Last Saturday I was tempted by the sheer insanity of the half-billion lottery that was seducing the nation. That's enough money to launch you into Forbes magazine. Not that I have any desire to be in Forbes Magazine, but I couldn't resist the fantasy of all that economic freedom - so I bought a ticket. It was my very first mega-lottery ticket ever.
In case you hadn't heard, I didn't win.
However, that very same day I received a letter in the mail from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo. A letter I was eargerly anticipating because I was waiting to hear whether I was awarded a Kalamazoo Artist Development Initiative (or KADI) grant.
This is the kind of letter where you only have to read the first sentence to know exactly where it's going. If it's a rejection letter, they always start by saying "This year the competition and number of applicants was particularly high..." and by the end of the first paragraph they incorporate a "however, we regret to inform you...". This is all to console the rejected.
If it's an acceptance letter, they cut right to the chase with an emphatic exclamation or affirmation.
After "Congratulations!" I just stopped reading. That's all I needed to know. Well, I did read on to see if I was awarded the grant in full. And yes, I was!
You can also tell if it's a yes or no by the thickness of the letter. If it's a rejection notice, it's a one page letter. Nuf said. If it's an acceptance letter, it's usually a little thicker because of a contract or some kind of formal business that comes with being awarded the monies.
The grant is to fund the printing and framing of an upcoming exhibition at the Glen Vista Gallery in the Kalamazoo Nature Center in June/July. I'll be featuring my wildlife photography and some fresh new digital collages that I'm terribly excited about. They're photographic portraits of people and their spirit animal, or animal that represents them. This body of work has never been exhibited and is getting some great feedback from friends.
The grant and the show is also an opportunity to exhibit my work in a large format. Some of my wildlife and landscapes will be 3x4 feet and larger, which is an exhilirating concept for a photographer. To be able to gaze at a life-size whitetail buck, with incredible detail, will be incredibly moving.
Big thanks to the Arts Council and the review panel for deeming my work as worthy. Although one might see granting as a form of lottery, they're really quite different. Lotteries are all about luck. The winner doesn't have to do or prove a thing. Grants are all about merit and are actually a contract. I'm really looking forward to delivering the goods on this deal.