May 09, 2007

First Real Galleries...

1978, Primaries YBR, serigraph triptych, ed/10, appx 30 x 60

Warning: I'm wandering around in the past again, but wanted to create a timeline of sorts. It will not only serve to document a few things but provide some recreational memory romps. I promise to be brief.

1971-76: J is stationed at the Pentagon, we have three kids from diapers to Jr. High, I've discovered contemporary art and although I know I'll never have an MFA, I find that there are plenty of MFA's to learn from... that would be Museums of Fine Art... they're all over DC and it's all new to me. I take lessons from anyone and everyone... and get a start in the sidewalk art scene. Learn silk screen printing at the Maryland School of Art and Design and discover I'm a natural at it. I've plenty of multiple originals that I can frame up and sell repeatedly at affordable prices. My fledgling career is off and running. Watercolors round out my portfolio, the constant during this time is ongoing instruction with Skip Lawrence, well rounded study of art through watercolor... I soak it up.

1976-81: Transfer to the heart of Dixie where J will finish out his USAF career. I really get into art festivals and beat a path around the South for the next ten years doing weekend shows. As luck would have it, a director of a local festival was also opening a new gallery in town and keeping an eye out for artists to consider. She asked me to bring some work in once they were open and I did. My first REAL gallery, and it was a good one! All the local artists would congregate in the kitchen, I was hired on as part time assistant, learned to hang a show, keep inventory records and sell art... and make big vats of soup, free on Thursdays to anyone who showed up. I loved the whole scene! The artist/owner was my first mentor, the one who made sure I understood the phrase, "Yes you can!" She was a great boost to my self confidence and the learning experiences were degree worthy. I had my first solo show in '78, creating a 'focal piece'... the serigraph triptych shown above... my most ambitious silk screen print to date... (really bad photo... all my SSP's are in need of new documentation. I kept the first numbered print of each edition so guess I didn't feel the need for good photos.)

1981-86: We moved to a small college town couple of hours away (the lake house) where J began his second career. The next gallery of note (I prefer not to name names here) was in a larger city and was quite a step up... man, was I impressed! An artist friend let me know that there was a prominent gallery director coming to town to review portfolios... why don't I bring mine! Yo! I'm there! Watercolors and serigraphs are an easy tote and that was my area of expertise. I made the cut! WooHoo! That lasted a good ten years until we had resettled in NOLA and the relationship eventually petered out... my bad. Never had a solo show with that one, but she sold steadily and I was in good company. I continued the art festivals, enjoyed them, the crowds, the interaction with people... noting their reactions to one kind of art or another. A terrific learning experience.

Next: New Orleans!

1 comment:

Annette said...

Hey, Karen
I had some work in that delicious gallery (your 76-81) during the 80s. She did sell well and was such a joy to be around. Last I heard, the new crew still had a few of my pieces in storage. Hope they don't charge me rent. hehe