Saturday, May 05, 2007

The "9 North" art exhibit opening

Here is a shot of the gallery---beautfully lit! In the
foreground left is a standing sculpture by Tlingit
artist Da-ka-xeen Mehner. On the right, the blue-gold
painting is one of my own, "Bowl, Bird, Bone" 24"x30"
mixed media and gold leaf on birch board.

I am happy to report that there were no last minute
emergencies, no calamities and no disasters!

The opening in full swing. To be honest, the turnout
wasn't as good as I'd hoped. I wish I'd done some
advertising of my own, rather than rely on the gallery
doing it. I wanted a BIG opening. Also, it was
really hot in the gallery---about 75-80 degrees! The
building has no AC...sadly, visitors didn't stay for
long because the heat was really uncomfortable.

Later, Fromage and I went to another gallery in town where
there was wine, open doors with fresh air and a raging
opening night party for the MFA thesis exhibit of
Ian Burcroff.

I realized that 9 North had stiff competition for visitors!
There were 2 other really good shows opening last night
as well as the seasonal opening of a fun and crazy bar,
the Howling Dog Saloon. (This is a BIG DEAL in small
town Alaska.....)
I think I'll still contact the newspaper and see if I can
get a small write up on the show. Also, I am going
to make some flyers and small posters just to generate
more visitors and viewers over the next month that the
show is up.

Another somewhat sad one really knew that
I was the curator for the exhibit.

Two artists in the show: Da-ka-xeen Mehner and Tina Shih.
Da-ka sold one of his free standing sculptures. Tina
told me that she was really impressed with the show and
admired my organizational ability as well as my positive,
energetic focus on art and art business. Thanks, Tina!

As artists, we all want feedback on our art. It's really something
to also get some (positive!) feedback on our outlook and presence
as an artist...our personal efforts.

And finally,
here I am with my painting "Harvest," 48"x48"
mixed media and gold leaf on birch board.

All told, the exhibit is a success. I still feel a little
let down, to tell you the truth. I did want more from
the opening....more people, more sales, more conversation.

Still---this exhibit is an excellent blueprint for my
next curating efforts: The Bones Show, October 2007
at Well Street Art Company. 50 Artists from all over
Alaska! Gonna be a lot of work, but fun, too.....

After the finish of a big project like 9 North, I am looking
at....What Next?

The Bones Show
My solo exhibit in November

and maybe some gardening somewhere in there.....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Today is the day

"9 North" opens in a little over 3 hours....not like I'm
watching the clock or anything....

The painting above is titled, "2."
24"x30" mixed media on birch board.
Can't get away from that shape.....

This image is a lot more pink-yellow than the
actual piece...

Gotta eat something, get dressed, get over to the


Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Madness ensues.....

Here is the red painting, titled, "Red Year" which gave
me no end of headaches---had to do ALL of the gold leaf
work twice over...I hate wasting precious materials like
The painting is based on the viewpoint of many decisions
made over a specific period of time, and how I can
visually represent that. It's also about how we (I) tend
to work out the same problems/decicisons in my head
so, so many times.....with very little differing result.
This painting can be hung like this, or turned sideways
so that the channel between the 'decisions' is vertical
instead of horizontal. The benefits of working somwhat
I don't think this is the strongest painting in the exhibit,
by far. Of all of the paintings I put in the show, this one
is probably the weakest. Still, it's hot red and gold and
packs a good visual wallop....

I haven't posted lately because I've been madly preparing
for my exhibit "9 North: Multimedia Alaskan Perspectives"
which opens this Friday evening. I've been working on this
show for a year and a half---first inviting all of the various
artists, then making a portfolio with all necessary documents
for the Arts Association portfolio review, then collecting
all required info. from the artists, answering questions,
relaying information, etc. to get this show together. I had
to make sure everyone knew what was expected of them,
knew when anything and everything was due, etc.

All of the artists I'm working with are wonderful
professionals and ALL sent their work in on time! I spent
the day arranging and hanging the show with the
help of Igor Pasternak, fellow artist and gallery assistant.
(Never have I seen anyone hang art so quickly with such

Here is a shot of the entrance to the gallery in the
starting phase of organizing the show---stuff everywhere,
lights askew, and pedestals helter-skelter from the last
exhibit which just came down.

This evening, I left the gallery looking like this---
arranged, neat and tidy. The aim in putting together
any exhibit is to make sure that each piece of art can
have it's own visual space so that it keeps it's own voice
and unique presence without being croweded or
overshadowed by other work.

You can't put two paintings that look similar next to each other,
even if they're by different people....

You can't put all the various red paintings on one wall....

You can't put all the big stuff on one side and the small
stuff on the ALL has to balance.

Tricky business.

I'm feeling very relieved, although there is still work
to be done...paperwork, etc. I feel like I'm over the
biggest hurdle and relative to other exhibits, it's all gone
very smoothly.

The next challenge inherent in a show like this is making
sure that all the involved artists are happy. This is even
trickier business, because each person wants their work
to have the best placement. Not always possible. I'll be
sending pictures of the show to all of the artists that
can't see it themselves----hope they like what they see.....

In any event.....

The art is up.
The postcards are sent.
The statement is written.

I'm drinking beer.