Wow! Since my first interview in October of 2019, I have been able to expand and explore my background in fine arts. I’ve been very involved in numerous art-related events.
When the pandemic struck, my entire world turned upside down. At first, it was difficult to adjust to the “new normal.” I had to learn how to make the best of my current situation at home with my entire family—and master the challenge of homeschooling three children with very different needs.
For Christmas, my husband purchased my first dollhouse miniature. When I was younger, I loved escaping to the world of miniatures and creating all the items for my dollhouse. During the stressful months of the pandemic, this once again became a way to escape my current reality and was very therapeutic for me.
At the same time, I took a leap of faith and submitted my artwork (and was accepted!) to several local art shows hosted by the Annapolis Arts Alliance. I also took the bold step of submitting my artwork to be part of a local Annapolis gallery—Gallery 57 West. I was so excited to be juried into the gallery and was thrilled to see my artwork hanging on my own personal wall space. This experience boosted my confidence because my artwork was out there for the public to see and purchase! This truly was an important accomplishment on my bucket list.
This is a quote from Gallery 57 West-“Meet Atalante Shay—Acrylic and Oil Painter. Atalante’s artwork is inspired by her surroundings and love of the natural world. She uses oil paints, oil markers, acrylic paints, and even coffee filters to make her creations come alive.”
During my time at Gallery 57 West, I played an instrumental role in helping with social media marketing. In just a few short months after opening, the word was spreading and Gallery 57 West was voted “Best Local Art Gallery.” Most recently, I co-hosted a special exhibit with Gallery 57 West and Gigi’s Playhouse Annapolis which showcased the artwork of adults with Down Syndrome.
I was inspired to volunteer at Gigi’s Playhouse because my oldest daughter, Lacie, was born with Down Syndrome. I am such a big advocate for individuals like my daughter and the contributions they offer. At Gigi’s Playhouse, I utilized my art background and volunteered to help the students create a few pieces for their Annual Fundraising Gala. I saw the raw talent and the purity of their work. I thought there needed to be an art show here in Annapolis solely dedicated to individuals with Down Syndrome. The highlight of this exhibit was the reception held for the artists, friends, and family. It brought such joy to the faces of these young artists to see their creations on display. It has been an honor to coordinate this art show with Gallery 57 West and Gigi’s Playhouse Annapolis.
I am currently a part-time art teacher assistant at Artworks in Hyattsville, Maryland which I am enjoying. Meanwhile, I’m still producing artwork and creating dollhouse miniatures. My dream for the future is to one day run my own gallery and social media company!
Follow me on Instagram @AtalanteShay