Tis the season when multiple art shows will be popping up all over the place. As you look at the work of the artists, you may picture a painter at an easel, brush or palette knife in hand, and think, “Oh that looks like such fun. I wish I could do that.” I’ve heard similar comments. What they don’t realize is that there is a lot more involved in being part of an art show than painting a group of canvases. They have to be framed, of course, and a record of them kept that shows when they were painted and where they have been exhibited, so as not to keep showing the same paintings in the same annual shows.
My painting are in five shows this month. Two shows are in Lawrence. Delivering two paintings to the Phoenix Underground, the lower floor of the Phoenix Gallery downtown, was no problem. The next local show will be Lawrence Art Walk, Saturday Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. There will be a map showing where the various participants are located. (Check for details online.) My paintings are already hung on the walls of my basement family room but I will still have to make sure each painting has a card listing its title, media, and price, which means printing cards for the newer paintings and placing cards with each painting.
I made a special trip to Topeka to turn in three paintings to Warehouse 414. That business is having a show honoring the Topeka Art Guild, of which I am a member, on their 100th anniversary. Two of my paintings will be in the Kansas Artists show at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery and two or three from the last show there will go on to the nearby Eagle Car Wash.
After preparing for all those shows I wasn’t sure I wanted to enter another. But an email message said more artists were needed for the Lawrence Art Guild Holiday Art Fair at Lawrence Art Center November 19 and that that day was the last day for entries. Oh well, why not? I printed a copy of the online entry form and could see that this was going to be more work than I expected. Not only were three photos of my work required but also a photo of my proposed exhibit. That meant getting my screens out of the garage, setting them up, going to the basement and bringing up enough small paintings to fill them, finding the hooks and hanging them on the screens so I could photograph them and then putting everything away.
Next I had to transfer the photo of my exhibit to my computer and print it on my color printer, plus finding photos of three of the paintings on the computer and printing them. Then I discovered that I didn’t have a padded envelope to put all this in for mailing so I had to go out and buy one. Next I addressed the envelope and added the photos, entry form and a check. Artists not only have to pay to enter shows. If they sell anything, they have to pay a percentage of that as well, which is why art sold at shows and galleries my seem high priced. So finally, I have entered and am glad for this season at least, to have places where others can see what I’ve been doing.