Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A local show: the many benefits

                                         (yes, it's a quilt!)

 In nearly every town there are lots of places to show art: local art centers, public libraries, small galleries, restaurants, doctors' offices etc.
 It's a really good to get your art out there, maybe sell something, probably not...but you will always benefit in many other ways.

1.  Firstly, it's a really great way to make you finish work!! so often I have a piece almost made and then run into a problem, meanwhile another piece is calling out to be worked on and the first one is put aside..yet another unfinished object circling the orbit of the sewing rooms.....

2.  A show forces you into the next step too:  Not only to actually getting  the work finished but also to prepare it for  showing.  I have quilts and paintings stacked sleeves on the quilts, no threads nipped off neatly, photographs not taken, rods not cut, paintings not matted, backed and framed etc etc.

3.  Organisation!
I do so envy those people - though I think they are Very Rare - who have an idea, make the fabric, cut it out and sew and quilt and finish the piece. Back it, photograph it, cut the hanging rods, make a cute little - well labelled - cloth bag for it and place in neatly on a rack somewhere.  I have rooms with quilts spread out on the floor as I hunt madly for The One that someone (finally!) wants!!  "I'm sure it was in here somewhere."  The noodles are all labelled, alas with the names of quilts long gone!!  I think there was a system here one time - now was it chronological, or size-logical?  or something else?

4.  Letting others see your work and realize they have an Artist in their midst!! 
 Having to live up to something, really does make us reach higher.


5.  Seeing all the work hanging beautifully in whatever facility you've persuaded to show it.  It's a real thrill!!

6.  Also as you see the work, the stronger pieces and the weaker ones make themselves known, and you can also spot those places where if only you'd added something or, (more likely) taken something out, the piece would have been better.
You see the work with new eyes when it's hanging in a gallery.


7.  And some really places print up nice postcards!!  And (icing!) have an opening!!

OKAY!!  so did I take my own advice??  well...come and see:

So, for those of you that are in or near Athens GA....the opening is
Thursday October 1st: 6.00-8.30pm 
 at Aurum Studios, 125 East Clayton 
in Downtown Athens.

I have 4 new quilts, 3 about Athens, Ga and one landscape....and lots of watercolors!

If you have been reading, thank you!  If you are planning to come, I look forward to seeing you nice cups of tea alas...but there will be a drop of the stronger stuff and a few good nibbles!!


ps - all comments will be read and cogitated upon with considerable relish!!


Melanie McNeil said...

Ketchup AND relish?

I was fortunate to be able to show 18 of my quilts this summer. The upstairs of a local quilt shop has gallery space with wonderful light. Though, for the most part, only other quilters saw them, it was gratifying to share. Tomorrow evening I'd doing a trunk show in the next state, as well.

But thank you for suggesting other venues. I love having other people see my work, whether they are buyers or not. Great ideas.


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I agree, having a show deadline really gets one organized. In 2012 I had a show and finished 18 pieces for it. Being there and talking to the visitors was wonderful. They had no doubt I was an artist. I came home feeling validated.

Sharon Robinson said...

You are so correct on every point. I entered four pieces in the summer show at our local art center. Was thrilled that all four were accepted, so I entered four more for the fall and was accepted again. So I would add "The thrill of acceptance" to your reasons. Of course I imagine they probably accept almost everything, but I don't really know. And I love getting my quilts out among other media, not just quilts. Thanks for a good post!

Susan Lane said...

I love the things you write about in your blog. They are always pertinent.

I also have a solo show running for 3 months this summer. It has been an amazing experience. People have come to see my work form the art community, the quilt community and from my past. It has been very rewarding. I encourage anyone who likes to show her work to seek out the opportunity to do a solo show.

Charlotte Scott said...

Congratulations on your show!

I think entering shows or organising your own is super important as an artist for all the reasons you've mentioned above plus, because textile art isn't a huge genre, showing it professionally increases awareness and knowledge of the form, so we do a public service!

And if you really want a kick in the butt to get work finished, show ready and hanging, do what I did and open a studio and gallery. Ha! Now I'm so tidy, pretty organised, and all my work goes straight onto a wall because I'm in the public eye!