Sunday, June 30, 2013
Reposted from my old website
Saturday, June 29th was the big day of my gallery show opening at Hood College. And while that day was surely a big day, it was all that happened before the show that was as valuable as the show itself.
First, Making the Work. I can’t believe how much work you can get done when you have a deadline. Now, I know for me that a deadline can be motivating and also stifling, but here are a few other things that a deadline did for me. It made me to not get sidetracked. I love getting sidetracked, and some amazing things can happen when you give yourself the freedom to follow the path of the work...ie. getting side tracked. But there are also some great things that can happen when you do not allow yourself to get side tracked. So for me...as always, there needs to be a balance between the two. Play and Production.
The Business Side of Art-Yikes, so much can be said about this. Documenting your process, taking good pictures of your work, writing about what you are doing, and why, making post cards and posters, sending them off to galleries and shops. I find myself not only wanting to make more work, but I now think of how can I educate people about what I am doing, and how can I ...yes, have pieces sell . I love making them, but there is validation when someone wants what you make. For me, its a thrill.
I wrote a book on the Obvara Firing Technique. I did it for a few reasons, but the main reason was to educate people on the process. Obvara is not something you can look up in a book. And I think that once people see how the pieces are made, they can appreciate what they see. I know I do.
Setting up the exhibit-I now know why galleries get such a large commission. If you do it right, setting a show is a lot of work. Plinths, (having a good inventory, or making some for specific pieces), repainting everything (because its all white), hanging the work, labeling and numbering pieces to make it easy to figure out how much everything is. You don’t just put stickers on things....that takes away from the viewing experience. The inventory sheet is one thing, a price list is another. Lighting, with the limitations of what you own, decisions and compromises need to be made. Now if that’s not enough, to make sure that people come to the opening, there are publicity releases. It took the two of us 3 1/2 days to set up our show.
On another note of setting the show...boy do you need a trained eye. Balance, movement, unity. Our show was set three different ways, with the last arrangement the best of all. Each change, sometimes only slight, made a big difference.
Exhibit Day- While I was having the jitters about the gallery talk (its a lot to remember), you still have to set up the food and make sure everything is just as it needs to be. You need to give jobs to others, so you can talk with people in the gallery, and that means explaining what you need done.
After the Show-I still need to write thank you notes to those that helped so very much and post pictures on line. For me that’s facebook and my website, and I guess the bigger you get, the more you do.
Was it all worth it? Absolutely!!!!!!