There are plenty of phone calls you get from your kids over the years that count as “surprises.” Some of them are good surprises, some of them are awful, and a few just rock you back on your heels and make you go “WOW!!!!”
The phone call from my art student daughter, Sarah Muehlbauer, last week telling me that she’d just won $20,000 in an art competition sponsored by Volkswagen of America was definitely in the “WOW” category. The contest is called Green Light, and showcases emerging young artists with disabilties. When I quit screaming with excitement and jumping up and down, the questions finally poured out. Did you say the word “Smithsonian”? Yes, in fact, artwork from the winners is going to be featured in exhibitions at both the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. After that initial showing, the Smithsonian exhibition will go on to tour at college and university galleries for two years. And what exactly did you win the prize for making? A dress made out of wax paper. Who knew the uses of a modest kitchen staple? It even rated a photo feature and interview in the “Arts & Living” section of the Washington Post.
Proud mama here. And here are the pictures!