Mama Knows BestWritten by Teresa Clark
The pace was steady. An artist’s work would be held up for all to see. The artist would describe their medium or technique then the bidding would start. Each description was pretty average. These were visual artists and they were comfortable letting the piece speak for itself. That all changed when...
Last fall, my husband and I stumbled upon a remarkable afternoon in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was an annul art contest called the “Quick Draw.” Selected artists from all over the world are invited to participate in this fast-paced arts competition. They set up around the outdoor square and in a mere 90 minutes they create master works of art that are subsequently auctioned off live at the end of the contest.
It’s really quite thrilling to be surrounded by that much passion and energy. The mingled smells of clay and oils, sage brush and dust hang in the air. The artistry is breathtaking and the speed in which it is produced boggles the mind. These are world-class artists, the art they produce is not slip-shod it is worthy to be displayed in the finest locations. Truly, it’s like witnessing magic as the creations develop from clay, oil, pastel, graphite, glass, and more before your very eyes.
The auction is just as fun to watch. We stood on the sidelines and watched as fresh art was sold to the highest bidder. The pace was steady. An artist’s work would be held up for all to see. The artist would describe their medium or technique then the bidding would start. Each description was pretty average. These were visual artists and they were comfortable letting the piece speak for itself.
That all changed when sculptor Dustin Payne (http://www.dustinpayne.com) stepped up. His piece was of a mama bear and her two cubs. He didn’t talk about his medium or his work. Instead he shared some simple thoughts that went something like this:
“You know, I didn’t understand how much mama’s do until I watched my wife with my boys. There’s so many sleepless nights and messes. She overwhelms me with all that she does. So I sculpted this as a tribute to her. I call it, Mama Knows Best. This mama grizzly has three years to teach everything she knows to her cubs. I hope it will be a fitting tribute to mama’s everywhere.”
That’s all he said, but he captured the hearts of that auction audience. The bidding went crazy. In no time at all his first run sold in the five digit range and five other people committed to meet that price for copies after that. I have a feeling some happy mama's will be receiving the finished bronzes very soon.
No doubt, it was great art, but a great little story is what made the price jump up.
So, I have a challenge for you. By all means give your Mom a great gift this Mother’s Day, but take the time to share a few feelings with it along the way. The emotional impact will far exceed the monetary value, I promise! Purchase thoughtfully.
Why have you chosen this gift for your mother? What does it remind you of about her? How can you express your emotional connection to the gift and your mother in a way that will touch her heart? How will you tell your mother how much she means to you?
A national award-winning storyteller, historian and author, she is best known for her original works and recollections of life's experiences blended with history. Teresa has presented and performed throughout the United States. Of her, it has been said, "Charming, witty, soulful, and wise, her performances are filled with a compelling sense of wonder and an irresistable zest for life." Her story work involves performance, education, production, and advocacy. From the main stage to individual consultations in living rooms across America, she delights in the excavation and sharing of family story. Most importantly, she is a wife, mother, and grandmother to her favorite playmates and best friends.
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