Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where to show, where not to show

This is something that I've been thinking about a lot since I had my exhibition at the museum this year—where to show my work, and where not to show it.

I've had different pieces of advice, each from people who are art professionals. I've also kept an eye on what other artists (those who are perhaps a rung or two or three above me in status/recognition/success) in my region have been up to.

My instinct is that I would only like to show at dedicated art spaces, "real" galleries (and yes, I will take another museum show, please!), but there are alternatives that seem like they could be good opportunities for my work to be seen, too. For instance, the restaurant where I'll be showing my work next summer. It's a small, upscale bistro where they seem to have shown quality artists in the past. They have wonderful receptions for the artists (best food I ever had at an art reception, in fact!), and it strikes me that my work would be seen by a desirable clientèle, one who is more apt to actually buy original art than others. On the other hand, people go to a restaurant to eat, not to look at or buy art. On still another hand, people expect that when they go to this restaurant, they'll be seeing some good art, and can buy it if they like.

So one piece of advice I received was that I should show my work at every opportunity afforded me, no matter where it is. You never know who will see it. And just that the more you're "out there" and visible as an artist, the better.

The other piece of advice was the opposite. "You've had a museum show now, you should not show at a restaurant! You should show at places that will further your career, not take it backward."

See, I agree a little bit with the first but lean toward the second line of reasoning. For my upcoming restaurant show, I am keeping it (against the second advice-giver) because I love the place and I just want to see what happens—I'm curious whether I will sell well there, if anything will come of it. After that, no more non-gallery/museum shows for me... I have bigger fish to fry, and my sights set higher.

Hm, will saying that get me in trouble? What do you think about this issue? I'd like to hear all points of view on this.


Now, I'd like to share an artist named Kareem Rizk, who is based in Australia. I love the graphic design sensibility in his gorgeous collages! He's also got a blog and an Etsy shop.

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