What do Cruella deVille and Sylvia White Gallery have in common?
It’s been 35 years of consulting with artists, 50 articles written and now blogged on ArtAdvice.com, 8 different offices/gallery spaces, hundreds of workshops, thousands of exhibitions and at least a million artists (it seems) and even a brain tumor couldn’t stop me. For those of you that don’t know, I was diagnosed in December with having a skull base meningioma, pressing on my brain stem and precariously close to spinal cord….I named my brain tumor Cruella deVille. She was finally evicted February 26, 2014. I am just now able to come up for air, and wanted to touch base with all of you that expressed your concern, shared your prayers, sent notes and cards and flowers…the love is overwhelming. Now that the surgery is over, I can comfortably re enter my life, but not exactly where I left off. I am happy to report that the tumor was benign, was successfully and completely removed and my doctors are thrilled with my recovery…. the best possible outcome. However, there is nothing like a brain tumor to force you to sit up and take notice of your life, where you’ve come from, where you are going. As divine intervention would have it, the discovery of my brain tumor also coincided with our daughter being pregnant with our first grandchild. So, although this is to reassure you that I am indeed OK, in fact, better than my old self, I am looking forward to seeing how these experiences will unfold in the next chapter of my life. This was the last picture taken of me before I went to the hospital, (Photo Credit: Donna Granata) I love it so much because I see something in myself that I had never seen before… there is a calm relaxation in this portrait, a sense of confidence that everything will be okay, and the pride of accomplishment with a life well lived. I feel so blessed that I have been able to spend my life helping artists and doing something that feels so congruent to who I am as a person. Advising artists, telling them “everything your mother should have told you about being an artist,” was the perfect career choice for (as my mother would say) this “bossy” little girl….quick, before they ban that word. I can’t imagine ever stopping the work I do with artists, consulting and advising, teaching and giving workshops. Not even a brain tumor can bring that part of me down.
I am also extremely proud of the work I have done with Sylvia White Gallery. It has been a labor of love and an incredible 6 years of important exhibitions. I had the pleasure of bringing museum quality art to Ventura County with our exhibitions of Ed Moses, William Wiley, Don Ed Hardy, Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, Viola Frey, Masami Teraoka, Squeak Carnwath, Dale Chihuly, Robert Graham, Chuck Close and so many others. Our juried shows have introduced hundreds of emerging artists to a new audience and nurtured the creativity of so many that long for exposure. The performance series we hosted, 5x5x5, produced and directed by John M White, gave audiences the opportunity to experience quality Performance Art in every way, shape and form. Memories were made here that will not soon be forgotten. My staff and I will continue to do what we do best…helping artists get the exposure they want and their work deserves.
So what do Cruella deVille and Sylvia White Gallery have in common? They both allowed me to challenge myself in ways I never thought possible. They both gave me the confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. They both gave me the opportunity to appreciate all the friends, artists and support system I have around me. Cruella was surgically removed but will remain an important milestone in my life, and although I will continue to advise and consult with artists, closing the gallery allows me the opportunity to experience another milestone…becoming a grandmother. As always, I remain available 24/7 via telephone and email…gotta love technology. I am enormously grateful to my fabulous staff. Cameron and Katy and I will be here, as always, to answer questions, schedule consultations and service the artists who have entrusted us with their career. I hope you will all join me on this wondrous adventure we call LIFE to see where the next chapter takes us.