When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”~ Paul Coelho

"Some Mad Hope..."
A young and vital child knows no limit to his own will, and it is the only reality to him. It is not that he wants at the outset to fight other wills, but that they simply do not exist for him. Like the artist, he goes forth to the work of creation, gloriously alone.
Jane Harrison

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator
My art is a reflection of my effort to recognize and embrace the beauty in the world around me, even when it seems most difficult to find. Contact me at judiharz@aol.com or visit my website at http://www.judeharzerfineart.com

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"Most of us have two lives- the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance."Steven Pressfield

"The greatest freedoms are freedom from regret, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from sorrow."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chance Encounters: Diane Raver and the Garden State Film Festival

I have been very fortunate to have had some very amazing and talented people "appear" and "reappear" in my life.When my son Robert was just 3, I enrolled him,against my better judgment, in a pre-school program. I was prompted to make this decision based on my past experience with his older sister, whose first academic experience was Kindergarten. She found it torturous, not because of the school itself but because it was too much fun being with Mommy all day (that would be me). When it came time to separate, Christina resisted. And so in order to avoid a similar experience with Robert, I found an "appropriate" pre school program. Robert was not happy with my decision. Actually he was down right miserable. I quickly removed him from the first school but found a very nurturing and "intimate" program that he grew to like:)...I dare not exaggerate by saying "love!"

So what is the point of this post?...Well, on the first day at this small Jersey shore school, while all of the other parents were departing after exchanging hugs and kisses and assuring their children that they would pick them up after snack, I stayed behind.I promised Robert that I would remain if he would genuinely make the effort and give the school a try. I sat, tears streaming down my face, painfully watching Robert with tears streaming down his face, as he reluctantly particpated in circle time.This went on for days! Yikes! It seems like yesterday. One other mother sat beside me, her eyes, tear filled as well.She comforted me and offered sincere empathy and sympathy.

That is how I met, the very beautiful and talented Diane Raver 13 years ago!(This is the point of my post:)At the time, I was not an art educator or a practicing artist and Diane had not yet lost her husband to a tragic illness or become the director of the Garden State Film Festival. We were mothers and two very passionate and creative women,connected by similar outlooks on life and love of our children.
Diane recently attended two of my major art exhibits. She is a wonderful source of support. And now, I get to support this dynamic woman as a volunteer for her 7th annual film festival. I will serve as one of the "czarinas" at her weekend event,April 2-5 in Asbury Park, NJ.

So let me introduce to you, Diane Raver, a 25 year film industry veteran(aka preschool class mom)."Her Garden State Film Festival was born in 2002 after her chance encounter in a Sea Girt, NJ Grocery store with the well known Hollywood actor Robert Pastorelli. Through his deep ties to Hollywood, Mr. Pastorelli and Ms. Raver were able to bring the State of New Jersey an all encompassing event. It premiered in 2003 and was immediately deemed a huge success. Since that time, such industry notables such as Glenn Close, Frank Vincent, Batman producer Michael Uslan, Austin Pendleton, Kurtwood Smith, James Gandolfini, Budd Schulberg and others have lent their support."

"GSFF is an all volunteer non-profit organization. Our event is held on an annual basis in the spring of each year at the Paramount Theater/Convention Hall complex as well as other venues in Asbury Park, New Jersey and surrounding area."

Check out the GSFF website for a schedule of events. This year's festival is certain to be bigger and better than ever.
I am so proud of Diane. We are both chasing our dreams!
Chance encounters are wonderful things.You never know who you will meet and how they will change your life.

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Jude, Art and Inspiration