Monday, October 31, 2016
My new art endeavor
After thinking about it for years, I decided to apply for, and have been accepted to membership to Pyro Gallery, a local co-op with about 20 members. I think I'm ready for a different kind of opportunity to display my work, after years of relying mainly on juried shows where you have one piece up for a short period of time. For one thing, I have dozens of pieces that have aged out of all the juried shows, although they have been seen only rarely and I'm still very proud of them.
The gallery has hired a marketing consultant who is spending time with each artist to look at our work and make suggestions. Our immediate goal is to fill the gallery for a pre-holiday show of more affordable art, aka smaller things. Since I've been mostly working on a huge scale for the last several years, I went through boxes and boxes of old work to haul out some small things to show him. And I changed out the quilt on my big display wall to hang one of my old postage stamp pieces.
Originally I intended this quilt to drip down into a pile of "stamps" on the floor, but since my big wall at home descends with the basement stairs, I was able to let it hang to full length.
Postage 4: Spaghetti Sauce, 2008 (installed on tall wall)
The consultant thought the most original and interesting things were the postage stamp quilts (I had some smaller ones as well as the big one on the wall). His reason was that they were different from the standard quilt format and therefore would be more likely to catch the eye of a designer or buyer.
That wasn't surprising. What was: second on his list were a batch of "quilts" I had made many years ago with tea bags and rust-stained fabrics.
I hadn't even brought them out to show him at first, but as he was leaving I said "take a look at these and be honest -- if you think they're too insubstantial or too schlocky, please tell me." But he liked them a lot.
Again, he thought these were different, and that the neutral colors would be appealing to a lot of people. Apparently in California, where he's from, tea bars are all the rage these days, like coffee shops were 20 years ago, and tea aficionados would be thrilled to have tea bag art in their homes. (Not sure that's true in Kentucky, but I'll put a couple of them out and see what happens.)
I'll keep you posted!