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The Importance of Art Shows in Building Community

Girl playing with water feature sculpture

As I’ve recently been exploring creating more of an online presence, my favorite way to showcase my artwork is still in-person art shows.

Nothing compares to how great it is to receive people's reactions in real time! I get to be witness to how happy my art makes the audience upon sight. This authentic appreciation for my art is what feeds my soul and ignites the creative process.

My first art show was the Palo Alto Clay and Glass Show in 1999. I feel lucky to have begun my journey with this show in particular because to this day, it is the top ceramics and glass art exhibition. This momentous experience is what originally inspired me to leave my engineering job behind and to fully step into making art my full time passion and career.

Having quit my job in 2004, I traveled through Thailand and India in 2005, where I spent my time learning about the mysteries and practices of yoga and meditation. This unique journey trained my body, mind, and soul to be strong yet flexible, persistent yet patient, and passionate yet grounded.

When I came back to the states, I began my new line of art exploration and creation. Having been inspired by the previous art show experience, I began attending other art fairs but something just wasn’t quite the same. It felt like my inner self was fighting with my outer self. So, I took a step back and tapped into my yoga and meditation skills to help me understand where the disconnect was coming from. The realization hit me like a tidal wave; I was forcing the creating process from my old engineering mindset. This mindset was focused on

producing functional work and not so much artistic.

In 2006, I had the breakthrough I’d been waiting for. This was the year I began stacking my vase sculptures to create monumental sculptures. Because of this, I was able to shift my creative process into a more balanced artistic vision of both beauty and functionality.

I was lit up from this experience with the crazy idea that I can actually be successful at bringing functional beauty to the people and thus, began showcasing these new creations at more art shows. I’ve attended 300+ art shows over the years and you can now find me at about 20 different art exhibitions each year.

My biggest enjoyment is meeting new people and creating lasting connections. Plus, I get to personally witness how people fall in love with my creations at first sight and how quickly that evolves in to their pure joy and excitement as they adopt the pieces into their lives.


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Post edited by Zhenya Altamirano

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