Sometimes we find inspiration in other’s strengths while facing life’s challenges.
Ceramic artist Denise Greenwood Loveless, who I featured in December 2018, wrote to me about her year so far. And her story is nothing short of heartbreaking. A self-described joyful person, her courage to push through is where hope, faith and inspiration shine.
Loveless said in an email that she lost three family members in less than four weeks just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting. Then more devastating news came. While waiting for emergency surgery at an overwhelmed hospital in Baton Rouge, her best friend of 40 years died.
“She died alone on the third night, still waiting for her ’emergency surgery.’ She was collateral damage,” Loveless said. “It caved me in, just when I thought I had done so well dealing with the grief 2020 had already wrought.”
For two weeks, Loveless mourned, cried and went “through the motions” of living. Then she received a request from Abbie Preston, the vice president of ClayHouston, asking Loveless to take over social media for the organization for a day.
“It was right then I felt the nudge from the universe: It’s time to get back in the game, it was saying,” Loveless said. “I jumped on it. I was being thrown a life preserver, and I was gladly reaching for it.”
Loveless had been slated to do a “Clay Creative” at my home, which consisted of an hour-long talk about her ceramic work and an hour-long demo in large hand-building techniques.
“I had assumed it ‘went away’ with social distancing,” Loveless said. “Nope. They were not going to let me spend my days crying. I had properly mourned. We were going virtual.”
Even being technologically challenged, Loveless said she pulled it off.
“It felt great to be so busy, and even better once it was over,” she said. “I was happy with the work I had done for them. For us. And I’m pretty sure they saved me, and I learned SO many new tricks!”
Loveless wrapped up by casually mentioning that she and friend, Karin Pudwill, had started a “vlog” on YouTube called “2OlderChicks.”
For about 7 minutes, they chat with each other about everything from aging, life, quarintinis, water guns, etc. Seemingly just randomness that had me in tears again, but this time from laughter.
Loveless signed her email with, “!Arte es Vida!” Art is Life. It certainly can be, so live it up.
Grant for Jarvis
In last week’s Art Valet, I introduced you to Claire Drennan Jarvis, the communications and development director at Houston Furniture Bank. Jarvis and collaborative partner Eepi Chaad are among the winning recipients announced this week by The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) for the first competitive grants by Let Creativity Happen! (LCH!) Digital.
The newly redesigned, popular program honors the innovative work artists are creating during the current COVID-19 crisis. The duo’s project, “We Are Your Friends – A Virtual Offering of Togetherness,” will have a virtual opening on June 27 on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WeAreFriendsHOU).
Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.