It is with great pleasure that I have the chance to announce that my wife and business partner Dana Harris Seeger has been awarded the SVCreates Artist Laureate Award for Santa Clara county. In full transparency I am jumping headfirst into the opportunity to unabashedly post and brag about my wife. She deserves it.
During her baccalaureate at Anderson University her father was asked a question that parents pose to me and Dana as arts educators with an alarming rate—"what is your daughter going to do with an art degree”? Giving her father credit where due, his reply was “like everyone else she will live her life”. The response Dana and I give to parents desperately looking for us to alter the course of their children’s lives away from the struggles they presume an artist will face is simple. We ask them what they would do if their child told them they wanted to be an entrepreneur and work in a field that not only combined their passions in life but also had a great opportunity to influence their community. Most of the time parents walk away from these conversations stunned that not their children’s minds but their own had been changed, and they would indeed support their children’s efforts in becoming an artist in today’s world.
I invite you all to take a closer look into the life of Dana. She is exemplary in modeling the need for an artist to work well, to work hard, and to think not only as an artist but as an entrepreneur. Simply put, she never quits. One of her passions is to alter negative stigmas about contemporary artists. The reputation of the starving, crazy and/or lazy artist that comes with our time simply does not apply. The passion that Dana has for art is inspiring and is more akin to the long hours associated with a tech startup. What’s more, her passion extends to the needs of all artists, not just the creations that stem from her own brush, pen and roller.
Dana was pregnant with our first child Lyla while we worked to launch an idea called The School of Visual Philosophy. I still enjoy looking back at photos of her balancing a pregnant belly while scouring for free wood on what we like to call Pallet Mountain, or tearing out twenty year old carpet from the first warehouse we occupied. It didn’t matter how many people told us not to start an arts business, she never gave up. With two infants, one a little girl and the other a business, she continued to create and show her own artwork. She averaged four to five gallery shows each year. I mention this with awe and admiration, I still don’t know how she does it-- my own work practically ceased amongst the confusing timeline of teaching, parenting and building the school. Dana kept marching on without missing a beat, and KQED named her as one of their 10 inaugural “Bay Area Women to Watch”.
Then came the twins. It was a deep conversation as to whether or not we could handle a second child with the responsibilities associated with the school. And so our second child came, well... our second and third child came. And still neither the children nor the business felt neglect as Dana balanced and juggled and continued to create and show her own work. Not only did she continue to nourish each of the different aspects in her life, but they all flourished. And, still she averaged around five shows each year. Dana has an upcoming solo show at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara in 2022.
It is with the utmost respect and admiration that I inform you of Dana Seeger’s Laureate award. I highly encourage you to keep in touch with her this year and check out how she acts and creates as this year’s SVCreates Artist Laureate.
Find more information about Dana via her website at www.danaharrisseeger.com