Celebrating Creativity

Hi I'm Kadira Jennings, welcome to Unfolding Creativity, a portal to Abundance Through Creativity.

I am a creative artist celebrating and encouraging the creative in all of us.

My blog is a discussion, and creativity resource. Please take your time, look around and join the conversation if you would like to.
It is my passionate belief that we all have deep within us a creative genius just waiting for half a chance to get out no matter what field we work or play in.

''There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.''
Martha Graham

There is an Annie Leibovitz exhibition running in Sydney currently. It is well worth the visit if you get the chance.
Part of this exhibition is a biographical video of her life. Fascinating stuff! What really piqued my interest was that it seemed to again raise the issue I explored in my post on ‘The Black Swan’ a few weeks ago.

How far are we willing to go in pursuit of our creative vision?  Annie spent a lot of time at one part of her life living and touring with The Rolling Stones while she chronicled their lives through the lens of her camera.  After all how  can you act naturally around a camera unless it becomes such a fixture that it no longer impacts your conscious awareness.  For The Rolling Stones it was almost as if Annie became a part of the furniture.



Pix Credit: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s blog ( Alex has a great post on Annie Check it out)

But what was the cost to her ?  Her health, arguably one’s most precious resource.   She  was living the Rock life style, which for so many results in addictions and drug dependency.  She finally checked into a detox facility, dried out and got on with her passion.

Art becomes life – where is the separation? It seems that one of the prices so many great creatives pay is found living at the edge in a place where others cannot go.  It is a personal exploration and also a sacrifice to their art because the road is often extremely difficult and I believe great courage is required of those who walk this road.

  • The courage to be different,
  • To not live up to others expectations
  • To step into unfamiliar territory which often flies in the face of societal convention
  • To remain true to ones self without sacrificing ones values in order to “get the shot/story” etc.

If you get a chance to see this exhibition it provides a fascinating insight into the lives of people of our times.

Here is that link again for information on the Annie Leibovitz exhibition.

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So how are your event management skills progressing. Putting on an exhibition can be quite time consuming- there are so many little details to attend to.
This week one of my tasks was to start thinking about the publicity angle. I designed an Invite for emailing and printing.

Invitation to an art exhibition

Next task is a poster to put up on local notice boards. Next Sunday we are having a get together of all the students which will be an introduction to the world of art exhibitions, for them and actually the first time they will have had the opportunity to meet all the students in other classes. I am quite excited by this because I like the idea of building a community of artists and people who are interested in art and this is a place to begin that.

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You have really done the hardest part now – organizing all the steps and when they need to be done.

Now it’s simply a matter of checking that you have all the dates on your time line correct and following through on them.

Well of course that is an over simplification so I will go into some of the other bits presently….

But for the moment where are we up to with my student’s exhibition – ‘A Vine Art Affair’ ? Well last night I sent out an email to everyone which contained the following information and instructions.  I am going to include it here, so you can see the kind of things you need to include in this vital email. Of course you would need to make appropriate changes as they relate to your group.

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Hi Everyone,

Some of you may have not received the first email regarding our exhibition.  This is an update on the exhibition.  I would like to take the opportunity to extend an invitation to those of you who aren’t currently students but who would like to join in our first exhibition. Come and join the party!

I’ve put together a list of things everyone will need to do before the exhibition. Its all pretty straight forward but you need to get on to some of the things now.  I have listed them in the order they will need to be done.  Firstly here are those dates again

Sunday May 1st – Sunday May 15th. Firescreek Winery – Holgate

Some of you have indicated that you don’t wish to exhibit this time and that is absolutely fine. I wanted to keep you in the loop in case you still would like to be involved in some other way.  It takes a fair amount of effort to get an exhibition off the ground and getting the paintings on the wall is certainly not the only thing involved. So whether you choose to hang your paintings or not, please feel welcome to be involved.

To Do:

Attend a meeting about the exhibition:
DATE: Sunday March  27th  or Sunday 3rd April – please let me know which day suits you by Tuesday
21st March and I will email you a confirmation date.

TIME: 11am
PLACE: Café Jam East Gosford – call me if you aren’t sure where it is.

Get your mailing list to me (mentioned in the last email) by 1st April.. This is REALLY IMPORTANT ! We need to give people advanced notice.  If you would prefer to contact you own people let me know and I will send you a copy of the invite I’m putting together. This get together will be in lieu of our next Artist meeting and is an opportunity to find out more about the workings of an art show. I will be filling you in on what is happening, what to expect or not and so on.  We need to discuss things like invites, mailing lists, and food & drinks at the opening. Please come.. and be entertained – we will put on some dancing girls – just kidding!
What you need to have on the painting itself:

  • A cord on the back to hang the painting with
  • Frame if that is needed
  • A card with the name of the work, price (or NFS if not for sale) and who it’s by.

If you are going to get prints of your works or cards done you need to get onto that right away.  The last email contained all those details.
Deliver your paintings to me at the studio by Wed April 27th or bring them to the Firescreek  Winery in Holgate on Friday 29th April by 10 am.

What I need help with – Can you please think about what you might be able to do.  I will be handing around a roster sheet at class in the next couple of weeks and asking you to sign up for:

  • Setting up the exhibition on Friday 29th April beginning 10am. Please let me know if you are available by the 1st April.
  • Manning the exhibition on the opening day, which may involve an of the following.
  • Getting people to sign the guest book
  • Talking to people about the works
  • Handling sales
  • Welcoming people
  • Taking exhibition down
  • Putting up posters around the place and leaving fliers where ever you can.

I will be getting everyone to sign a waiver of responsibility. So if you wish to have your paintings insured, you will have to take care of that your self.  Personally I have never bothered with that.  I will be printing up some posters and there will be a small cost involved with that  – this can be discussed further at the meeting.

  • Just a last note – Don’t forget to let me know which date suits you for the meeting – I will arrange it for the day most people can attend.

Phew! All pretty simple really, I can’t quite believe we are really doing this –  and just in case you feel the same way – well we are! Its all happening. I spoke to Ellie from the winery last week and she is very excited as well.  It is a first for all of us, So lets really have fun with it.

See you in class


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So – I’ve got my group – now what?

Once you know who you are going to be exhibiting with your first step is to…

Recap – you should by now be clear about

  • Why I want to put the  exhibition on
  • Who you are exhibiting with
  • What kind of a show you want to have – ie contemporary, oils, animals, photography or anything and everything

The next step is to:

  • So then make a list with 2 columns, One headed Projects and the other headed Tasks. Next, look at all the activities that are involved.  If an activity involves more than one step regard it as a Project.  If it is only 1 step then it is a Task.
  • Now sort all the items into your two columns  –Project & Tasks
Project Task Chart For Exhibitions

Project/Task Chart

The next step is to:

  • Put both the Projects and Tasks into chronological order.  I find the easiest way to do this is to start from the date the exhibition is to open and work backwards.  That way you won’t run out of time and it is easier to figure out what needs to be brought forward, or what can be put off till later.
  • I find the easiest way to do this is to put it into a Gantt chart.  There is a great free program – open source on the web, you can use for this.  Here is the down load link – Gantt Project
  • Below is a screen shot of the one I have set up for the students exhibition.
Gantt Chart For An Art Exhibition

Gantt Chart For An Art Exhibition

And the next shot show a closer view with all the tasks listed  that I need to take care of for my student’s exhibition. As you can see teh starting dates need a bit of tweaking but I like this way of doing it because its very visual when you are, looking at the whole thing and alarm bells can begin ringing if you are up to a certain date and haven’t quite done everything!

Detail of Gantt Chart For Exhibition

Detail of Gantt Chart For Exhibition

I am going to take you through  the process of how to put on a group exhibition yourself.

So where to begin?

In the mind map below, I have outlined all the things you need to begin thinking about.  A group exhibition requires some fore thought and planning.  It’s not just a case of grabbing some paintings and throwing them on the wall!  The mind map is a basic plan of what you need to consider and future blog posts will deal with the different branches, guiding you through the steps you will be wanting to follow.

Mind map of how to set up an exhibition

Exhibition Mind Map

So yes,  it looks like a lot of work and I won’t lie to you – it is.  But don’t panic – what I am offering you is a step by step, of  simplified steps on how to go about this.

I have done solo exhibitions both in galleries and on my own, plus been involved in many group exhibitions, both as a participant and as the initiator.

So what is the first step?  It’s quite simple really, determine:

  • Why do I want to put on this exhibition?
  • When you are clear about this you will be able to focus on what is important.

Then ask your self –

  • Do I want to have  a theme? e.g. pets or animals and birds, or perhaps portraits etc. You don’t have to have one, however this is important because it will determine –
  • Who do I want to exhibit with?

As we go along I am going to keep you up with what’s happening here in 3D reality with my own student’s exhibition.

So that is my group – my art students.  Next post I will look at what problems or issues this type of a group might present.

For the next few weeks I’m going to be doing a series on having exhibitions. Why?  Because I’m organizing an exhibition for my students and I thought this would be a great opportunity to share that process with you and let you have a peek at the ‘back end’ so to speak of an exhibition.

Having a group exhibition is a great way for people to have their first exhibition experience. What does this offer them?

It offers the opportunity to:

  • Take part without sole responsibility
  • Make some sales
  • A great learning experience
  • Get their work seen by a wider circle of people
  • Build their artistic self esteem and confidence
  • Network
  • Learn how to leverage their artwork into different income streams
  • Learn about art as a business.

So that’s a pretty long list of reasons to give it a go.

In the upcoming posts I will be drilling down into all the different aspects, including a look at both the physical to do’s and the mental mindset.

If you have any questions you would like answered on this topic, please ask in the comments section and I shall do my best to shine a light on that area and give you some clarity about your issue.

Photo of an art gallery

Pix Credit: Art Focus Gallery

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