Today was a daunting task set before us. Who really knew how much work goes into setting up an art studio. There are so many behind the scene things that go into this exhaustive preparation that the visitors to the art studio will never see. Planning and more planning had to be done before work could even begin.
- The first thing that I decided to do was choose a theme. I am not a party planner, but thanks to great resources and helpful hints from friends and other artists that have done this before, I realized that theme is very important when it comes to a showing or an exhibition. Theme is just as important as the art itself. There has to be a flow and a cohesion associated to the pieces that cries to all the onlookers that observe as they travel throughout the gallery. This was not an easy assignment. The sky was literally the limit with all of the possibilities for themes for the new showing. We played a round with several ideas. One idea was ‘All Things New’. We thought this would be very interesting because, well the studio was brand new to us. We could choose pieces and artists that share in this expression of newness and renewing of life. That theme was tossed back and forth many times. We also thought about love. Who doesn’t ponder over the intense consideration of love and all the mystery of this broad and crazy emotion. Once again, we pondered diligently over this theme as well.
Now we begin to look at more details. Colors and tone are huge issues. How do we want the atmosphere to feel? We researched smells along with color. Certain smells definitely evoke emotion. We wanted to present that emotion. We wanted the connoisseurs to crave for something. We were not quite sure what that craving would be quite yet, but we want there to be a strong craving. Smell coupled with color is definitely a great way to tug on the emotions. We as artists should know all of this stuff. We should know that some colors makes you hungry and others makes and environment feel sterile and cold. We researched all of the colors and smells that make people feel excited, sad, even angry. This all was such an intense experience that brought out great emotions within us as were working on grabbing the emotions from others that it became tiring, but great.
Next decision was lighting. Lighting is crucial to any theme because it works hand in hand with the mood that you are trying to create. Certain lights generate lots of heat. Do we want this? How do we offset this with our internal climate control? Lights truly make a big difference. Fading out, the angle, the glare-free scope of things; we needed to know how this all worked together. With the discussion of light, brought on the contemplation about the time of day to have the event. If we chose a building for the gallery with windows, how could we work with the sun light or perhaps even the moonlight if at night. Curious moments were still ahead.
We needed to consult more specialist in order to overcome many of the obstacles. The great thing about this experience is that all of the questions and investigations lead to us meeting more great people. Some were in the lines of support work for us yet others were artists and artistic souls. We were able to get so much input on various areas of interest for the art theme. The journey has been truly irreplaceable.
All I can do is rejoice! All of the hard work has finally paid off. We have had our very best show ever! We want to take time to give respect and recognition to all of the great artists, art vendors, entertainment vendors, the community supports and everyone that contributed to the success.
First of all I have to acknowledge all of the great artists. This is the reason that we have come together for this great cause. We wanted to carry the art forward to many generations. Some schools are completely cutting funding in areas that involve artistic expression. We thank the artists that seek to continue to express the great love felt in sharing the arts and sharing skill associated with the arts. We also want to thank the vendors that assisted in so many ways. They were so available and gleamed with excitement about the event as much as we did. The art vendors went above and beyond their commitment to us in many ways. They helped us out and saved the day in many instances by contributing extra at times when we ran short.
The entertainment was just awesome. The average person would not understand the fun and joy in art. That’s why we are trying to bring a more than average excitement to everyone about art now. Bringing together many talents and genres; the community day would have been nothing without art. Music sets a mood and brings creativity to the mind. So the entertainment portion of community set it apart like none other.
Food had to be included as well. We had our vendors that added the unique touch to everything. We didn’t just want popcorn, but we desired vendors that made popcorn with a twist. They added popcorn balls and color, texture and dimension to the food. We had small cakes and cupcakes on display that made the event joined in every way. The food itself was art. From heart shapes, to small sculptures of people and buildings, art was truly displayed in everything that day.
Last but not least, we thank all of the people. We love our community and they showed us that they love us as well. So much support was given that day. We are so greatful for the drawings that were set up, because we were able to receive contact information for future contact. We know that this is only the beginning of many major events to come. The togetherness can be compared to few other instances. It was purely having an event coupled with the people, services and all come together in an unexplainable unison.
This truly was the best event ever. Once again, we would like to thank all that participated with us in the event. We will be doing this and greater again, perhaps annually. So look out for upcoming events with us.
We have truly become a family here at the studio. We know each other more intimately than most people know there families. That being said, we notice things. We begin to notice everything about one another. One of my observations made me very concerned. I am into health and fitness. As a matter of fact, health is next to my number 1 love of art. We even have times at the studio for relaxation, stretching and yoga. Fitness is a huge deal. But I have been observing one of our artists from a far. This week when I saw her, I had to ask myself, “How thin is too thin?”
Macy has been coming to the studio for a while now. She is enthusiastic, creative and paranoid about her weight. She is a beautiful person possessing inner and outer beauty but she doesn’t know it. I have been watching her from a distance because she is not very talkative, but has a stunning presence. The first conversation that we actually had startled me because it was all about her having trouble with her weight. She is about 5 foot 6 and at that time only 130 pounds max.
Today, when I saw her, I had to say something. I went over to her and just tried breaking the ice. I asked her how she was doing and then about the piece she was working on. Quiet and very brief answers are all I received. I tried to engage in ways that would inconspicuously lead to weight. After a few moments of beating around the Bush, I just came out and asked her how much weight she lost. She stopped in the middle of the brush stroke. She stared forward for a moment and then softly responded. “Only 5 or 6 pounds.”
I nearly lost it. This girl had to have lost twenty or more pounds. She was way too thin. Mr. Bones, our high school biology skeleton, was larger than she is now. She turned back to me to say she needed to lose more but always struggled with her weight. I asked her was she seious. She looked puzzled as if I were teasing with her. I definitely was not teasing.
She finally got frustrated and maybe annoyed. I was passed frustrated and annoyed several minutes ago. Why can’t she see her beauty? She said she was fine . I insisted she was not. I asked her how much she weighs. She told me she weighed about one hundred and twenty pounds. I responded, “No way!” I demanded her to get on the bathroom scale. She was reluctant at first. I insisted though.
We slowly made our way to the locker room. She walked over slowly and removed her shoes from her feet and all the change and keys from her pocket. Macy stood on the scale. The scale read one hundred and one. I told her see, you are too thin. Please stop the dieting. You may need to talk to someone. You are not fat at all.
There is an old saying that goes something like, ‘if you do something you love, it seems like you never work a day in your life’. The art gallery has most definitely brought some blissful feelings to us. It has been nothing less than a dream come true. But even dreams get a little complicated at times as do people. We had a challenge today with a nice lady with some very certain unchanging ideas about what would happen and where.
Around ten this morning, a very hip looking young woman entered the studio. She seemed serious and determined from the onset of the visit. I greeted her with and a smile as usual. She proceeded closer and closer to me with something in her hands. As she got closer I could tell it was her cell phone. The young lady was thumbing through to find pictures of her living room which housed her newly remodeled fireplace.
I asked her how I could be of assistance sensing that there was something very specific on her mind. She responded that she needed art to compliment her new fireplace insert. She said she had to have the perfect piece to go right above it. I told her I could definitely be of assistance to her with that. I reached my hand gently toward her to grasp her phone slightly. I wanted a better look at the fireplace pictures and the surrounding decor in the living room. Instantly, I just knew the perfect piece in the gallery. We had just gotten it in and I was so excited.
I invited my client over to the area that housed her ‘perfect’ painting. I began to excitedly explain every detail about the painting. I was bubbling. I knew the artist quite well and that was just a plus to be able to sell one of his pieces. I went on a moment longer about the size and how the colors would reflect beautifully in the space right above the fireplace. Just when I thought I needed to escort the young lady to the counter, I looked at her face. My heart sank. She didn’t like the painting at all. She simply said, “Can we see something else?”
“Sure.” That was my faint sulking reply.
I let the young lady lead the way for a while. She gazed to her left and headed straight for a painting that I loved, but didn’t think it right for her space. Once we reached the painting, I cautiously explained what I thought. I was very cautious, not wanting to upset her, but wanting her to have that special something that she wanted. She listened and though, I made some great points, she still was torn. We moved on. This time, I took the lead again.
I wasn’t going to lose her trust nor this sell. This young lady came ready to buy, not just to window shop, so something was about to happen and soon. It did. The young lady finally smiled a big sincere smile from the eyes. It was funny because it was like we both looked at the same painting at the same time. We both knew it was the right one. My picky customer left happy.
This is the reason that we are in this business. We want to give back and show our love of the arts to the precious many that would not be complete without this tremendous expression. There was no better way to give back and promote our up coming venture than to have an Arts Day for the community. We had lots of planning to do again, but all would be well worth it. We have to set aside a location, get vendors, and get artist and arts teachers.
We were really picky again about location because we need it to represent all that we are and all that we want the future gallery to become. We want to draw as many as possible to the community arts day and not forget that it is all about community. People from all around hopefully will join, but we have to find the angle to attract those close to home since they will surely be our biggest supporters for the long haul. So we began to search for the official location. Parks and community centers were the favorite choices for the Community Arts Day.
Now we needed vendors. This task was reminiscent of the times of trying to find the artist to participate in the showing. We had to get several lists together again. We needed to find out who was interested and which vendors would work well to incorporate with the cause. We not only wanted those that are selling supplies for artists like different types of brushes and with several water and oil based paints. Those vendors will be quite easy to obtain, but we also need entertainment. We want young and old involved. We needed popcorn machines, cotton candy machines and funnel cake. This community day had to be fun and informative.
Finally, we went after the main ingredient. We went to get artists and art teachers. The vision was to have live portraits being painted right before the very eyes of those interested. We wanted demonstrations of paint mixing and several types of brush strokes to cause the artist’s intended effect. Also we needed some teachers. No one can learn unless they be taught. We sought out great teachers that would be patient, be creative and inspire. We sought people with a unique style that would bring out the complete novice’s inner artist.
This event was huge and I am sure it will make the difference for us in all of our future endeavors in the art word. There are definitely more challenges to come for us, but we are gaining knowledge as we go. Nothing is considered a failure, but all is chalked up to great learning experiences. Little fear is available anymore. Things are positively falling into place even when they don’t look like they will. We press forward to greater things as we continue on this journey. We are beginning to welcome the next adventure and the next instead of scurrying around with panic when unexpected questions and situations pop up. The gallery and the showing are just meant to be and we have the diligence and the resilience to face all of these challenges face on.
It’s time now to decide who will be our artists. This also has been a very difficult undertaking. We made a list of some of our favorites. We revised the list because some of the artist just didn’t fit into the theme that we had created. We made another list just in case we change themes or expanded the scope of the theme. Now we have to contact these artist. The challenges included:finding contact information, actually making contact with the artist and getting times correlated with all the different artists that wanted to actually appear at the showing and not just send a representative piece to display.
Finding current numbers on people is not as easy as it seems. This is such a fast paced world now that requires one to be fairly cautious when interacting with strangers, so we were met with a little resistance when contacting many of the artists. Our first major problem was obtaining actual contact information. Sure Google is great as are many other information sources, but these sources can only take you so far without enough information to help the information source. Why is this so? Well people have quite similar names and in big cities, there can be pages upon pages of people with the same or similar names. So much research had to be done. This was taunting at times and very frustrating. We had to compile numbers, emails and physical addresses that may or may not have been correct, but we held on to as many as we could so that we could find a system to sift through the list until we obtained a comprehensive list that was a great start to begin making call, sending emails and in some cases sending hand written letters via snail mail.
Next, we were faced with the difficult task of actually getting in contact with the potential participants. We looked at our lists and organized them again. Some, we only had numbers, others we had numbers and email addresses and just a bare minimum, were older people and we only had physical addresses that we had to hope still existed. We began going down the call list first. We really wanted to be very personal for the exhibition, so showing this first was of great importance to me. When we first tried calling, we were very unsuccessful. we only reached 2 out of twenty on the first round of dialed calls. We stayed resilient and then we began to email artists. We were hoping for a greater response by email than we had gotten by phone calls. In our minds, we had decided to call back anyway in a day or so, so we weren’t feeling the pressure yet, but boy oh boy it set in after not to long. Many letters went out also.
Hard to wait, but worth it in the end. We began to get great responses from the artists that were interested and this was great. We even got the artists to mark off the potential day for the showing on their calendars. They gladly added our event to their busy schedules. We are on our way to great success for this near future exhibition.
I am not a real estate agent and legal jargon gets really tricky. It was now time to get major reinforcement. Thanks again to friends and associates with common interest, we are going to get this done. We have to find the place, negotiate price, and assure credit worthiness.
My partner and I have been in turmoil with the decision of trying to find the perfect place for the studio/ art gallery. This is very important. I watch HGTV sometimes and I hear it over and over again, location, location, location! Now I not only have to explore this at its fullest depth, I also really understand the true importance of this. We are not only considering a one time event when it comes to rental for the exhibition, but we are also needing to consider the use on a long term basis for the artists. Will my artists be able to catch the bus? Will the train or tram be a better option for them? Do I need to have a lot of parking spaces? What are the rules for parking and how many spaces will we be allotted anyway. This was a hard conclusion to come to.
Now came the disappointment of finding the perfect place over and over again with one hitch or another. We sometimes lost it out for being slow to react. We are new to this and were overly cautious about many things. We just did not want to jump into anything before we knew it was safe for us. But when our slow moves did not hurt us, our poor bargaining did. We didn’t know about commercial rent and the procedures to assure a great lease for our new gallery. We went through a lot of discussions and lost time in trying to get the price where we thought it should be. That was a very loose thought too because we really weren’t sure about what the rent should be. We did get the advice of a great agent that helped us secure a good deal.
Credit is a big deal in these matters, we had to try to qualify for the process. Do we set everything up in the business name or do we just use our personal credit for now? This should have been a no brainier, but still naive to all that was going on in the business side of the world, we were unsure about seemingly simple things. So we pondered for days just on this topic of how do we set up the lease on our credit or on the businesses’ credit. After much discussion, we made the best decision for the both of us and finally we were able to obtain a building for the art gallery.
This was probably one of the hardest steps in planning this process. There were so many things that we just did not know. We did not know and we did not know who to ask about the problems we were running into. Nonetheless, we got it done and we were able to breath and sigh of relief.