Trying Once More

The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie
In a recent issue of the e-mail newsletter, Art Rubicon, there was a call for submissions from the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie.

And I mailed a proposal package for Mark on the Body.

I've not given up on the Southern Alberta Art Gallery submission either; I was advised to wait at least six months from the date I sent it (June 20) perhaps I'll hear something by year-end.

And so it goes.

More when I have news...or not.  Thanks for your continued support!

Where to from Here?

The McMullen Gallery, affiliated with the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and its health sciences-related facilities, got back to me yesterday.

Another 'Thank you, but no.'

The initial e-mail gave a soup-to-nuts listing of possible reasons why:

We received a record 103 submissions this year, and 6 shows were selected...
 For your reference, the primary reasons for submissions not being accepted include:
  •  subject matter not suitable for the hospital environment;
  • amount of work is insufficient for the size of the gallery;
  • artwork lacks visual cohesion;
  • artwork is uneven stylistically and does not hold together as a unit;
  • group submission lacks a cohesive theme or quality among the works;
  • similar work has been selected for exhibitions in recent years;
  • the submission was incomplete.
Exhibit selections vary each year as the submissions change. You are welcome and encouraged to submit again next year. Our next deadline for submissions will be March 31, 2018.
Once again, thank you for your submission and for your interest in the Friends of University Hospitals' McMullen Gallery.

Well!  That wasn't particularly I wrote back and asked for clarification.  I was correct in assuming that one problem with MOB was that it was too small (on its own) for the gallery space.  The gentleman who wrote (the Gallery's Manager, who is not part of the jury) confirmed this suspicion, and then outlined the apparent concerns with MOB.

One had to do with the quality of photos -- which were a a challenge because in order to show the exhibit in situ I had to submit photos that had been taken when it was up in Lacombe last fall.

But...the main problem with MOB?
The jury appreciated the story you shared, and your journey into art-making in such a trying time in life.  It is not that they didn't like the work. They certainly saw potential in the theme of honoring those with Type 1 Diabetes, they felt that the very literal imagery of the syringes and the stumps a bit jarring.   The jury does love to see proposals that highlight health-related themes, but it is tricky because some visuals can be difficult for patients.
This response is a mixed blessing.

On the one hand, MOB is intentionally jarring!  So clearly, I made my point for the jury -- but they didn't think the viewing public could handle it.

On the other hand, if a Gallery affiliated with a University which houses some of the finest research being done today into the cause(s), treatment, cure and prevention of Type 1 Diabetes isn't prepared to carry such an exhibit about what it's like to live with the disease, because it might upset people with the disease (who, by the by, already have a very clear idea of what they're up against), well then...where do I go from here?!

One application left -- in the hands of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, which tells applicants from the outset that they will not receive a response unless it is a "yes".  I have no idea how long to hold my breath on that one.

Exhibition Update...

After a fashion.

A few weeks ago I heard from the Art Gallery of St. Albert, thus:

Dear Margaret,
I would like to thank you for submitting an exhibition proposal to our gallery.  Every year it is a privilege to see such a wide array of works created by diverse and unique artists working locally, nationally and internationally.
It is with regret that I must inform you that your submission has not been accepted for the 2018 exhibition year.  This spring our jury reviewed over 85 applications....due to our limited space we can only accept a handful of artists....


Ah well.  Not to be deterred, I have today written to thank AGSA for their consideration -- and packaged up a new submission for the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge.  I have yet to hear from the McMullen in Edmonton...but we shall see!

One step at a time!



Two More Donations

Though online sales of Mark on the Body have come to a stop, I continue to be surprised by the generosity of friends, family and complete strangers!

In January, a customer at The Crafty Lady in Lacombe -- the shop where I work part-time -- bought a book.  In February, another customer paid for a book but didn't take one -- concerned that is would frighten her 12-year-old, who has Type 1 Diabetes.  Both sales occurred when I was away from the shop, though, so I never got to speak to the donors in person.

In February as well, I heard from an old friend in Ontario and a cousin in my husband's family in B.C....and both purchased books as well as made donations well over and above the purchase price.  I was both touched and thrilled!

It means that today I was able to put in the mail cheques for $81.67 to each of the JDRF Canada and Diabetes Canada (formerly Canadian Diabetes Association) local offices!  This brings total funds raise thus far to $619.34!

I continue to be able to speak about the Project to people who come into the shop and see the book on display...and the Mary C. Moore Library in Lacombe continues to offer it for sale as well.  I am hoping to have copies available for purchase should I be juried into the Lacombe Art Show and Sale in April...

Meanwhile, I am preparing a 'trunk show' and talk about my work for a quilt guild in Camrose in April, which will include the Project, and I am preparing an application for the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge...

So we shall see what we shall see.  Meanwhile, I will continue to do what artists do...and what those who live with T1D do every day: put one foot in front of the other!

Till next time...

                          ..........................with a smile, eh?

Thank You, Mary Tyler Moore

Ms. Moore in 2011
at the annual Broadway Barks benefit
Photo Credit: Nick Step,

Actress, author and Type 1 Diabetes spokesperson, Mary Tyler Moore, died earlier today in Connecticut.  She'd turned 80 in late December, 2016.   Diagnosed with T1D almost 50 years ago, I last saw her on the Oprah Show several years ago now.  In her interview with Ms. Winfrey, Ms. Moore said that she had lost her eyesight -- or most of it -- by then.  She also underwent surgery for a brain tumour in 2011.  Her death has been reported as due to cardiopulmonary arrest due to pneumonia.

Though T1D took a toll on her as it does all of those who live with it, her grace, talent, wit, and unflagging efforts on behalf of T1D research while serving as the International Chair of JDRF will not be forgotten.

Rest peacefully, Ms. Moore.  We miss you already.

Link to CBC news item: HERE.

In the Beginning

Work on this Project began three years ago on this day, but the reason for it began sixty-four years ago...for it was on this day in 1952 that my late husband, Howard, was born.  His diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, sometime seven years later, changed his life, his family's life, and the life of all who would come to know and love him in the future.

The MOB Project was a way I was able to work through some of the impact of his life -- and his illness and death -- on my own life, but that impact is not erased by the Project's creation.  I still witness that impact in my own life, and in the lives of my children, and I have no doubt it will be felt for generations to come.

There is more than one way to leave a legacy, and T1D's mark on the 'bodies' it touches is part of that.

The debut exhibit at the Lacombe Memorial Centre was taken down November 16, but the work goes on.  Two MOB II squares have arrived in the days since, and will eventually be finished so they can hang with the rest.  There are more squares "out there" which I hope will find their way to me in the coming months...And there are a couple of opportunities for showing the work in the new year that I hope to pursue.

The book that accompanies the Project remains for sale online at, and there's a few dozen copies sitting in a box in my back room for anyone who'd like to purchase one directly from the author.  Signed, of course! ;-)  There are a few more dollars from book sales to send to JDRF and CDA later this week.  In all, just over $425 CAD has been raised, divided between the two organizations: one for research (JDRF) and one for education (CDA).

Posts from here on in will be few and far between, but I've decided to keep this blog going for the foreseeable future, posting any news as it comes along.

Thank you, Gentle Readers, for your love, support and encouragement over the past three years.  You have no idea how important you've been, enabling me to see this Project through.  Together I'm sure we've played our part in the important work being done to understand, treat, prevent and cure T1D...and, perhaps, to have an impact on Type 2 as well.  Bless you all!

This Project is dedicated
to the memory
Howard Martin Blank
November 29, 1952 - August 9, 2006
Always in my heart.

October 29-2016: More from the Opening Reception

Thanks to my daughter, Gina, who took a few photos using my camera, here are a few more shots from the MOB Opening Reception:

Stump Sock Line-up

Signing more books

Meeting the Press

There was a surreal moment at The Shop on Thursday morning when I heard the story on "Sunny 94" out of Lacombe at 9:00 a.m...and a lovely time when a woman on a scooter (she has trouble walking) came in later that day asking for 'stretchy yarn' to make a pair of stump socks for her friend...having seen the exhibit, which gave her the idea...

The response has been fantastic...and I was so gratified to be able to send these to JDRF Canada and the Canadian Diabetes Association yesterday...

I've just checked, only to find a few more books have soon there will be more funds to send them.

And...another MOB II square arrived yesterday, soon to be added to the others!

I am so very thankful to everyone who has made this such a success, and I hope there'll be more to report before the exhibit comes down in mid-November.

Tuesday is All Saints Day...I know I've met several in the past three years, as this work has come to fruition.  God bless you, each and every one!