2002  Online  Pride 

StoneWall Society 
2002 Pride In The Arts Visual Arts Award Recipient Response

Michael Wilk

I have never had the opportunity to make an acceptance speech, so I will try to combine genuineness and theatricality to the best of my advantage.

To begin with, I was deeply honored and flattered to be nominated for 3 “Pride in the Arts” awards. And now that I have actually won them, I am even more honored. To have one’s artwork recognized, rewarded and validated is manna to the artist’s soul. Art is an audience-conscious medium. If an artist truly ‘does not care about what people think’, and is creating  art ‘solely for himself’, then he or she should never exhibit their work.  If my artwork evokes a remembrance, an emotion, a chill or a smile, then I am happy. Isn’t that what art is all about, a shared experience?

Now, I would like to express my thanks. First, to my dear departed parents, who would be very proud of their “different” son. They were great friends, I miss them so much. Second, to my dear, multi-talented friend Sun (we know each other nearly 28 years), who charmingly nudged me to exhibit my artwork online, and who designed and created my online gallery in his fabulous and entertaining website. Sun, I love you! Third, to Len, founder of The Stonewall Society, for his enthusiasm, support, warmth and very insightful reviews of my artwork.  Len, we must meet someday. And, lastly, all of the people, familiar and unfamiliar, who voted for me in the three categories. (“They’re life and death to me, baby, they’re the ones who really made me!”) My dear friend Nancy Lemay now refers to me as “My friend, the gender icon!” I rather like the title myself. Funny, how a self-portrait I did at the tender age of eighteen should now be a “gender icon!”
I will be producing more artwork very soon, after a small hiatus due to some vision problems in my left eye, which, thank goodness, is resolving itself. So keep watching!
“Although I am going to Hollywood next week to make a film….”
Michael Wilk 


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