Becoming an Artist, the Continuing Tour
Last week I sent out a carefully constructed email to a curator at an art gallery where I occasionally drop in to look at art and chat. I included some samples of my work, a bit of information on who I am and what I'm doing with my art, and a request to come by and talk about having my work exhibited in the gallery. I received an enthusiastic response along with a price list for how much I'd need to pay to have my art hang there. Now the gallery is in a pretty sweet spot, right on the edge of downtown with plenty of foot traffic. But paying to have my art displayed is not where I want this whole thing to go, and seems a dubious way to start out.*
So I did some research, came up with a list of galleries that might be interested in a brand new nobody artist like me, took my Friday off work, and went visiting. The artist-owned Soil Gallery in Seattle shows new artists and is interested in stuff that might not otherwise get seen. I was surprised to see that their membership includes some artists I like, and have even met. You can submit a proposal to have a show there at certain times of the year. What really blew me away was the quality of the stuff they've shown. This sets a really high bar, but it's a bar I can aim for. It was a great exercise to get a solid glimpse of one path ahead.
Also, by accident, I ran across a small independent gallery called Fictilis where I chatted with one of the owners for 20 minutes about the aesthetics of shipping containers. I was kind of blown away by the place. Everything in the place was pretty cool, and they have a couple of upcoming exhibits that I could imagine getting my work into. This was also pretty uplifting.
And then I came home and said the hell with all that and jumping through anybody's hoops by my own, and dammit I'm going to make some pictures.
North end of Cal Anderson Park, 15 years after the end of the world.