This year, as usual, NWSSA provided scholarships to several persons interested in advancing their stone carving skills. Among those selected, Bethany Moore and Sarah Svobodny chose to write letters of appreciation for being offered the opportunity to attend Camp B. Following are portions of the letters they wrote. They speak eloquently of their passion for stone carving and their deep appreciation of the mentoring and friendship members extended. We are proud to welcome them to the Association.
I cannot even comprehend the experiences I just had. It seems like Beth and I just visited and became a part of this intensely creative wonderland of a fantasy!
But it was all real!
I have never known a group of people more loving, supportive, respectful, and giving—and been welcomed into a community of artists so fully and truly. I believe in myself as an artist and as a human being more than ever before. Pursuing my artistic dreams and ideas, and making my visions a reality now feels so much more attainable. Wow! How incredible is that! Sooo much in five days.
Thinking about the experiences I have had studying art in school, they seem to pale in comparison to the time I spent at Camp Brotherhood. Everyone there turned into teachers and friends, and helped and inspired each other. People there were so willing to spend time with each other, and share information, and be happy for each other. That is what going to school should be like, but isn’t always that way.
I can’t wait to go next year, to continue with stone carving, and just creating in general. Thank you ALL so much for everything! I am so grateful I was able to attend, and will never forget it! I hope to see you all soon.
It’s always amazing to me when life hands you a great big gift, and puts you among people who one day were strangers, but now suddenly are all family so dear to your heart that it hurts. This is one of the gifts that I received by connecting with NWSSA and receiving a scholarship to Camp Brotherhood.
Never in my life have I found myself surrounded by so many amazing people. I have never felt so welcomed, loved, respected, and supported in all my life. Being one of the youngest people there, this is even more significant. Everyone was a mentor to me, having just graduated from University. Having been exposed to many of the negative sides of the “art world” through schooling and my professional work, it set me back on track to be surrounded by so many positive people who are doing their work, collaborating, celebrating, and enjoying it.
Artistically speaking, at the end of day one, I had found my way with the stone, uncovering the form that I knew was held within. The days that followed got me deeper and deeper into understanding, learning through the people surrounding me, and the great workshops presented throughout the day. The open environment allows any individual, no matter their skill or knowledge, the opportunity to ask questions and feel comfortable. There is no hierarchy, no elitism, and no judgment.
The most powerful element of this experience for me was the deep feeling that I am a member of the next generation of this group. I can see myself in the future as one of those amazing women stone carvers who talked with me, shared their skills and helped me find my way. My deepest love and gratitude goes out to the Association, and all of my wonderful new friends. See you next time!