Sunday, May 27, 2007

Shipping Defense Mechanism Coat round trip $800
Shipping dress forms & pillows round trip $130
Shipping fan for Summer Night Breeze Dress round trip $24
Belt sander for Def Mech Coat Crate $50
Lumber for crate $30
Jigsaw for cutting crate and dress forms $70
Roundtrip airfare for set-up, take down, and opening $570
Car rental set up and take down $110
Hotel for set up and take down $210

An opportunity to show your work, in the hopes that "something might happen" - priceless.

My friend Pip, who is a bit of a cynic, used to say "The best part about having an exhibition is the first 5 minutes after they tell you you've got the show; it's all downhill from there."

I like the moment that you take a good long look after the whole show is hung, and you are alone in the space, trying to imagine what it will look like to someone seeing the work for the first time. (At the Belger, Mo made me walk all the way back to the freight elevator and get on, so he could open up the gate and let me see the view to the defense mechanism coat, at the end of a long steel plate walkway that leads you up to it, because the effect was so dramatic.)

I like getting ready for the opening, going to the opening, and going out after the opening. (The absolute best is when there is someone in attendance who has known you for many years, and knows how long and how hard you have worked at this, someone who has seen you when you have not slept for 4 days in a row because you want to finish a piece... celebrating an opening with someone like my brother, who has been there since the beginning, is incredible.)

I always enjoy having some time alone in the space to take stock, and really see where you have been, where you are, and where you are going with your work, thinking about where you might go next, and remembering that it is "all forward" from here.


Blogger Jennifer said...

$6 shy of $2k! Would the best advice be stick it on a credit card and worry about it later? Life's short? Thinking about the green could've held u back. How should one decide between splurging for arts sake or holding back?

9:47 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I put myself in debt for my art career as far back as I can remember.

As I have gotten older, I have learned to be more selective about what shows I spend my money on, asking myself questions about potential audience, how well the venue will show off your work, expanding geographic locations (you will find that some parts of the country are more receptive than others to your work), and the possibility that the show might lead to something else (like another show, where you can spend more money ;) ).

It was only recently that the investment in an ivy league school paid off immediately in sales at one's MFA show and first NY gallery show. For all the centuries before this one, artists invested and reinvested in their careers, and when it did pay off (seldom), it was often late in their lives, the culmination of many decades of work and sacrifice.

It depends on what's important to you. It costs money to make work, but I know many talented artists who stop there, and don't bother to spend the extra money to make sure it gets seen.

I've always thought, when you choose to be an artist, you are making a bold statement by saying that you don't value money in the same way as the rest of the world: it is not your priority. To most people (remember my talk with the tax lady) it seems absurd to put your self in debt for your career.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Oh, and I am applying for grants to cover some of my expenses.

8:38 PM  

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