Friday, May 23, 2008

Getting it on the wall

One way to get over the fear of showing, cut costs, and get your
name known is to join up with
friends whose work you admire
and exhibit with them.

If we believe what housing
magazines and critics tell us,
the world needs art -- badly.
So joining a small group of
artists broadens your chances
of exhibiting in an accessible,
and reasonable space, and
moving your art from your
walls to someone else's for
a small fee. The truth, in
my little in-house studio at least, is that you simply can't hold onto year, after year
of work -- your work needs to leave you and grace other spaces.

For the past four years my friends and I have exhibited
whenever possible at the Skylight Gallery in the
Northern District Library in Toronto. The library
staff are always gracious and helpful. The wall
space is large and well lit, especially in daylight, and we've
always had good turnout there, because the library is close
to movies, shops, fine restaurants and a couple of decent pubs.

Art shows are by nature intimidating for people who don't
paint. Do I have to buy something, is it okay
to dash in and dash out? What do I say if I don't like
anything? Artists have to try and understand their
public's kind curiosity and unease in the face of
unknown expectations.

So if at all possible I like to show where we can
serve wine, to make an exhibit more like a party.
Music is a welcome addition, and not overly highbrow
classical, but something unobtrusively joyful.
Food is a really good idea. At the library this
March we were given a separate room for food
and drinks. At first we were worried
that people wouldn't like that arrangement, but
in fact they did, and wandered back and forth,
getting food, having conversations, looking at
the paintings and going back for more food.

This is an aerial photo of our recent opening
just before closing time. Afterwards we went
for supper and drinks and that was a lot of fun.

By the way, this is my 100th blog. Flourish
of trumpets.

More images of school fireworks for the
Queen's real birthday tomorrow.

Have a wonderful Friday night.

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Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!