In 2012, I received a mysterious email out of the blue from a man by the name of Nicholas Bell. It turned out to be an invitation to submit a portfolio of my work to a gallery for a juried exhibition. It was not the first time this had happened to me. It was, however, fundamentally different in several ways. The first thing that stood out was the title attached to Mr. Bell's position: The Fleur and Charles Bresler Senior Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC. That sort of stopped me in my tracks. Needless to say, that with the help of my good friend and talented graphic designer, Jimmy apRoberts, I submitted a portfolio.
To make a long story short, out of thousands of talented potential artists and designers, I was chosen as one of the artists in the Renwick Museum's 40 Under 40: Craft Futures show. Far beyond any career goal I could have ever conceived of on my own, the opportunity was an honor and experience I will never forget.
The owners of my Spinning Wheel, Peg and Bob Van Andel, in an entirely selfless, gracious, and generous philanthropic gesture, donated the piece for the show, and it is now included in the Renwick's permanent collection. There was a beautiful book printed by the Smithsonian, and several articles in major publications: American Craft, Washington Post.
In addition to the show itself, and to top off the experience (!!!), The James Renwick Alliance decided to add me to their Distinguished Artists' Lecture Series while the show was on exhibit.