A Fantastic Exhibition Opening
Well the day finally arrived! So much work, and then the party! No wonder we artists need a party to celebrate the hanging of an exhibition. After weeks of isolation as we diligently paint away and push nosy people out the studio door – especially spouses and children. I call them the Time Vampires. Its amazing how many people want to come and chat while you’re trying to paint. If you’re feeling nice you might mumble a reply, grunt or nod your head at the appropriate places. However if the painting is misbehaving, you will probably yell at them to get-out and give you some space, and they will slink off with hurt feelings. Sigh!
The show was opened by celebrated Newcastle Artist, John Morris who has many gongs to his name, including winner of the Gosford, Norville and Maitland Art Prizes. He has also been a selected finalist in many other competitions. John spoke about … The processes and development of an artists vision. He stated that the artist always puts a part of themselves out there on show and that there is no way they can avoid doing so. Before he spoke, I introduced refugee worker Pari, to speak a little on the refugee situation here on the Central Coast and the work they do.
There was a great turn out. – Thank you all for coming and making it a great success.
A special thanks go to Ava and Prue who both bought art works…. and several people purchased prints and cards of the works.
I am thrilled with the way the exhibition looks. The interesting thing is that once all the works are in place the exhibition seems to take on an energy of its own. It is not just a collection of single works, the theme pulls them together and a bit like a symphony orchestra it creates something greater than itself.
I would like to thank everyone who helped me make this event possible, Simone Dennis – the gallery owner, John Morris, Pari and Chay my daughter for her help with doing all the fiddly things like putting strings on the backs of paintings and painting around the sides of all the works, Esther, Hannah and Prue for taking photos, my partner John for helping with transport and putting the triptych together and everyone who turned up to support me. I really appreciate each and everyone of you – Thank you.
Now here’s a subject to make even the more resilient of artists, blanch and go weak at the knees, never mind the newbie. Why are we so afraid of selling do you think? Well, come to think of it, it’s not necessarily about selling is it? More often than not it’s about just even showing our work. It’s so confronting, so challenging emotionally. Now why would that be? Well for one thing we have a lot invested in the whole thing. For some its the cost of the materials – the time and effort and feeling we can’t charge enough to get all that back. Rather more than this however, it is about the investment of ourselves. When we put a painting on show, there is always that questioning of our self-worth.
- Is it good enough?
- Who, me exhibit… I couldn’t possibly, I mean I’m not really an artist ……am I?
- Will anybody like it?
- Will anybody like it enough to buy it
- And then if they do – oh .. I don’t think I can possibly part with it – look at all the time and effort I put into it, it’s my baby.
Let those babies go
Our art works are our children – they are creations that we put a lot of time and effort into. However like all children, at some point we must let them go.
I think that many of the things Kahil Gibran said about children can be related to our art –
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
As do our art works. And this ………….
“You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.”
Our creations are made to be released into the world, to be shared with others so our unique vision may be shared with the world
This weeks Question: What artworks haven’t you let go of yet that you could?
Next Week Look For: What makes an artist successful?
Today, being Sunday the 15th of May is the last day of our exhibition. I turned up at the gallery a little before 12.30 to assist with manning it on our last day. There were a couple of ladies having a look at the works and chatting with Trish about one of my works, a digital print.
Tranquility-Digital Print - Kadira Jennings
Well you can imagine my surprise when not two minutes later, after speaking with them a little further on how I created the work Tranquility, they decided to buy it as a present.
What a wonderful way to end the show! Below are the other works that sold, which was a fantastic result for our first showing. Congratulations to Stephanie Lewis who sold her Prize winning painting, ‘After The Bath’,
After The Bath -Stephanie Lewis -after Degas
and to Deborah Lhota who sold her first painting ‘The Kiss’, after Gustav Klimt.
The Kiss- (A Detail) After Gustav Klimt by Deborah Lhota
Many of the paintings received glowing praises and wonderful comments and I want my students to feel very proud of what they have achieved. In fact more works would have sold if they had been for sale. Trish’s Velvet Rose and her Magenta Twilight would have both walked out the door as well as possibly Jess’ latest work. So well done everyone!
Thank you to all those helpful souls who came and helped dismantle the show this afternoon and our warmest thanks to Peter and Ellie for their generosity in providing the space for us.
It was a great success all round.
One week to go! What a week it has been. A computer crash the week before a main event is tragic. I temporarily lost my gantt chart with my whole exhibition plan and time line. Now THAT really threw a spanner in the works.
So apart from running around getting a new motherboard and re-installing all my programs, it has been a busy week with press interviews, gathering students works for the photo shoot, making last minute necklaces and earrings and generally attending to a bunch of important details. Add to this, painting, running classes, travelling to Sydney 3 times and minding grand kids and well – time management becomes pretty important! And to top it all off, it’s Easter and everything is closed down till Wednesday – which of course means too much chocolate and not enough exercise! Do I sound a little frazzled? I do don’t I. Ok – deep breath, stillness and – upward and onward!
A compilation of student works from the Vine Art Affair to be held next week.
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.
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
- 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.
Pix Credit: Art Focus Gallery