When I was a little girl, my grandma Freda would write me letters stating that, “she needed more artwork for her cupboards.” In my mind, I imagined Grandma in a frantic desperation wondering what she could put on the bare spot. Apparently, my other cousins had been slacking on their artwork as well, and it was all up to me to put Grandma at ease. I would set to work, drawing and coloring. When I would get my picture done, my Mom would put it in the mail for me.
At our next visit to Grandma Freda and Grandpa Dale’s house, there it would be…my picture hanging on the kitchen cupboards along with about a dozen others and my cousin’s artwork as well! My grandparents lived in a 100 year old farmhouse that was filled with interesting artifacts and knickknacks. I felt proud that my artwork was featured among it all.
As an adult, I absolutely love children’s artwork and I have not forgotten how Grandma Freda’s “gallery” made me feel about my own creations. I have instituted my own “gallery” in my own house and framed several pieces to display around the house as well.
I wasn’t sure if the gallery had an impact on my own kids until a day of rearranging and putting up new. My son asked why I took his “Monster Pooping Jelly Beans” picture down. I explained I’m always changing it to make room for all the new pictures and that I have all his artwork scanned into the computer and I proudly display it on the digital photo frame in our living room. He still looked like I had stabbed him in the heart until he noticed I had replaced it with “Baby With Chicken Pox in a Cage.” He also felt better when he saw I had taken down Iris’s magazine collage of “Bras” that she did when she was 4 and updated it with her recent picture of a unicorn.
I won a few art contests in elementary school but nothing compared to being featured on Grandma’s farmhouse cupboards. Thanks to her “frantic desperation” for my art she always kept me drawing. I will continue to portray to my children that I am “frantically desperate” for their artwork as well!