I'm glad I went to the opening last night. I enjoyed seeing all the new art and was relieved that my puzzle sculpture looked good in the show. I talked to a few people about it and while it is playful and not some substantial serious work compared to most of the art in there, at least people got it and commented on how creative it is. I wish it would have been placed somewhere else, sometimes I get locked into having my work all bunched together in a tight little corner, it frustrates me but I know that wall real estate is expensive and I'm glad to have a plot of wall.
Last night was also the first time I got it about my art. After having seen it the other night in Burlington in a really beautiful industrial building, surrounded by lovely brick and gold/dark blue walls, I know my work is worthy of being shown anywhere. I finally feel like I have just as much right as anyone else exhibiting my work. Interestingly on Friday night at the art walk, an art collector that I run into at every show stopped by to check my work out. We got to talking about the Art Hop and when I said I did not participate this year he said in a pretty sarcastic tone something to the effect of, 'oh, you're too good for that now right? now that your in the fancy gallery in stowe'. In a strange way I felt like yeah, maybe I am too good for that. How's that? (I know I am not too good for that okay, I'm just trying to make a point)
I would normally never think, let alone say that. But it did bring me some clarity about showing my work. It isn't that I am above certain venues, but now that I have seen my work in more sophisticated settings and how much better it shows under the right conditions, I have to ask why would I do a show that embarrasses me when my work is on crappy walls, in ugly buildings, next to, quite frankly, some really bad art? I don't care that for that weekend supposedly thousands of people see the work. Who is going to notice it amongst thousands of other pieces of art? For me, it really isn't fun and I am not desperate enough to do anything just to have my work out there. I realize that not everyone who shows art is trying to make a living at it. Not everyone has the same needs and goals when they make or show art as I do. I'm just speaking for my self here.
Last night at the Gallery, there were easily a couple hundred people, few that I even recognized from any of the other openings. It was a good show with lots of out of towners. There was a couple up from NY (photographers) and they loved my Jersey Barrier pieces. They loved the photography and how I used found objects to compliment and compile an assemblage. It was rewarding to be somewhere where drones of people weren't walking by the art and looking at it for a second as if it were in a stall at a barn show. That is how I usually feel when I do local art shows. I think I am used to feeling like I am a nothing. That because I am a self taught artist with only a few years of making art under my belt, that I am a woman and not even a young one at that, that somehow I don't really matter. Lately I have been taking stock of things and realizing I've worked hard and I need to believe in myself a little bit more. Every time I get new materials, buy more supplies, go further into this 'living as an artist 24/7', I get fearful about tunneling further into debt; being bogged down with more stuff that isn't going to be easy to move or unload should I need to leave this house. I take a few leaps forward and then look back like a child looks at a parent when they dare to walk defiantly ahead and realize they aren't so safe feeling out there all alone.
It just feels good to understand more of what I do want, don't want and why. I realize how important it is to feel really good about where my art is seen. To set my own standards and not feel like I am being stuck up or whatever for choosing where to exhibit. To each his own and I more than anyone needs to learn to not judge and allow myself and others to do and be whatever they want to.