Sunday, March 8, 2009

In Praise of Those Who Attend Art Openings!

What a totally whirlwind week led up to our first building wide open house on Friday evening in conjunction with Rochester's First Friday gallery openings.

Bob finished installing the reclaimed cabinets, I filled and organized them, then we hung work on every available space to create a gallery feeling. Then Friday evening we put out some wine and snacks and opened the doors!

I confess that I didn't take a single picture of the event after I shot some images of the set-up. The first people arrived before 5 PM and we had a steady stream all evening, which kept me busy talking! Over the course of the evening we had close to 200 people visit our old factory buildings and wend their way through corridors and four stories to the wonderful artists who work there.

What an exciting response to our first building-wide event. It looks to me like we'll be doing more of these open houses!

I've been working on creating some small, framed works that can sell in the $100-300 price range -- though I think if I could find a way to create $30 items, they'd be the hands-down winners! - so in preparation for this show I've been playing with framing options.

This Seeds monoprint is 17" x 17". It's been stitched to 3/8" acid-free foam core with sewing thread, then slipped into a stock black wood frame. I do like the way the framing finishes the work and makes it easy to hang. This piece is priced at $300.

I tried another idea for "Letter rhythms" -- facings finish the edges of this stitched fabric painting. It has been tacked to 3/8" acid free black foam core and then mounted to a 20" x 20" painted stretched canvas frame. It sells for $350.

I tried a light oak frame on this painted, silkscreened and stitched piece, which is also tacked to foam core before framing. This 17" x 17" piece is $300.

I put most of my small works on this wall above the new shelving, which now offers people a glimpse at some items that inspire my work. The bottom shelf displays old carved wooden printing blocks from India. There are old handwritten journals and letters on the second and top shelves along with photographic portraits of late 19th and early 20th century women.

I love folk art craft traditions like the carved and painted animal sculptures from Oaxaca that are on the top shelf.

These are some of the cultures and "artifacts" that inspire me. It is extremely important to me as an artist to retain the mark of the human hand in my work. I seldom look for shortcuts or "time saving" approaches to creating. The slow accretion of layers, the gradual building of surface, the interplay of marks and textures are the ingredients that I return to again and again as I create.

An opening reception like we had Friday night throughout our building with artists working in so many different mediums is a true celebration of creativity. Being a "maker" is so important and integral to my life that I love sharing with others who appreciate the work and thought that go into the processes.

So a special thank you to all those people who attend gallery openings and visit art exhibits -- you validate and encourage and support those of us who commit ourselves to being makers.

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