When I left Pediatric Intensive Care nursing for adult oncology, I was making more time for myself. The idea was to create more free time and energy so I can make art and write. It works, but little did I realize how much energy and time art-making consumes. This past month, I have used every skill of prioritization I learned from nursing to implement the exhibition of not one, but two gallery shows in July.
Besides making the work itself there is a myriad of tasks required behind the scenes to produce an art show. Artist statements are written and mulled over, images are created for advertisement, postcards designed and printed. Lettering for the walls is designed and made. Are we serving food? Don’t forget the wine and cheese. It goes on and on. Remember: the outcome all of this will be viewed publicly and judged by your peers. In the beginning, it feels like a train wreck: how can all of this work be completed and visually coherent? Obviously, the experience pales next to nursing in a trauma center and working with a team to save the life of a critically ill child. But the ability to organize the information and prioritize it is the same. Time is critical, and rapid assessment and a plan to meet the need, adjusting it whether to the patient response or the visual whole uses the same skill set. It’s another way nursing informs my art and art reinforces the clinical skills I use as a nurse with an active clinical practice.
I will post updates about each of my upcoming shows soon.