The Artist’s Job of Exhibiting

photograph of 3 sculptures by Faye Hoffman
The Question | Michiel | The Gentle Angles of Grief

My art making process goes through waves of productivity and gestation and sometimes pure laziness. After a hectic 5 months of learning and sculpting, I’ve just finished off a month of such laziness, which has now turned into gestation. I can feel the idea for my next sculpture growing and pushing me out of this down time. Mind you, down time in this artist’s life includes preparing for exhibitions; final touches to a piece, mounting/framing, photographing work and submitting work for exhibitions.

Exhibitions

Eons ago I was walking with my older sister and we were chatting about making art. She asked me if I was going to have a show anytime soon and I responded in the negative. Nah, I don’t feel like it. A rather angry voice responded with something like: When are you going to give back?!

Well, I still don’t feel the need to “give back”, given any drain that’s happening is pretty much from my own pocketbook. I’ve never been one to apply for arts grants or any other kind of societal support. I work a full-time job separate from my art “job”. I like it that way. I can make what I want, mostly when I want.

And yet there is still a need to get the work out there. The art process is one thing (which I LOVE), but the exhibiting process is another beast altogether. It is challenging to one’s ego, time and pocketbook but can also be incredibly rewarding to see and hear people responding to the work and even purchasing it! To know someone has a piece in their home and enjoys it… is simply lovely. Art is not a money-making venture for me but it is nice to be able to cover the costs of a box of clay now and then.

My husband Andrew Bartley and I recently purchased a beautiful Kathe Kollwitz print and the gallery owner where we bought it (Davidson Galleries in Seattle is awesome), said that Kathe Kollwitz wanted her work to get out there, to the masses. She did work not necessarily for the elite and wealthy but for everyone.

And so it is time to exhibit. Andrew and I have been accepted into the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s TD Art Gallery Paint-In this summer so preparations are underway for that. And this week I am getting my submission ready for the Sooke Fine Arts Show by finishing The Question and photographing it and the two other sculptures I am most satisfied with (Above).

Wish me luck!

Now… about that next sculpture…

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