A few weeks ago, I submitted several photos of my artwork to a local gallery in response to their public call for artists. The theme of the exhibition was “Adventure, Fantasy and Fun”. With such a warm and whimsical title, I knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of. It took some time for me to get around to it, but I finally chose a few of my most adventurous, fun and fantastic pieces and attached them to an email. Within a week after my timely submission, I was informed by the gallery that all of the artists had been selected for the upcoming group exhibition. I was a little stunned considering this was more than ten days before the submission deadline. All was not lost, however. At the the end of the email was an unexpected surprise. It was an invitation from the gallery’s director to bring a few of my pieces to the gallery for an in-person viewing.
Admittedly, it was a bit of an ego boost to have an industry professional personally request a closer look at my work. Still, I tried not to take the invitation too seriously. After all, the artist call was closed and there was no chance of being a part of that cool little show. Or, so I thought.
I arrived at the gallery on a Friday afternoon with the 4 requested paintings along with a few other pieces. The director was still viewing the work of another artist. And, since it was my first time visiting this particular gallery, I took time to check out some of the current artists’ work. The building was as a late 70’s or early 80’s house that had been converted into sort of a combination gift shop and art gallery. Everything being sold was either hand made or a quality reproduction by local artists and artisans. It was also evident that this gallery represented a wide range of artists of various skill level. Many appeared to still be developing their techniques and styles, while a few could easily hold their own in a more upscale gallery. However, this gallery was not about upscale. Its purpose is to offer art lovers affordable, local art in an inviting, upbeat atmosphere. Visitors are met with a warm greeting and offered a glass of kambucha. An adorable pair of pugs are also a part of the regular welcoming committee. It all makes for a very comfortable browsing experience.
After an unnoticeable wait, I was greeted by the gallery’s director. A woman who clearly enjoys life and enjoys what she does for a living. It was also clear that she was smitten by the four little paintings from my Harmony series. So much so, that she decided to make room for them in the exhibition. And , just like that, I was offered my first official gallery representation. It was far more satisfying to be included as part of a tangible community versus being one of thousands of unknowns in some wide-open online marketplace. Or, having to hand over hundreds of dollars to go unnoticed in a nomadic one-night-only cocktail party disguised as an art show.
Being accepted into a local gallery was exactly the kind of validation and motivation I needed. The possibility of selling one of more of my paintings is also very exciting. I have felt so energized, that I promptly started a new group of similar paintings. I want to thank the gallery director Lynnie Goodman for including me in the Art For the People’s Gallery’s community of talented artists. I am eagerly looking forward to being a part of the Adventure, Fun and Fantasy exhibition!
Show details coming soon!