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  • Writer's pictureHeather Hauptman

The Neighbor Lady, in Venice Italy.

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

I first thought, this has to be a scam. A group in Italy wants me to show my art at an event they are hosting in Venice. And they contacted me through my website that all of three people have looked at, not including my parents. It had scam written all over it.

I looked them up, with it’s a scam on my lips, but didn’t find a clear answer. I asked Bruxelles Art Vue Foundation who I had worked with before from Brussels, Belgium if they were familiar with this Italian group, ItsLiquid. They were. Brussels Art Vue told me that ItsLiqued does a good job promoting their shows and their artists.

Oh. Huh. I wasn’t expecting that.

I looked again at my credit card points, and booked a hotel in Venice. I would bring The Neighbor Lady, Blue Pondering Face and My Grandfather's Hat to this Venice International Art Fair by ItsLiquid. Decision made.

I became engulfed in a flurry of looking for the best deals and the best ways to get to, and around Europe. At some point over the last two years, I had decided to go for broke. I do mean running out of money, broke. I have been living my financial life as if I'm not going to make it to 65. I am a single woman of 52 with no children. And although I don't have to explain my choices, I do want to acknowledge that I have a privilege that other people do not. This privilege doesn't make me a good artist, nor does this privilege mean I don't work hard. What it does mean, at least to me, is that I have the energy and resources to go for broke.

Do I worry about my financial future? Sure. But I know I will be okay. I don't have the fear of becoming homeless, I don't fear that I wont have enough money to heat my home, or get medical care. My fear isn't that of a single woman with kids, and/or marginalized people who live paycheck to paycheck. I don't have the fear that if my car breaks down, I'll have to decide between fixing it or buying groceries. My fearlessness is in part due to my privilege. I have a safety net build off of generational wealth that I did not myself earn. It is then that I recognize that it might not be as easy for others to be this fearless. Recognizing my privilege doesn't mean I'm a bad person because of it. For me recognizing my privilege means I see that others don't have the same opportunities to be fearless. It leaves me to ask myself, what art goes unmade because other artists can't be so fearless?


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