Fine Art by Michelle Micalizzi
(All Rights Reserved)
It has been an amazing experience interviewing the twenty-six business owners that are represented in the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business show coming up on May 14th – June 9th at the Walter Art Gallery. THANK YOU Fearless 26 for your generosity and for inspiring me and us!
After reflecting on each of these established entrepreneurs, there was a common sentiment. Every single business owner and leader, when asked what they are afraid of now or most concerned about, responded in one way or another, that they no longer have “fears.” They may have challenges that they know they will overcome but they no longer have fear like they did in the beginning. They are warriors and understand from experience that they will keep surviving.
This level of confidence is what happens when we do not give up. We have things happen and don’t just survive them but we come out on the other side stronger and more capable when we make the choice not to let life’s seemingly “bad” breaks keep us down. We can all decide to turn a down to an up based on our attitude and how we choose to look at it. The other common characteristic I saw in every entrepreneur was that they did not carry resentment and anger with them. They found a way to forgive, forget, turn a negative into a positive and use it for their development. Yes, there were melt downs but after the melt down, they got to the “WHAT’S NEXT?!!” moment as quickly as possible. Across the board, everyone was still hungry and driven and ready to GROW. Each one has made a personal commitment to excellence and stick–to–itiveness. They do not let the world dictate to them what they will become, they are movers and shakers. Many of the businesses were actually audaciously started in the last recession or during a difficult period within their industry. They are rainmakers who know when to make it rain, when to grab an umbrella, when to water the plants, and when to dance in the rain. Each one of them has had to negotiate the dark night of the soul and to conquer the insurmountable deadline. All of them maintained a sense of humor through it all; realizing that laughter is indeed the best medicine. Finally, in one way or another they had faith. Faith in themselves and faith in some kind of higher power or God, that the leaps they took would get them through or over the fires and out on the other side safely.
How can I not feel inspired? I mean REALLY? How blessed am I that I got to spend time with each one of these rock stars? Each one of the twenty-six business owners/leaders, the gallery owners and staff, the businesses that have sponsored the event, and Elena at the Arizona Consortium of the arts have all reminded me of the unquenchable thirst I have to be the best me I can and to help the most people possible while I am here. Witnessing that tenacity in others is a true relief for people like me. It reaffirms that all is well with the world and I am not unusual; there are other nut jobs out there who refuse to give up on their dreams. How blessed I am that I have found a way to pursue my art and grow my business simultaneously?! I am pinch-me blessed!
Thank you to all my friends and family as well who have supported me through this process especially my best friend of thirty years, my biggest fan and my editor Peg Quinn. Peg is the kind of best friend that no amount of words could describe. I am blessed beyond measure that she is my true soul sister and family but also that she is my editor. She makes me look much better than I am. We are looking forward to publishing a book of these two shows and potentially a few other projects together.
The list is too long to name all the friends who have been there for me during both of these shows. I am afraid I would miss someone should I even try to name them all…They know who they are because I tell them every chance I get how blessed I am to have them in my life. You all know who you are and you understand why I have to single out Peg only because we are partners in this crime called the Art of Fearlessly Doing Business.
On to the next Fearless Art Project after I take maybe a week off from painting and blogging. That will feel weird after working every day for months and months but a little bit of a break is good for us all. We will see how long this respite lasts since I have eighty-six panels to complete, as promised, before the Sonoran Arts League’s Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour. I am so proud to say that my studio was chosen to be in the tour this year. If you are around the weekends before and after Thanksgiving, the tour is right here in Cave Creek. My studio’s name is “The Micalizzi Studio.” I hope you will put this on your calendar and come visit all the studios as well as my studio and meet the four amazing artists that I have the absolute honor of sharing my studio with for two weeks: Rhonda Hudson, Pat O’Brien, and Joanie & Charles Wolter. I serve on the board of the Sonoran Arts League and I am so incredibly proud of that fact.
I look forward to seeing as many of you who can make it tomorrow night May 14th at the Walter Gallery from 7-10 for the opening. If you can not make the opening consider coming to the Conversation with the Artist Night on the 21st or the Closing Reception on June 9th. If you are unable to make these times and you would like to see the work in person – please email me at email@example.com to make an appointment to see the show!
Note from the Artist
MICHELLE’S ILLUSTRATION’S STORY:
I have been drawing thoracic vertebrae for many years. The human body is an amazing thing and I have studied it carefully as a trainer, yogi and an artist. I am in awe of what an amazing perfectly awesome machine God built for each of us to care for. The thoracic vertebrae are the backbones that connect to the ribs and they, like the rest of the vertebrae, house the nervous system. The ribs protect many vital organs; most importantly for me are the heart and the lungs. I could go deeply into the metaphors and the reality of these two organs but you already know what they are because you have your own heart and breath. The feet inside the vertebrae show my feet are on the ground and that I am grounded. Over the years I have put many things in the center of the vertebrae. For several years, I always put a curled up woman. I felt curled up but I also felt safe there so it felt right for a period of time. However, now, I choose not to view the curled up version of me in my backbone as me in the fetal position hiding. I choose to see her as the flower getting ready to bloom or the caterpillar getting ready to become a butterfly.
The feet to me are important because I am far enough away from my right Achilles tendon rupture and my left LCL 98% tear of August 2013 to not have to think about each step. I literally have my feet under me. I am very aware of how blessed I am that I can plant my feet on the ground, walk and practice yoga. My actual foot prints are a deeper metaphor for me at this time, and something I feel incredibly blessed to experience. They are red because to me red is the color of passion (and Ruby, my Harley Davidson). As I stood back and looked at my footprints I started to laugh. When I laugh it is always the moment that I know I chose the right symbol to represent my thoughts. When we are born the hospital makes a print of our feet. Somewhere my parents have an imprint of my infant feet in black ink. Here I am, born again this time in red paint. These feet are not only symbols of being grounded, they also symbolize the beginning of a new life for me. There is no accident that this post will post on the 13th of May either. 13 as many of you know is my lucky number and sign from my departed brother that I am indeed on the right path!
I feel for the first time in my life that absolutely nothing is holding me back. I am truly walking my own walk, in my own skin, feeling the sun on my face while my heart freely soars. I feel planted. I feel strong. I am standing tall with my backbone straight while my heart is both open and protected as my breath is connected to the pulse of life. I consider myself truly blessed that I am who I am, that I have survived what I have survived and that I have come out on the other side, having learned valuable earth shattering lessons – shining, full of life and ready for my “WHAT’S NEXT??!!”moments. Yet at the same time, I am incredibly planted in the here and now in a way that has released me from fear in such a deep and meaningful way that it makes me belly laugh! Life is good. Dreams are possible. There is no scarcity; there is only abundance of everything. I feel so incredibly blessed to know these facts without one shred of doubt. At a time of tremendous personal change, I am so grateful to not feel cut off from my truth, my art, my work or the loveliness of life in anyway. I am so grateful to be (as Marrianne Williamson so perfectly says) “letting my own light shine”!
My call to ALL of you is this – BE FEARLESS! Let your light shine too and let US ALL light up the world!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
SAVE THE DATES:
The Art of Fearlessly Doing Business!
Press Viewing (by invitation only): Friday, May 13 6-8PM
Opening: Saturday, May 14th 7-10PM
Conversation with the Artist: Saturday, May 21 7-9PM
Closing Reception: Thursday, June 9th 6-9PM
10% Proceeds donated to the Arizona Consortium of the Arts
Walter Art Gallery
6425 East Thomas Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85257