It's hard for you to really get the sense that this is an old envelope, with frayed edges and a real postage stamp in the corner, because you're viewing it secondhand, through your computer screen. It's not even appearing in it's true size for you. I love being able to share my artwork online, but I do regret that we never really see each other's work as it truly is. The experience of standing in the same room with that very piece of artwork just can't be replaced by any type of online image.
I was in San Francisco this summer and happened to wander into an art gallery featuring a special exhibition of Salvador Dali originals. I have looked at his work often, on websites, but to stand in that gallery, surrounded by Dali's creative outpourings, drawn with his own hand, seeing them large as life... was an incredibly moving moment for me. I had a similar experience a few days later, when I stumbled into Daniel Merriam's gallery in Sausalito.
|Adagio hanging in the ADC gallery, Cincinnati|
There is a downside to sending your work to all these exhibitions, however. Shipping artwork is outrageously expensive, and there is sometimes damage to the work, like chips in the frame, or tears in the paper backing. And there is the anxiety of waiting for your babies to come safely back home again.
My piece from this last CPSA show came back with a four-inch label right on the glass (museum acrylic), leaving residue that took me almost an hour to remove. The other drawback to having one's work hanging in a lengthy exhibition, is that you can't display it yourself. I had somebody ask me when they might be able to see the original Adagio, because every time they visited the gallery, it was away at a show!
|Pencil Art Society Exhibition in Quebec|
But I still think the pros outweigh the cons, and I'll continue to send work to as many shows as I can manage.
|Of course, the giant redwood forest was like stepping INSIDE a painting!|
How about yourself? What are your feelings about entering exhibitions? Why do you do it?
And what have your experiences been with viewing artwork in person, rather than online?