The unknown factor is gone now. I was correct that there were many things that differentiate this show from others. But there were plenty of familiarities too. Yes, there was a lot of gorgeous ceramic work that was at an artistic level far above mine. But there were others selling simple functional wares like me. I didn't feel out of place. It helped that every single person I met from the Smithsonian Women's Committee made me feel welcome. It also helped that I nearly sold out of pots. Lately, that's not unusual for me (which is why I don't get nervous for most shows), but this was a very different audience. I was pleased and relieved that they found my work worthwhile too. I loved that the show was so small, even though this is why it is so darn hard to get a spot in the show. It really conveyed a sense of exclusivity. And I was able to look closely at everyone else's work. I also love that it was close to home. For four days, I left my house on foot and rode the subway into the city. I felt like a grown-up with a real job. And once again, I felt fortunate that I live in a region with institutions like the Smithsonian.
It seems pretty common for an artist to get into this show once, then never again. Or not again for ten years. Just as I felt before, I am totally OK with this. I can still say I summited this mountain in 2015. I was explaining this to a friend, and he said "so it's like winning a Oscar." Exactly.
If you can take your eyes off of the 50 foot marble columns in the National Building Museum, you can see my booth near the lower right corner.