Saturday, November 24, 2012

Planning an Exhibition

Entry to the old cold storage room now refurbished as a gallery
Mighty Tieton is an unique artist community 15 miles outside the city of Yakima, Washington. As the co-chair of Exhibitions for the Contemporary QuiltArt Association, I've scheduled an exhibition in their unique gallery space. Today I visited the space-a remarkable gallery created out of an old fruit processing warehouse. The space where our exhibit will hang was a large cold storage locker complete with huge refrigerator-like doors through which they probably drove forklifts filled with pallets of fresh Yakima valley produce.  Once you get through the door, however, the space is transformed into a wonderful gallery space with soaring ceilings, high-tech lighting and a wire hanging system which will allow us to hang quilts or art-cloth throughout the interior of the gallery, rather than just from the walls.

Currently, in a second "cold storage" space, they have set up an exhibit of Trimpin's sound studio art. Originally from Bavaria, Trimpin's now lives in Seattle. His artwork combines music and sculpture, often using computers to play the instruments. He has exhibited in numerous prestigious galleries and museums, including Seattle Art Museum, the Experience Music Project, Frye Art Museum and many more.

In yet another space in the warehouse, there was the start of a large (approximately 20' x30') felted piece, started when Janice Arnold had one of her incredible felted tents on display (still up in yet another gallery space!). We may even get the opportunity to work on felting this unfinished piece.

I took high-res photos of the space which I'll post after I return home and am able to process them.

As one of my artist goals, I want to get to the place where I can have a solo exhibition of my art. I'm not there yet... but as one step towards this goal, I decided that volunteering as Exhibitions co-chair would help me gain valuable experience which I can use in my future solo shows. Since the time I started working on CQA's exhibitions, I've learned a great deal. How to find potential venues; what to include in an information packet to the prospective gallery; talking with gallery representatives; working out exhibition details; how to publicize the show; hanging an exhibit; putting on an opening event; working with the gallery on sales; and finally, taking the show down.

More to come on the process of putting on exhibitions. Any secrets you have to share would be greatly appreciated!

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