Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My First Solo Art Show – Traveling Caravan to San Diego

            Towards the end of 2012, I entered into talks with a community music center in San Diego that had created a program for local artists to display their work to be viewed with musical accompaniment.  An author friend of mine whom I had met at a local SCBWI event about a year earlier knew the program coordinator and asked me if I wanted to be considered for a show. 
            "Uh, YES."
            So introductions were passed around and my online portfolio was sent to them and wall measurements were sent back, and after a while, the slot for my show rolled around, and my husband (who had just had a hitch installed on our car so we could tow our bikes around,) happily rented a small uHaul trailer and some moving blankets, and devised a complicated weight and leverage system with bungee cords within the trailer for my art to travel in as frictionless an environment as possible. Computer engineer hubbies are the best!

            So we made an entire weekend of it. Our friends caravanned down with us and got rooms in the same hotel, and we ate, toured, and hot tubbed together. They even helped hang the art up and went around buying snacks and drinks for the opening night party. Not even a flat tire could slow us down (Well, it did actually. A little bit, so good thing we had multiple cars!)

            The party was deemed a success. Over thirty people came down from Los Angeles for the opening, and a lot of them had never seen my fine art before. I was glad to have a chance to share with them another slice of my life. I was touched by the effort that everyone had put in to support me and my art. 

            For the two months that the show ran, I would receive occasional updates from the coordinators letting me know that people had been asking a lot of questions about the art and asking for my card. It was definitely strange to be physically far away from my art. I kept worrying that something bad would happen. None of the art was damaged, thankfully, though there is a small dent in the frame of one of the smaller pieces.
            Similar to how I felt prior to my first time participating in the Venice Art Walk, I experienced some anxiety when facing the prospect of selling all my favorite pieces. But each time, I come to the conclusion that I would be willing to part with them for the right price, and I raised the price accordingly for those pieces. Supply and demand, baby.
Well, once again I found that though there is limited supply, I’m even more limited on the demand side, so I was able to bring home all my favorite originals, having sold only prints. (Still, print sales = yay!)
            Considering that the venue ended up being off the beaten path, and more of a place to bring your kid for music lessons, I’m not surprised that my fine art did not sell like hotcakes. Had I known more about the reality of the location as opposed to their pitch, I probably would have shown more of my children’s illustrations. As it was, I had created four new print pieces to fit in the hallway through which most of the children traversed. 

             We hung them low enough for the kids to see, hoping they’d ask their parents about it. The added benefit being that I could conceivably use the pieces in my illustration portfolio. Perhaps I priced them too high as well, as there was much interest, but very little than actually resolved into sales.

            That said, it was certainly flattering to have a live musician “jam” to my art for a few hours in front of my nearest and dearest. One of the best parts: the thrill of being able to put “Solo Art Show” on my CV.

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