View of Farmlands Art & Ag Project public art grant in Yolo County. With the grant I was able to visit a number of local farms and create a photographic series that is currently on tour throughout the county. National Endowment of the Arts Chairman, Rocco Landesman, has stated the Art & Ag Project should serve as a model for the rest of the country. I had the pleasure of performing a video interview with Mr. Landesman when he paid a visit to YoloArts to learn more about the program.

The following video highlights the Art & Ag Project and you can view one of the pieces in my series at about 7:21. I am proud to have played a part in the beginning of this wonderful program that benefits both artists and farmers.


Humility and Accolades

“We are our own worst enemy…”

My whole life I have struggled with the idea of self-worth. That struggle of course came out of being raised in the extremely dysfunctional home from which I came. For far too long I embraced the consistent, negative message that had been hammered into me from early childhood that I was “not good enough” and definitely “not deserving.”

Though there have been many times in my past where I received awards or honors for accomplishments, those instances always felt so incredibly surreal and I would not allow myself to become emotionally invested in the moment. Instead I would shrug my shoulders and chalk it up to “luck.” While those around me were celebrating for me, I would fall back into that negative self-talk that surmised I could have done it much better than I did.

Perfectionism… What a highly overrated, most definitely subjective, unnecessary waste of time and energy.

Fortunately, I have been able to face the self-worth issues head on during my “later” adult years and have finally begun to slay that dragon so to speak. The negative self-talk does continue to creep in on occasion, however now I am able to flush it out of my mind the minute it threatens by replacing it with positive words of self-love.

The past few weeks have been an incredible test of this journey for me. My photograph “Tower Bridge Sunrise” was gifted to Nippon Shokken by the Mayor of our city and made its way onto the pages of several local newspapers.

Photo courtesy: City of West Sacramento. Mayor Christopher Cabaldon presents "Tower Bridge Sunrise" to the Chairman of Nippon Shokken.

My series “View of Farmlands,” which I created after winning a public art commission supported by the Yolo County Arts Council and the James Irvine Foundation, is heading out on tour with a March 2nd launch at Gallery 1075.

┬ęTracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Farm Labor" - Riverdog Farm, Guinda, CA. One from a series six from my "View of Farmlands" series.

My “Occupy Oakland” series is being featured on SocialDocumentary.net.

My series "Occupy Oakland" featured on SocialDocumentary.net

On Tuesday of this week, I was honored to meet and film an interview with Rocco Landesman, the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he told me my “View of Farmlands” series was incredible and that I am a very talented photographer.

┬ęTracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. Dani Thomas, Executive Director for YoloArts and Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Then Saturday morning, I received notice that I was chosen to be iPhone Photographer of the Day (out of thousands of artists) on iPhoneArt.com.

My iPhone art featured on the home page of iPhoneArt.com for Artist of the Day.

Today I am smiling widely and have a funny butterfly-like feeling in my belly. This tells me I am finally emotionally vested in these most recent accolades. So I am writing this post with what should have been the giddiness of a shy second grade girl who just received her first Brownie badge; the beaming smile of the 8th grade graduate who did so with honors; the overwhelming pride of the track athlete who just obliterated her half-mile league record; the beaming high school graduate who was the recipient of the largest college scholarship given out that night; and the excited college graduate who just earned her third degree.

This contented photographer and writer proudly embraces the quiet accomplishments of my past that I once so hastily dismissed, and is over the moon excited about my most recent accomplishments and accolades.

“I do deserve this!”… May the positive self-talk continue forever.