So I thought that I would write about my experience in getting ready for my first ever photography exhibition. The opening is less than 2 days away. I'm excited about it and also a little bit frightened. Not because I think that my images are bad but because I'm showing them to so many people. Today, I thought about it and thought to myself that this is a good experience for me no matter what the outcome. So why not write about how I prepared, how I shot the images, and what all went into it... I found out about the exhibition though the Austinist, a local webzine that talks about all things going on in Austin. I believe they have others too like Chicagoist, Laist .. Anyhow, I read the requirements and I decided that I would enter my images from a trip I took last year to Klein Curaçao.
This is one of the coolest places in the Caribbean that I've been, although temperature wise it was actually really hot there. I thought about that day that I took the images and how I managed to schlep my gear out to the island, jumping off a tiny boat to shore scared to death that I'd drop my gear in the surf. We were told by the crew that if we wanted to walk out to see the lighthouse and the abandoned ship that we should do so right away because the temp climbs up to over 100 degrees quickly. So off I went.. It seemed like the lighthouse and ships were far off. As I approached I started feeling the heat climb rapidly. As I got near the lighthouse I started shooting. Things were looking ok on the LCD so I went over to the ships. This side of the island was very rough, it was clear to me why they built the lighthouse back in 1850 and why there were 2 ships that had run aground. It was windy; the surf was crashing up against the old abandoned ship relentlessly in its quest to take her out to sea. I started shooting again. As soon as a huge splash jutted out the middle of the ship I snapped an image. I got it. I walked further down the beach, littered with plastic bottles and debris.. it was a shame to see all of this garbage on such a beautiful place. I kept on walking. What then appeared was a 60ft yacht that had also run aground. Looking down the beach I saw both of these vessels and thought this would make a great image. I started shooting again. I got another shot. I walked around more and noticed that this really awesome cloud formation was forming in the sky above the lighthouse. I ran over and got into position. I started shooting again and knew that I got the shots that I wanted. At this point I thought I was going to pass out from the heat. I hurried back to the hut on the other side of the island where the water was!
Well back to the exhibition preparation. I read the requirements.. a bio along with an artist statement was required for entry. Ugh, an artist statement? Really? I started writing my artist statement. After I figured out what it took to create the statement it just came to me. Next was the bio, not bad or as time consuming as the artist statement. So I wrote both and turned in the sample images on Jan 10th and wait … well the 25th of Jan comes and I’m accepted!
So now it’s time to read the requirements for the actual submission. In the gallery I’m limited to a space that is 4x3ft. That means with 5 framed images I can roughly have (4) 8x10’s and (1) 11x14. Well it’s time to take a trip to IKEA and see what types of frames they have. I got there and thought these frames kind of look cheap. A fellow photographer friend of mine, Carlos Austin suggested that I take a look at Aaron’s. Just so happens they have a buy one frame get one for one cent sale! Killer! I got all of the frames I wanted. Now it’s time to get the prints done. I opened up an account with Millers Imaging, another great suggestion from Carlos. I next had to figure out how I was going to sign the prints. Typically, an artist will sign on the image itself – or on the mat. My images don’t have a mat. So I decided that I would create a watermark from my signature and have this printed along with the date on the image. Cool. I got my images back, framed the items and it all looked good! It’s the 28th due date to turn the work into the gallery! I drop off my stuff and realize that I forgot to turn in the price list and image information. I email this info a day late.
Well now I wait till Friday at 7:00PM. I’m looking forward to the opening!
Update: March 25, 2011
I got notified about a week ago that I needed to come pick up my work on 3/25/2011 so today I went to pick up my work. My work didn't sell. I walked into the gallery and one of the other artists that I spoke to at the opening was also there picking up her work. She seemed upset; I didn't know if she was having a bad day or whatever. I said hello and asked her about getting our work, she explained that I just needed to pull it off the wall. I saw the packing materials that I brought to bring my stuff in on the table so I grabbed my work and boxed it up and thanked the gallery owner and went next door for a slice of pizza and a beer. As I gulped down the beer and ate my slice of pepperoni za, I thought about the opening, it was definitely a great experience... despite not selling any of my work, I was thankful to have been chosen! Till next time!