Felicia Forte

Beginnings and Endings by Felicia Forte. Oil on panel, 8” x 8”. Copyright © 2013 Felicia Forte. Used by permission of the artist.

Felicia Forte was the December 2013/January 2014 Artist Spotlight in Professional Artist magazine. Three years ago, when she decided to go full-time as an artist and instructor, she didn’t have much visibility or reputation in the art world. “I waited tables to put myself through life for 15 years,” she said. “At 30, I decided that’s it. I’m going to jump off this cliff and see if I can fly. … In the first two years, it got really difficult and scary, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to pay rent. …” But she stuck it out, finally confident enough in her skills to pass them on to art students, she said. And it turned out that she was a natural. She’s built up her reputation as an instructor and artist, and has learned a lot from her students, she said. “I’m proud of myself for facing that. It goes along with my idea that as an artist personally, being honest and vulnerable is the best thing I can do to say something in the world.” Now, she’s excited to branch out again and share her skills with a new type of student — museum visitor. But her approach during the museum residency will remain the same. She’ll tell her students: “There’s no difference between you and me except for a few years of hard work and the ability to accept sacrifice.” For more on Felicia Forte, visit www.feliciaforte.com or www.facebook.com/felicia.forte.5