And This is the Artist…

May 18, 2008 2 Comments »

Vietnam Rice FieldsHa Long Bay Boat MarketSahara Desert Camels

New Zealand Glacier Hong Kong Commuting Fez Morocco Leather Vats

Shrangi-la Yaks Lijiang Man China Market

The Landscapes on Exhibition – click photo to enlarge
All are for sale at www.sherryott.smugmug.com

I’m lying awake at 5:30AM, and I should be asleep. I’ve been getting little sleep these days as I prepared for my photography exhibition, and worked on launching new business ventures. But that work is done, and the photography exhibition was last night, so why am I awake now when I should be soaking up every last bit of lovely, uninterrupted, stress –free morsel of sleep?

At 5:50 AM I realized why I was awake. This insomnia wasn’t due to stress, it was due to happiness. My mind is flooded with conversations from last night, faces of friends, meeting strangers, reliving travel memories and stories; an overall basking in happiness. That’s a good reason to be lying awake.

After about 8 months on the road, I started fantasizing about doing a photography exhibition. When you are traveling, everything seems possible, however when I arrived back in New York, I wondered how I would ever make it happen. I was overwhelmed with my desire to do it, and a lack of knowledge on how to organize such a feat. I was a rookie when it came to the business of photography; editing a show, choosing a good printer, framing, photoshop skills. That’s when I started to turn to friends and they helped me fumble my way through it.

All of the work culminated into last night, my first exhibition. For me it was more than an exhibition, it was a celebration of travel and cultures; a party. It was also a chance for me to see old friends, but even more importantly, it was a chance for me to realize just how wonderful my friends and family are.

Cultural Portraits from the Exhibition – click on photo to enlarge!
All are for sale at www.sherryott.smugmug.com

Laos girl and grandmother India swirl Vietnam peek Laos Boys

Laos mother and daughter Mekong Lynn Bubbles Boy in Sari Borneo

I couldn’t have hoped for a better evening. It was everything that I had imagined as I used to fantasize about it on the road. It’s a positive wave of emotion that I can ride during all of the challenges of change ahead.

There were a number of surprises. I was surprised at how many people show up and how late they stayed. I was surprised when friends showed up from San Francisco that I hadn’t seen for 4 years. I was surprised that I actually sold some pieces. I was surprised with how many people actually kept up with my travels and read my blog. I was surprised that complete strangers showed up. However, the biggest surprise to me was when a group would come up to me to do an introduction and say , “and this is the artist…” What?! I had to fight the urge to turn my head and look behind me searching for the artist they were talking about. My heart would do a flip as I reflected upon that statement and shook the person’s hand.

Cultural Portraits from the Exhibition – click on photo to enlarge!
All are for sale at www.sherryott.smugmug.com

Laos Baby China women Vietnam girl Monks Laos

Laos Medicine Man Lombok Twins Laos mother and baby India singing women

In my former corporate life I sat behind my desk for years emailing, working on budgets and project plans I never could have imagined that I would be in the place I am now. I dreamed about how I could get out of the rat race and do something more creative, unleash the right side of my brain that had shriveled up from staring at a spreadsheets and project plans. I would try to surround myself with creative people and artist-types so that I could soak up that energy. The fact that I was now being introduced as an artist was stunning to me.

Photo: David, Carlye, Miles, Me
David, Carye, Miles, MeFor all of you that showed up last night, thank you. Your support was overwhelming to me.

Thanks to the people that purchased some of the pieces from the exhibition!

Thank you to my friend Carlye who organized the drawing and sold tickets for the ‘raffle’. As some of you may know, volunteer work isn’t free and normally has fees associated with it to help administer the program – so the money that was collected (over $300!!) will go towards my volunteer work in Nepal this August/September. Congrats to Deb who was the lucky winner and took home the Sahara piece!

Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law who showed up from Nebraska providing family support!

Thanks to my old photography teacher, Andrew Shapiro, who brilliantly went through the editing process of 11,000 photos to 26 photos. He has a massive right brain!

Finally, thanks to Miles and David…for everything. You both know what you mean to me.

For those of you who could not attend the event, please check out my redesigned photography website where you can purchase prints and photography books! Please check out the site and sign the guest book! Or better yet…buy something!
www.sheryott.smugmug.com


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