Saturday, August 14, 2021

Once and Again: Alterations at Central Piedmont Community College

(Above:  Once and Again: Alterations, my solo show in the Overcash Gallery on the Central Piedmont Community College campus in Charlotte, NC.)

That's all I've got!  Seriously!  I don't have any other photos and I didn't take this one either!  Why?  Well, this is my first time working with a curator/professional art installer who actually selected the pieces, decided on placement, and had a team of three student interns working on the installation day.  

I sent a proposal. It was accepted. A Drop Box folder was created listing available work ... including titles, dates, sizes, and prices.  The work was selected and ...

(Above:  Mock-up of the exhibition.)

... a mock-up of the show was sent to me.  It wasn't at all how I would have approached the show!  In fact, the addition of the two Anonymous Ancestors Sculptural Garments came from the other, unsuccessful proposal I sent!  In my limited way of seeing my own artwork, I really didn't consider these garments part of Once and Again: Alterations ... but they are!  They certainly were "altered".  I treated them as "found objects".  I realized that I have been compartmentalizing my own work instead of seeing the common thread that ties everything together!

(Above:  Amelia Zytka, Gallery Director, instructing one of three interns who hung the show.)

Sure ... I could have made suggestions, changed things around, added more work, or insisted on doing things "my way". But why?  This was my opportunity to see my work through the eyes of a true professional.  It was a way to trust someone who honestly knows the space, the audience, and the venue's mission far better than me.  It was also a chance to see a teaching institution in action!

(Above:  Composite image of two signs explaining gallery installation.)

After my artwork was unloaded from my van, the interns received "training".  There were even "lessons" explained on two different signs!  I knew I was in very, very capable hands.  I left before the first piece was on the wall!  On my drive back to Columbia, I thought about artists working at the level where this sort of thing is the norm.  I'm sure that Bisa Butler didn't wield a hammer when installing her current show at the Chicago Institute of Art.  I'm sure that Leslie Dill isn't working in each museum hosting her traveling exhibitions.  It was nice to TRUST someone else, to drive away, and to be treated like a real, professional artist who works on the level of those who I admire!

(Above:  The crates in which my found object mandalas were transported.)

It was also nice to have a little extra time that afternoon.  I am, after all, leaving Columbia at dawn on Monday morning.  My month-long art residency at Guadalupe Mountains National Park starts on Wednesday.  It's a long trip and I have a lot of packing to do this weekend!

I will be returning to the Overcash Gallery and my solo show on Tuesday, September 21st.  At 1:00 PM I'll be giving my artist talk.  It is followed by a public reception from 4 - 6.


Marni said...

What a nice experience for you. You spend so much time with installations. I like how you realized that your view of your work might not be that of others. I hope it gets lots of positive feedback. It does look very nice.

Christine said...

What did you tell me.... don't undersell yourself (or words to that effect).
YOU ARE a professional artist and have every right to be treated as such.
Congratulations on this show.. .it's been a long time coming.
Travelling mercies being sent your way.

Ann Scott said...

It looks like it will be a great exhibition and it was cool that you gave it over to them AND learned something in the process. When I had my solo show at VAM, they knew exactly how they wanted to hang my pieces and I was glad to let them, as you say - they know the space, etc.
Wishing you a grand art residency and safe travels.

Catherine - Mixed Media Artist said...

agree with everyone, but also know that feeling of letting your "babies" be look at and then hang by someone else.

(I've never had the opportunity to hang my own show - all have been "send/delivery object in secure packaging" and then someone else decides where it will be. Sometimes, I haven't liked the end result at all. I've not entered any show for quite a few years)