Laughing… The only way I know for would-be artists to “hang your art in a gallery for the world to see” is to live in a small town.
Seriously, it’s great to live in a small town. Since fewer folks exist, it’s sometimes easier to find a place to fit in.
For example: if your graduating class has 40 students, and you want to play basketball or football, you’ll probably find a place on the team. You might not get a starting position, but you’ll automatically make the team.
If you’re a photographer or painter or artist you probably don’t have to dream of placing your work in an art show. No.
This is how it’s handled in our fair county:
I traipsed down to Gallery 325 today, across the bay, in Baraga. I have been meaning to visit my friend, Karen, on Wednesday afternoon at the local art gallery. Have been meaning to do this for at least a year. Maybe longer.
Today announced itself as The Day. I had other errands to accomplish. a) banking. b) lunch at the Nite Owl restaurant. Which always consists of two scrambled eggs and homemade whole wheat toast, no matter what time of day, c) stop at the library and pick up a book ordered through intra-library loan. (I have made a grave error in the library department recently…ordering SEVERAL books from intra-library loan simultaneously. This was a WRONG move. Now all the books are arriving and I have way too many to read, in way too little time. Alas….)
After accomplishing said items, I motored across the bay. Followed the signs to the Gallery, refreshing my memory from another visit or two a few years back.
Entered the back door. And there was–and there was–Karen. But it was not the Karen I intended to visit. It was another Karen. The two Karens had a show a couple of months ago called the Karen & Karen show. I was now facing the other Karen.
We had met a few years ago at a party and chatted enthusiastically for at least a half hour. She lives off the grid. No kidding. No electricity. No computers.
“I hear about your blog!” she exclaimed. (My, news gets around. But, in truth, Karen probably heard about it from the other Karen and my friend Catherine who are both avid supporters of the Gallery.)
“I’m here,” I began, clearing my throat, “to find out the themes of your upcoming shows.”
“Are you going to put something in the show?” Karen asked, excitedly.
I then admitted my intent. It was time to actually print off one of these blog photos and maybe even frame it. Maybe more than one. And maybe hang it (or them) in one of their shows.
Karen was quite excited. I had to warn her very sternly: I am not a professional, you know. I’m really just a beginner; only been shooting for a year or two now.
Then we embarked in another half-hour conversation about photography, the visual eye, art and sixteen other pertinent things. And now I’m on the mailing list, soon to be given the theme of the Next Show. (This month’s show is called “Crow Moon” and debuts Friday night. Doesn’t that sound like a fascinating theme?)
This is what I love about a small town. Everybody who wants to be an artist will be given a spot on the wall to hang their creation. You won’t be laughed out the door. You won’t be politely declined. Instead, you’ll be given a bear hug and asked, “Really? You want to be involved in the gallery? Oh, this is wonderful!” (And that is without even glimpsing a single photograph or drawing or painting.)
Here is a question for you today. Do you have any artistic projects that you’ve been avoiding sharing with other people? Any dreams of creating that you’ve been burying because you think they might be inadequate? If the Sky was the Limit…what would you create? If you could pretend you had talent, how would you feature it? C’mon, imagine! Think big!
(And after you’ve thought big…dive into any remaining fear…toss it out the window! Go for it! Be an artist! You are anyway…it just may be the time to recognize it!)