It seems as if getting ready for an event always takes far longer in reality than it does when I think about it beforehand. So it was again over the last week as I prepared for the Art Show: Bedford 2011 event. I tend to be someone who reads instructions and figures they mean what they say and so I carry out a plan to accomplish them.
This year's instructions said to bring two framed paintings for hanging and then up to 25 unframed pieces all new to this show. In the past, my unframed work consisted of work on paper and was matted and placed neatly in clear plastic envelopes with the title, medium and price on the back. This year I hadn't time to come up with work on paper that had not been shown in past years. That meant figuring out an attractive way to show unmatted oils painted on panels which I had on hand. I didn't want the panels to be banging around loose in a portfolio stand and felt they simply didn't show the viewer their full beauty that way.
Borrowing the idea of mounting the work on something black which I had noticed another artist do last year, I visited my favorite art supply store to see what I could find. I came home with strong, pre-cut sheets of solid black foam core and packages of velcro squares to attach my painted panels to the foam core. I printed out labels so the titles and prices would be next to the work. I printed out a bio and an artist's statement and attached them to one of the foam core sheets as an informational display panel along with 2 paintings. The other foam core sheets, all 20"x 30" contained 4 paintings each with their labels. Another set of labels from the art show co-ordinators was to be attached to the back of the paintings so that when work was brought to the payment desk, all information about the painting came along with it.
Deciding on which paintings to bring, making some last changes to some, varnishing others, and arranging them so they worked well as a grouping on the foam core were still more tasks to complete. Determining prices for unframed work, filling in the rear labels by hand and creating a list for the show staff completed the hands on work.
And then---along with these preparations came the marketing efforts online. I posted details about the event in several places and let my email list and fans on my Facebook page and on Twitter know about the show.
Everything from typing skills to my past experience as a commercial artist, graphic designer and illustrator came into play. Is it all worth it? It is if you are passionate about what you do and determined to get your work out there whenever you see an opportunity that seems like a good one.
Like the toy inflated clown with the weighted bottom that my children used to love to punch, I keep coming back for more with a smile on my face.