Sunday, July 8, 2018

Where Do You Show Your Art?

     There are many choices on how to share your art with the world. When an opportunity presents itself you have to consider several things. Things such as cost to you, number of people who will see it, security, insurance, chances of making a sale, and overall satisfaction with the venue. I've had individual pieces exhibited with SAQA in static shows and traveling shows. I've exhibited individual pieces in some local museums in shows. All have been rewarding to me personally and I've made some sales because of them. But I never had a true body of work that would allow me to have a solo show. Until now.
     After taking and completing the Art Cloth Master Program with Jane Dunnewold, I finally had enough work finished in the same style that I could call a cohesive body of work. Two of the pieces got shipped to Houston for our group exhibit Many Voices from One to be in the International Quilt Festival this autumn. For the remaining pieces, I found a good local venue. It's the Blake Elliot Salon and Gallery in DeLand, Florida. It's only about five miles from my house so I don't have to ship the pieces. During the work week, it's an elegant hair salon with the art hanging on the walls, chandelier from the ceiling, good traffic, and great location in the center of downtown. On reception nights, the salon equipment slides to the back behind partitions and it is a true gallery space. It's located on a street called Artisan Alley which comes alive on Friday nights (when the reception is held). There are vendors selling organic produce, food trucks, music, an amazing gift shop with a bar, an up-scale kitchen goods shop, bats that swarm at sunset, and lots and lots of people sitting, chatting, and partying.

part of the party outside

part of my exhibit inside
     One of the things that crossed my mind was that salon products may get on my artwork or that people may touch and damage some of the pieces. In the end, I decided not to worry about that. Blake has insurance and having my work seen in public is better than storing it in my gallery under the futon. I'm not sure I'm a good fit for a full-time art gallery because I don't want to be a slave to producing works on schedule as most require. I want to create the work when I feel inspired and enjoy creating it rather than make it feel like it is a job. I retired from working full time a few years ago and want to remain job-free. 
     The best thing about the exhibit was being able to see all the work hanging together, which made me feel fantastic. The works will hang until late August and then there will be a closing reception. I walked in during the week, when people were having their hair done and it was so fun seeing my works surrounding them. The customers are really into the art and love going to this salon for that reason. They sit there sipping whiskey or other drink of their choice while getting beautified. I need to go and take some photos of it set up as the salon with my art. I forgot to do that when I was there.

before the opening

before the opening

before the opening

labels Blake had printed

my artist statement posted near the door

     When the show opened, I was so busy mingling and talking to people about the art that I forgot to take photos of the crowd. I didn't remember until almost before closing at 9 PM.
Blake and two of my friends

     It was a great and satisfying evening for me and I'm so glad that I considered using non-conventional venue to have a solo show. 
I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find posts from other artists. Please make comments on their posts so that they know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.