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Great news–my essay won Linda Durham gallery’s essay contest. My essay is titled, “We do art to be human” (click on the title to go to the essay).

The topic for the contest was, “The importance of art in this challenging political and economic world.” My essay is built around ideas I’ve been thinking about for a long time–the topic couldn’t have been better chosen for me.

The gallery got several hundred submissions from around the U.S. as well as New Mexico. The essays were judged by a professional panel of judges: Timothy Rodgers, Chief Curator at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe; Jon Carver, a Santa Fe art-writer and art educator; and Aline Brandauer Sloan, art-writer and curator.

And there was actually a $500 prize that I didn’t know about until I was told I’d won the contest; the contest notice I saw didn’t say anything about a monetary prize. As it happened, I’d ordered a big new easel, with a winch, a couple of days before I learned I’d won the prize, so the money comes in very handy.

The last time I won a prize for my writing was in college, for a paper on the economics of cable TV regulation. This piece was a lot more fun to write!