"Please join me at my first Art Walk showing at the Greenleaf Gallery, 212 N Laura St, this Wednesday, May 6 (across the street from the new library). I’ll be there with 20 other local photographers and artists from 5 to 9pm, rain or shine. Drop by to say hi and have a glass of wine." How did I get into the gallery you ask? It's an interesting story and shows the power of networking, leaning on your past, and having a website. When I attended the Riverside Arts Market 2 weeks ago I met an interesting photographer, Bill Yates. Bill and I hit it off immediately, being that he was a graduate of RISD same as my daughter, and his wife was a big fan of Diana's on Project Runway. Bill and I got together that week to explore some ideas and view each others work. Bill is setting up a new gallery called Flat File (more on that later). Bill also mentioned that he was having an opening at a gallery downtown and invited me to attend.
The gallery is named Greenleaf and located right across the street from the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art and the new library. It is in at the center of the art district in Jacksonville, if there was such a thing. Greenleaf Gallery is run by a small group of artists named Southlight, and they found this great space temporarily, and invited about 20 other artists to show for the opening. Little did I know that one of the Southlight artists is an architect named Michael Dunlap who is also a very accomplished photographer. Dorian and Michael worked together at her first place of employment (MacDonald and Gustafson Architects) over 30 years ago.
I spoke to Michael and he asked me if I was still doing my computer things. I pulled out my card and said no, I'm embarking on a new career. Michael was a bit surprised and said he would take a look at my work on my website and we might talk later. I received an email from Michael the next day and he told me to come in during the week so we could talk. When we met that Monday he said he wanted me to show some prints for Art Walk in May and June. BINGO!
This validates some important lessons for me:
- Get out and network with other photographers. You can't get anywhere through isolation.
- Draw on your past contacts and associations. Everyone comes from a unique background and situation. Use it.
- Your website is your calling card. Someone can spend 2 minutes browsing your site and determine whether they want anything to do with you. Make sure it represents who you are and the work you do.
I think this is going to be a turning point for me for my future as an artist. I'm excited about it. I'll let you know how it goes, right now I need to print and frame 9 prints...and my desktop computer's power supply just died!