Monday, June 04, 2007

Cloud Nine

I'm officially considering my first art fair a huge success! Seriously, I'm on cloud nine. I didn't make a TON of money, but that wasn't really the point. In 2006, my only New Year's Resolution was to apply for an art fair. I didn't have to get in, I just wanted to go through the motions of applying for an art show.

The entire procedure started last fall when I started planning to apply for a few shows. I had to come up with decent work that I would feel comfortable being juried, build a booth, borrow a tent to take a booth shot and that was just the process of applying.

When I got the good word about the show, the preparations began and I started working on getting enough inventory to fill the booth display. Was it 100? 80? I settled on 60 pieces once the weather got nice and being in the dark basement every night and on the weekends was just not my idea of a good time.

The last two weeks were spent almost entirely in my "cinder block studio". I cranked some pieces out and, more importantly, I was pretty confident that people might really like them. When I wasn't working, I was nagging Chris to get the credit card stuff up and running, making him spray varnish the canvases in the garage (I'm pretty sure he lost significant brain cells in the process since he only opened the garage door a crack and if any of you saw the sunglasses he purchased at the drug store on Saturday you would believe me), putting hardware on the backs of each piece, designing business cards, posting to the blog and buying more supplies. I made lists and checked them twice.

Friday morning came and I had a live interview with Darren Mark on Kansas City Live. What a crazy guy! He asked me to put all of my pieces out on the stage, so the camera guy could pan to those while I was being interviewed. Anyway, Daren was standing off to the side and I thought he was communicating with the studio through his earpiece and microphone when all of the sudden he started rushing toward me and bumping into everyone in his path. I'm not sure what I really said...all I remember is that he called me an art fair virgin, I said that I was nervous and felt vulnerable and compared in to being naked in my booth and then he asked me how I was going to celebrate International Doughnut Day and I responded "I guess I'll eat a doughnut." Then we high fived and he threw it back to the studio. Not your average live television interview, but he was a blast.

So...the show started on Friday evening and I fell in love with the whole aspect of showing and selling art. I posted a little note in my booth next to my artist statement (thanks for the idea, GT) which said "This is my VERY first art fair. I would love your feedback." People couldn't have been nicer to me. I felt that my work was very well received. I got a few strange comments like..."Why do you use masking tape? I couldn't buy it because it looks unfinished with that masking tape on it?" "I don't get it. Are we supposed to know these people?" But those comments were far outweighed by comments like "Keep it up" "Beautiful work." "Sweet and refreshing."

Two women cried and lots of women claimed to get goosebumps. ( sister cried 4 or 5 times because she was proud, but I think it is just because she is pregnant.) Their reaction wasn't because the work was so outstanding. I know it's not. It's simple, but some people just get it. They "get" that were supposed to look at the artwork with the forgotten photographs of mothers holding their newborns, of a single woman in a field of flowers, of a happy family in simpler times and be reminded of distant memories or emotions that may they might have tucked away. I didn't really know that there was a true theme to my work until I started working on my artist's statement last week.

This is what I came up with...

"My approach to my art is purely explorational. As a self-taught artist, I learn a little bit more about my process and myself with each work that I create. I’m always eager to see how my own feelings and emotions are revealed in the multiple layers of the final piece. The imagery I choose to use often references family or nature and reinforces the importance of these things in my life.

I work with found papers and vintage imagery including antique books and lost photographs, as well as various forms of media including acrylic, oil pastel and pencil. Beginning with a blank canvas, the collected elements, although dissimilar, come together to tell a story through the various layers.

My hope is that the viewer finds their own personal meaning in each collage. Whether it is a simple word or an obscure image, each work tugs at forgotten memories and serves as a reminder of their own life experiences."

This was a wonderful life experience for me and I hope that it is only the beginning. Thanks to all of my family and friends who came down to visit me during the show. I appreciate all of your support and well wishes. Our fair neighbors from Boulder couldn't get over the amount of people that stopped to talk to us. I don't think a 15 minute period went by that we didn't have someone stop to say hello. The cooler full of beer in the back of the booth did the trick!

I promised to take some pictures, but I didn't take too many...

Picture of the booth display with fresh flowers courtesy of my bff's at Highwoods Properties.
A closeup shot of the right side of the booth. I had an ugly electrical panel just behind the booth, so a straight on booth shot wasn't possible.

Sorry, but I have no photo cropping software at home. This above picture was called She Would Bloom and it's the one that made one women tear up. She was so sweet!

This is a 16x20 that I really liked, but it didn't sell. I loved the greens and yellows and the vintage picture of the family in the swimming suits. Apparently nobody else liked it as much as I did. Perhaps I will find a place for it at my own home.

Here is a full shot of Prayer for a Little Home. I could have sold this one 50 times, but my mother-in-law knows a good thing when she sees it!

This is another 16x20 called No Longer Broken. It didn't sell either, which is OK because I sort of hated to part with it so soon. I just did it Thursday night and I really liked it. I think it was too bright for others.


kerrijones said...


I am so incredibly proud of you. Your unbeliveable vision and love of art is going to take you very far. I cannot wait until you become famous and I can say to people who admire you, Oh Yeah, Cassie Lane is one of my best friends! Keep up the good work and forget those people who just don't get it!

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

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