Friday, May 1, 2015

The show is up!

Surely you must be sick of me talking about my upcoming Petal People show. I am sorry about that but I have been anticipating it for months, ever since I was juried in, and having a solo show has been on my bucket list for years. (Bucket list items used to be pretty easy to check off but I have gotten down to the really hard items on the list!)

I have been creating the work, hanging the show in my head, trying to think of interesting ideas for the opening to make it different and basically spending every waking minute tweaking it in my mind. Indulge me for just one more blog post. Since this is my first show, I knew basic things of what to do, especially from my experience doing craft shows. I should have a helper, and make more artwork that I think I will need just in case something breaks or doesn't look good. I should have lots of little tools in case I need to adjust something or screw something in. And I always pack duct tape.

But I decided to ask my friend Leslie Fuller (who is also a film and television make-up artist, most recently for Orange is the New Black!) for advice since she is an artist and is married to a photographer so she has plenty of experience hanging shows. Here are a few pointers she gave me:

* Have someone in charge of music during the show opening so that if the CD ends, that person can get a new one started.
* Display your name prominently somewhere. So many people forget to tell their audience who they are and concentrate too much on the artwork and not enough on their own story.
* Have a big bouquet of flowers in the space to brighten it up, make it festive, and make it feel special.
* Hang work in groupings and clusters, rather than just in a straight line. It is not only more visually interesting, it encourages people to buy more than one piece of art.
* Ask a helper to encourage guests to sign the guest book.
* Put a little piece of form core under any signs or placards to give them relief. Flat signs next to artwork look like an after-thought.
* Use fishing wire, which will be virtually invisible, to hang items from the ceiling so that art appears to be floating in space.
* Use a level to hang framed objects straight, but measure down from the ceiling, especially in old buildings that are crooked, so that artwork hangs parallel to straight lines (even if those lines are crooked)!

I am so happy that the show is finally up. I was not prepared for how much math was involved and was so glad the person helping me (thank you Sue Williams!) was not only good at it but brought a yard stick and a laser level. It was exciting to have people pop in and give me words of encouragement while I was hanging the show, especially since I hadn't met a few of them but they knew who I was from my work and my photo.

Can't wait for the opening, the party and dinner out with friends afterwards. Yay! Here are some bad, blurry pictures, taken as I rushed out when I was burnt out after hanging the show for 6 hours. I still have to add some things, get some flowers for that empty pedestal and finish one of the walls, but it's almost there!

And the front window display turned out great and looks really nice from the street!

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