Surviving Your Opening

Episode 259 · July 17th, 2023 · 36 mins 19 secs

About this Episode

Art openings are fun, right? Your friends and family are there to celebrate, your work is beautifully displayed, you meet new people who are interested in what you do, and you may see some red dots appear. So why do so many artists approach their opening receptions with mixed feelings or even dread? Even if you feel excited about the show and grateful for the opportunity to exhibit, you may feel nervous about being in the spotlight, confused about what’s expected of you, or disappointed by a small turnout. Even openings that live up to your highest expectations can feel overwhelming. Today we’ll take an inside look at how to survive and even enjoy your next art opening.

Although there are challenges, openings can also encompass many positive moments. It's exciting to see your work in its best light when it has been in your studio for weeks or months, largely unseen. There is often an elevated quality to the work to see it in this setting, and it is affirming of all your efforts to have your work appreciated by a wide audience.

Openings can be disconcerting though. It is easy to misread various aspects of what is happening around you, because there is often a party atmosphere rather than serious consideration of your work, and it may seem that no one cares to really look. There are also many unknown factors, for example, you often try to gauge what people think of your work or whether there will be any sales. And a commercial gallery has certain expectations that may be outside your comfort zone, like mingling and engaging with the people there.

To make things easier for yourself, there are various ways to make yourself more comfortable, like choosing the right outfit and having a camera handy to have something to do as you move around the gallery space. But of all the many tasks and business responsibilities artists need to handle, for many of us, our own openings are the among most challenging times. it depends a lot on personality whether you dread openings or take them in stride, but experience is also helpful. Openings do become routine over time, and you find your own ways to make them bearable and even fun.

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What's new at Cold Wax Academy? As Rebecca and Jerry reach the end of their third year of Live sessions they are launching a new phase of programming aimed at reviewing and reinforcing foundation topics--beginning with Color in their Summer quarter that starts on July 5th. This summer's sessions will also mentoring and professional development topics, as well as a painting clinic and a member critique. As always, Members of Cold Wax Academy have unlimited streaming access to over 100 previously recorded sessions. And a table of contents to easily find specific topics in the recordings will soon be available. For more info and to join CWA please visit

Please visit for more information as well as basic information about using cold wax medium.

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."

Also-- please visit to learn 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. A few booking openings are still available in 2023, so please incquire if you are interested.

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