Nothing energizes and motivates an artist like being offered an exhibit, especially one that involves showing a lot of pieces together. Even experienced artists with a history of exhibits feel excited by the opportunity, but also a little daunted by all the work and planning involved. For artists preparing for their first big exhibit, there is a lot to learn and figure out. Today we’ll go through some of the practical aspects of preparing for a show, based on Rebecca’s almost 40 years of experience with exhibiting her work--and in a future episode we’ll consider some of the other challenges involved with showing your work.
There is much to consider in the complex process of mounting an exhibit, starting with deciding if you're ready to exhibit and whether it will be beneficial to you at this time, and how to approach a venue about providing you with the time and space to show your work. You may decide to apply to a non-commercial space like a community art center, or you may already be represented by a commercial gallery and request a slot on the roster of upcoming shows. In either case, preparing a body of work and checking off all the steps needed to make that happen takes considerable time and effort. Yet exhibiting your work is an important step in completing the cycle of creating art and providing the opportunity for an audience to see it.
Beyond simply providing the work for a show, your responsibilities in mounting an exhibit also include framing, packing, and shipping or delivering the work, providing your own publicity, and providing such things as your artist statement, price list, photos of the work, and other information to support the show according to the venue's timeline. Consider whether you have the time and willingness to comply with all expectations, and ideally, give yourself at least six months to a year to prepare. A good tip is to prepare more work than you think you will need for the exhibit so that you can curate the best possible grouping.
The amount of commitment needed for this process may seem daunting if you are just beginning this phase of your art career, but with experience it becomes more routine. But it is an important step. Maintaining an exhibition schedule is a mark of someone who is truly dedicated to their work, whether that is for the purpose of selling it or not. Exhibiting is a mark of your desire to share the work that you are proud of.
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What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
Rebecca and Jerry have just announced their topics for Fall Quarter which begins October 12. With a special focus on member participation, they are planning a couple of new features--one will be online mentoring to help with issues in creative practices, and one session this quarter will be devoted to members tracking their painting progress over the past year. The quarterly member critique and a painting clinic for works in progress will also be featured, along with further information on professional development. You can sign up for one of two membership levels at any time, and catch up on the past two years of recorded weekly sessions at your own pace.
Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information.
Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing [email protected]. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!
Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."
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