Had a great couple of weeks since my show opened at a.Muse gallery – 3 pieces have sold (including one to a local collector), a few more sales are looming, and I’ve been in the press a couple of times! Here‘s an article by Cynthia Popper about the show, and here‘s another by Jeremiah Barber for KQED that references the collaborative piece I made with Todd Anderson for the show about Time (the piece is mentioned at the end of the article, so keep reading!). I also managed to make an appearance in Alan Bamberger’s photo blog featuring local exhibitions. All together, not a bad few weeks!
I’m starting to learn that although I hate networking and schmoozing and self-promoting (she says as she writes a blog about herself), some really great connections and opportunities arise when you put in the effort – and I don’t just mean sales. For example, because of all the promoting Lori and I have done for my show (Lori owns a.Muse where my work is currently exhibited), I was contacted last week by two curators who have started an interesting on-line gallery idea. The website is called Violet Strays. Here’s their current offering:
It differs from other on-line gallery sites in three important ways. Firstly, it appears to be by invitation only, meaning the quality of work shown is of a high standard – not the mixed bag you often find on other art websites. Secondly, only one artist at a time is featured on the site, much like real galleries. Each artist is given a week long exhibit, then once the week is up the work is removed and the next artist gets the full attention of each visitor. As an artist I love the space for reflection that this system promotes. This is not an art superstore whose goal is to show you as many artworks as possible in a short space of time in hopes that you’ll find one you like, and buy it. Instead the viewer is offered the chance to ponder deeply the meanings and intentions of a select few artworks, sometimes just one.
Lastly, the intention of these curators is evidently not to make money, but to foster creativity and make connections with artists. When they approached me about creating something for the website they left it wide open. It was as though I was being dared to do something new – something I hadn’t shown the world yet. Fully bake a half-baked idea. In any medium. After working so hard to complete a body of work for the “Occupied” series this was just what I needed. A chance to go back to the drawing board and try something that didn’t have to relate to anything else I’d done. Just grab one of those random, fleeting ideas and make it real. So I think I’m going to try some stop-motion…. with drawings of bodies. Then again, maybe I’ll make a kite. Or a sculpture of a kitten. Or a massive installation that records all the creative thoughts that enter my head in one day.
Another amazing connection that came out of this period of focused promotion was the discovery of an artist called Kirsten Stolle. She contacted me after someone sent her a link to my website (or my show, not sure which), and a brief conversation ensued. I asked for links to her website, and I fell in love immediately upon seeing her work. There are some obvious connections between our work – scientific references, and a fondness for repetition and drawing. Seeing her work has encouraged me to try to return to painting on panels instead of on sheets of polypropylene, and to experiment more with mixed-media work. I can’t wait to get to Dolby-Chadwick gallery here in SF and see her work in the flesh. I’m actually so enamored with the work that if I can afford it I’d love to buy one of her pieces, and start my collection of scientifically themed art!
So what’s the point of this post? I suppose mostly that if you put in the effort to do the stuff you don’t like (promoting yourself), the gods will sometimes reward you with new sources of inspiration. And the press is one way in which these fortuitous connections happen. If nobody knows you’re out there, they don’t even know to look for you.