I’m excited. Little by little, our art world is coming to life again. For the last two-and-a-half years, there have been few art shows and exhibitions due not only to Covid but also for other reasons. One area show last year was cancelled because of the death of a club officer. Our own HFAA Regional Show was cancelled, you might remember, when the roof of the exhibition area caved in. The damage there has still not been completely repaired and the area remains unusable.
While spending time with Patsy Albers on Monday — she’s our HFAA President — we talked about the many problems involved in finding a suitable location for a show. In the past, our club has always hosted the regional shows at Pearson Hall, part of our Cass County Library system. Now that it’s unusable, Patsy has been checking around for alternatives.
- An exhibition area must be lockable. Since we’ll have paintings valued at thousands of dollars, our club has to ensure that all artwork is safe and secure.
- Club members are also required to monitor the show whenever the area is open to the public. For our student art shows and “members only” shows — which are held inside the library itself — the library staff monitors the exhibits. For a large regional show, however, this isn’t feasible. Again, it’s largely a matter of security, and because the library is open nearly 12 hours a day, it would be extremely difficult to have club members working the show at all times.
- The cost must be right. Our community center has an excellent location available, but the $2000.00 price tag is a bit out of our club budget.
I’ve always enjoyed learning more about the “behind the scenes” work of putting on an art show, so it was interesting to discuss these concerns with Patsy. I’m still hoping that our club will find a suitable location, or that the damage to Pearson Hall will be repaired so that we can have our Regional Show in the fall.
Meanwhile, our “Members Only” show is on the calendar, and I’m looking forward to showing my work. The show is scheduled for July, and I’m hoping to have both “Rocky Falls” and another new landscape oil painting ready to display.
And there’s another “little show” coming up next week. This show — called “The Tiny Art Show” — is not sponsored by any art club in the area. It’s an activity being presented by our library system. Anyone who wants to enter is welcome. There are no entry fees. I’m not sure what prizes will be awarded, and I’m guessing that all library patrons will be voting for their favorites.
Our HFAA members learned of the show while we were setting up the Student Art Show last week. The library manager asked if any of us would like to participate. Of course we would! So, we were each given our “art supply kit” — although we don’t have to use the materials provided.
I’m undecided on what I’ll do. Most likely I’ll use my water-soluble oils and those tiny brushes I have to paint a small little landscape scene. Looking back to December 2019, I’ve had practice at doing very small oil paintings when I did that “Tonalist Project” working on 3 x 5 inch index cards. This “tiny show” canvas is even smaller, so it will be a fun challenge.
I’ll have to get to work on it right away. All art is to be dropped off next week, so there won’t be time to dry and varnish the painting. Hmmm… maybe it would be better to use my oil pastels. As I said, I’m still undecided, but I’ve only got a few days so I’ll come up with something soon.
Art shows are fun. I find it surprising that I enjoy them so very much. First, a few years back, I would never have thought I’d ever be taking part in any sort of art show! Second, once I did begin entering shows, I never thought I’d win any awards. Third, I’ve been on both sides of several art shows, not only putting my work on display, but being part of the set-up and take-down. I’ve gotten to know a lot of judges. I’ve met lots of artists from different areas. I’ve become a real part of the “art scene” — and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
So, wish me luck — at our show in July and at the upcoming “Tiny Art” show. I certainly don’t expect to win any awards for tiny art, but it’s going to be a lot of fun to participate.