"Vital lives are about action. You can't feel warmth unless you create it, can't feel delight until you play, can't know serendipity unless you risk.” ― Joan Erickson
Six months ago, I discovered this very article that caught my attention and interest. I started out on a path for one reason, but was instead lead down a very different path, that somehow ended up leading me exactly where I needed to be.
I am immensely drawn to others that have suffered and discovered something greater within themselves that they never knew existed. I can relate, as I’m sure many of you can.
For over a year I’ve been disciplined in praying for a much needed gallery mentor. "Fake it 'til you make it," first year. Check. "Growth," 2nd year. Shock/check. "Double growth," third year. Happy Dance/triple check.
Sister needs a mentor.
I’ve needed someone that understands our fast growth, my self-doubt and stubborn determination, our passion at Sozo and our willingness to stay true to our beliefs while managing growth. My Dad was the one who always provided those answers and when he directed me with a nod and those baby blues, well then- I believed it. And he believed in me. God, I miss him.
In February I contacted artist Patrick Fagerberg and told him of my interest in his work and desire to see more. He put me in touch with his mentor, Ron Gremillion and ‘warned me’ that Ron was appropriately protective of him as a friend and an artist and to not to be surprised if he Ron didn't offer his blessings. Sigh. And eyeroll. Another one of ‘those’ gallerist. Lawd.
An hour into my conversation with Ron, I’m confident I’m talking to my Dad/Jesus/ and Santa Claus all wrapped up into one glorious gift. Tears streamed down my face after I asked him if I could hire him as a consultant. “Hannah, just hop on a plane and fly down to Houston, and I will tell you everything you need know to properly run a successful gallery.”
Seriously? Do people like this still exist in this world?
Hubs think I am coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs crazy. ‘You mean to tell me you are flying to Houston/ meeting with another man we know nothing about/ and taking business advice from him?’ “Yep. Yes sir-eee. It’s a God thing. I know it. I really feeeel it, Charles.” He eyerolls and half smiles. (#hisapproval) He knows me and he gets me. I felt 100% confident this was meant to be, and God placed this Godsend into my life.. It’s beyond happenstance or serendipity.
After meetings, introductions, artist and sales education we are wined and dined at a favorite local Houston restaurant. Ron’s baby blues gaze firmly into mine and he gently pushes me, yet I already know that he believes in me. “Hannah, what are you afraid of? “
In Houston I learned that it is perfectly okay to be vulnerable in this industry, yet to trust your heart, stay true to your values, your prayers, your intuition. When something scares you, then pull your shoulders back and stand tall, tap into your yoga breath, and trust the process. That’s exactly when the magic happens.
Our last day in Houston, Sara Frances and I ended our art journey at the Menil Collection and The Rothko Chapel (one of my all time favorite artists BTW) After sitting in complete silence in the chapel and studying, praying, meditating and being in awe of his infamous works (and yes, I wanted to break out into some sun salutations, but refrained), we met on a bench outside. As if I needed anymore confirmation of this trip, the sun was setting and casting extraordinary colors onto the Texan sky, we were serenaded with a warm breeze and doves confidently calling back and forth to one another in the large oak trees. (Honestly, I can’t make this stuff up.)
In THIS very moment I’m convinced I have finally understood and nailed the truest meaning of ‘deep in the heart of Texas’…it’s not a place, it is what lies within certain people in this heartland and the magic and hope they offer to others.
Please join us on Thursday, September 7th for our newest exhibition Transcendent Light. Come meet my mentor, gallery owner Ron Gremillion and two of his artists, and our new friends Nicola Parente and Patrick Fagerberg.
Truly, C.S. Lewis nails it best on the gratitude I have for my orchestrated serendipitous friend and mentor. Here.