Project BeYouToFull is a project that celebrates authenticity. It includes a series of photos and interviews from people that inspire either me or you. We live in a world where we are confronted in every direction we turn with things/people/situations telling us who we should be or not be. In reality the more we embrace exactly who we are the more we can vulnerably pour that into what we create, the more that will resonate with other people around us. Loving ourselves FULLY and then expressing ourselves vulnerably is one of the most courageous things a person can do. This project celebrates those who do just that!
Pam is a fiber artist and a performance artist. She is regionally and nationally recognized with over 30 individual and group art exhibits and installations. Pam is also a 20-year veteran art educator. She has twice been awarded Teacher of the Year, a Martha Holden Jennings Scholars and a National Board Certified Teacher.
Pam Kravetz interview
JP: What brings you to life or inspires you?
PK: My family - It’s about those times like when my son texts or working with my husband Craig or building my relationship with my step daughters. My immediate family are ALL together always. We are Jewish and we have Shabbat dinner every Friday night which is like the Sabbath and my Mom hosts. We celebrate everything. Everybody’s everything gets celebrated. We are a celebratory family! We realize there are times that are not good so we cherish those moments.
What also personally inspires me is just waking up in the middle of the night “I got it - I got it!!” My mind never shuts off EVER - all that churning - all that thinking - but I can look at someone’s gym shoes and it is a certain color then all the sudden I am gone; I leave and I’m thinking that was the color I was looking for and I leave a situation but I come back. I live in that creative head constantly.
JP: What is love to you?
PK: It is pretty much everything. It is the reason I get up in the morning. It is joy and passion and creativity. I think I am my most, best, creative self in the last 10-12 years. Having a baby and having that feeling of that other person was when I realized what I needed to be doing and making and being. Love is goofy. It is accepting of your own self. Accepting that I deserve to be loved in such an intense and amazing way. It is my heart and soul. I love my life. I love the world I created. You know? You work hard to create your reality. I love the person I created. I use that to fuel my art, my relationships, my friends, my family. Everything is in such a great place because I LOVE the person I created!
JP: What makes you vulnerable?
PK: People don’t always realize this but a lot of times I have to take a deep breath before I walk out the door. No my pants don’t match my shirt and I am wearing a wig and I am going to be in a bathtub but I got this! I am definitely on. I am a stage person! I love the performance thing but it is also the most vulnerable place you can be. I am vulnerable when I put my art on the wall and I am vulnerable when I become my art in front of people, setting myself up for criticism and ridicule. I do want people to like me. If they don’t I walk away thinking that is their loss. I want everyone to win. I love working in collaborations. I never want to take credit because it is not me. It is the community and the friends and the artists created around me and WE make these things happen. I am just part of a whole and an accidental leader that just sort of happened. Every time I do a show or have a performance though I think “holy shit what if no one shows up or they show up and they hate it”. It always happens about one week before the opening and you have to work your way out of it. It must be me needing to put myself in those situations for growth because I constantly seek it out. I constantly put myself in situations where I am not comfortable and I am vulnerable. I feel like I need to learn and that these are things I need and that I would be bored without it. Me being bored would be devastating.
JP: What has been your biggest lesson so far in life?
PK: The biggest lesson for me is learning that I’m pretty cool. It’s taken me a long time to know that about myself. I’m good - this is good - this great. Yeah I make mistakes and yeah I make bad choices and yeah sometimes I should wake up and call someone and apologize because I thought I was funny but I wasn’t. Ultimately that person that I hang out with every day all day long I kinda like her. I kinda like her a lot. I think it is hard for us to say that about ourselves. I had an interesting conversation with Tom Shaw the African Am woodcutter/artist. I was sitting next to him at a meeting and I knew who he was. I was thinking omygod I’m sitting next to Tom Shaw! He looks at me and says “Who are you and what do you do?” “I said I’m Pam Kravetz and I make quilts.” Tom asks me if they were any good and I told him they are okay. His response to me was “I’ve seen your work and I know who you are! You make great art and why in the world would you say it’s okay. Why would I come to a show of yours if you think it is just okay?” It was one of those moments where I thought yeah you are right!!! We became fast friends but it was one of those moments where it was this connection that really changed me. It’s okay to really love you and to love what you do.
JP: What projects are you working now?
PK: I am a full time teacher and I have these killer kids right now. I love inspiring them and they are inspiring me. Teaching ebbs and flows and I look forward to going to school and after 25 years and being able to say that is HUGE! I’m designing the set for the Carnegie for the Wizard of Oz in January. This is the first time for me so I’m putting myself out there. I’m also recently on the board for ArtWorks. I’ve been working on certain projects. I have the Artisan coming up again which is living art or performance pieces. I’m also one of 5 cincinnati artists that a woman has been given a grant to write about. It is about Cincinnati artists who give back to the community in the way you make your art. I also have my first out of town show in MI. Those are my major things right now.