I love art exhibitions. No surprise there. I love them for the feat of compartmentalized organization they present. Slight surprise? I like to see how a curator chooses a theme for a lot of stuff. I like to see how she groups the stuff, names the groups, displays the stuff, and which stories she chooses to tell about the stuff. Plus all of the little bits and pieces that make it pretty, such as lighting, wall color, music, and fonts. Don’t get me started on ephemera—brochures are like tiny satellite exhibitions that fit in my purse.
Do I like exhibitions because I used to work in museums? Maybe. But a lot of my love is because exhibitions are an embodiment of my hyper-organizational executive-functioning skills. It’s the same reason I love a tidy kitchen pantry, bulletin boards, and production schedules, and the same reason I did this to my son’s Halloween candy:
I feel good and understand information better when there is order and balance, plus it’s pretty, and pretty feels good too.
I decided that organizing my own artwork with exhibition guidelines and checklist would help me thoughtfully plan the scope of my work. It’s easy for an artist to become scattered. Inspiration can strike whenever and tear you away from your current project. So can the laundry down the hall if you work out of your home. If you paint numerous subjects, they may show better as a story instead of divided into the customary categories of landscape, still life, and figure.
Plus, I’m a DIY studio, like so many artists are these days, and scope also includes marketing, presentation, sales, and deadlines: everything that makes an exhibition.
“Where,” you may be asking yourself, “will you exhibit your exhibition, Amanda?” Online, y’all. And you can watch it take shape. I’ve begun already with a group of related pictures from beach vacations.
Other questions you/I may be asking:
Do I plan to show these paintings in person, too? Sure!
Are paintings for sale during the exhibition planning? Sure!
Do I have the whole thing planned out first? No!
What’s my end game? Have a holistic approach to my art-making to give me the stability I need to nurture a long career.
Later is what?
After settling into various desk jobs, I always said I'd get back to painting later in life, and later is now. Again means that I tried once before. I decided to write about my painting endeavor, too, as a learning tool, an accountability tool, and to stay sharp in case I have to go back to a desk job. Again.
I love periodicals, and if I weren't trying to devote more time to painting I'd mail paper copies. Sign up here, and I'll conveniently send it (blog posts, sales, and new work) by e-mail instead.