By the time you read this post, I will have (hopefully) passed my finals with flying colors, packed my entire dormitory life into lots of boxes that seem too small, and made the trek home from Marywood for a much needed break over the summer months. Wahoo!! I hope by reading Where Creativity Works you have gotten a better idea of what my life as an art student is like, and that I’ve provided some insight into most, if not all, of the projects I have my hands in.
And my hands were definitely full with my last project of the year. Around the time of my portfolio review, I was approached by fellow blogger Matthew Shamnoski, a sculpture student, who had suggested we hold a show together in downtown Scranton for First Friday! He thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to tiptoe into the big league art world as hopefuls! Before he could finish asking, the words “Yes,” and “Absolutely,” were spewing from my mouth.
For a little over one month, we were pushing ourselves to our utmost. I came to see though, that having a show to prepare for, or any end goal that is defined in one’s mind, gave me the drive to do some of my best work. It forced me to spend long hours in the studio again, even at the times when I wanted to work the least. It forced me to push the envelope in regard to my creative abilities. I wanted the general public to lust over my pieces, to take them home to be used and cherished. I wanted professionals, who are large parts of the art scene in this area, to be impressed by my craft and exhibition, to see me as a potential asset. It forced me to ask questions I wouldn’t otherwise ask, like how to make new, more complicated glazes, how to price my work, how to appeal to different audiences, and to consider a market.
Advertising and promotion were also key for Matt and I. We decided to come up with a postcard to hand out as invitations, and for visitors to take home as mementos of our event. Luckily, Sandy Povse, the director of the Marywood art galleries, was kind enough to give us some pointers in designing and ordering our cards. I wrote up a little something about our show, and included some pictures. I thought it was a fun part of the prep.
We were also lucky enough to have had some help from Bob Schweitzer in curating our exhibition, and by some I mean a lot. He was crucial in deciding how to properly light the work, considering the fact there was no lighting to begin with. He lent a hand in placing the pedestals strategically around the two room venue to create interest without obstructing the views of other pieces. He helped in more ways than he would take credit for, but we were very grateful to have him each step of the way.
And on Friday, May 1st, after much preparation, we opened! Fortunately, there was lots of traffic. Many passersby decided to enter after looking through the glass at our oh-so-intriguing venue and work on display. We also got great feedback from our visitors. Things seemed to go over pretty smoothly, and we even made a couple sales! I am very much looking forward to putting on more shows again in the near future.
So over the summer, I want to continue with the same work ethic I had when I was preparing. It was a lot and often I felt stretched thin, but the rewards for working so hard were incredibly sweet along the way just as much as they were at the exhibitions completion. It is so important to stay sharp while we are away from the formal academic setting, and often times opportunities that present themselves over the summer provide the most potential for growth, due to increased exposure and diversity. Breaks are necessary too, but don’t forget to budget some time to work in your sketchbook or try your hand at something new amongst the pool time.
During the summer months, I’ll also be blogging on a monthly basis instead of a weekly basis (yes, even us bloggers could use a break), so keep an eye out for more posts near the first week of June, July, and August! Have a great summer, and ta ta for now!