It is so strange to be an emerging artist at nearly 60. This baby boomer went back to school and was awarded an MFA from Texas A&M University-Commerce in May of 2014. I graduated on a Friday, got a call on Saturday and started teaching on Monday and haven't taken a breath since then. As a graduate student and emerging artist I applied myself as a researcher as well as a fine art photographer and exhibitor. Over the course of three years of hard work, a few tears and some extremely valuable critiques from the outstanding art faculty and visiting artists from TAMU, I accumulated a few accolades. A few include the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for self-portraiture, the Graduate Excellence Award, Best in Show Award, and the Solo Graduate Show Award at TAMUC. In addition to production I really enjoyed the research aspect of the MFA which allowed me to win an award at the Fourth Annual Federation Research Symposium, held by the Federation of North Texas Area Universities and presented my research at the Graduate Student Research Symposium, held by the Federation of North Texas Area Universities, and the Creative Arts & Sciences Symposium at Texas Woman's University and was featured at the 2014 RAW Graduate Symposium at University of Texas-Dallas. Last but not least I was an award finalist in landscape photography at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Exhibitions during graduate school included WPGA Biennial International Exhibition, The Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, Argentina; IT'S A SIGN: The Medium is the Message, 1650 Gallery, Los Angeles; Self Portraiture, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, Vt. (Juror: Frank Goodyear, associate curator of photography at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.); The Self Portrait Project: 4x4", Art House Co-op, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Rising Eyes of Texas 2012-Juried Student Exhibition, Rockport Center for the Arts, Rockport, Tex.; and Holga Out of the Box Competition, TCC PHOTO | GALLERY & PRODUCTIONS, Longview, Texas, Fifty-third Annual Voertman Graduate Student Show, Texas Woman's University, Denton (Juror: Andrea Karnes, curator, Modern Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Tex.); Annual Juried Art Student Show, Texas A&M University-Commerce; Wet Plate Collodion Invitational Exhibition, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas; Fourth Biennial Pinhole Show, RayKo Gallery, San Francisco, Calif.; Curious Camera Show, Photographic Works / ArtsEye Gallery, Tucson, Ariz.; Twenty-eighth Annual International Exhibition, Meadows Gallery, Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas-Tyler (Juror: Wade Wilson); Collaboration, Nothing Ventured/Nothing Gained Exhibition, Mississippi State University, Department of Art, Starkville; and the Twelfth Annual Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition, Texas Woman's University, Denton (Juror: Sarah Kennel, associate curator, Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), Invitational Inaugural Exhibition, NXS Contemporary Art Gallery, Paris, Texas, and at the Annual Juried Art Student Shows, Texas A&M University-Commerce.
As a graduate student, I also was awarded two scholarships for artistic production. The Summer Artist Residency scholarship to study in Puebla, Mexico and the Brooks Fellowship to study the visual language of portraiture at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, in Aspen, Colorado, with Mona Kuhn. Yes, I am tired but very happy.