Monday, August 7, 2017
Prepping for a show!
Kay had a huge solo show Vestiges at PCT Gallery and Penn College and she showed me all about how to pack and label everything, we talked a lot about what is expected from a professional artist in regards to packaging. Also what a huge difference it makes when you are sending your artwork to a gallery and you are not in control of who unpacks your work and how it is displayed.
First we spent a lot of time unpacking each piece from her storage, checking everything was ready for display. I hand stitched some minor holes in some pieces, added new hanging wires and hand sewed new labels on every piece that included the title and year it was made. Once that was done we measured and inputed all the pieces into a spreadsheet so that Kay knows for future shows and sales the exact size of everything, where it was at the time.
We then hung each individual piece on the wall, photographed it and printed the image in black and white. I folded each piece trying to avoid as little creasing as possible so that the art pieces wouldn't need steaming when received then using thick plastic sheet packing wrapped each piece and sealed with folded tape loops allowing for each opening and hopefully minimal damage to packing materials. I then taped the image of how the piece should look along with a title label. It sounded at first like a lot of extra steps, however this ensured that the gallery on the other side knew exactly what pieces went with what, how they looked and if they were unsure of art piece titles they could check the packaging AND the hand sewn able on each piece. It also meant when we got all the pieces shipped back to us at thinned of the summer it would be fast and easy for us to store and have an organized inventory of all of Kay's artworks.
One of the biggest take aways I took for this whole process is how important is it to be multi talented and organized as a freelance fine artist. Doing solo shows does not always result in multiple sales and usually all you get is a packing budget offered from the Gallery, so looking at the big picture you could just break even financially from the show but you are also getting a lot of exposure having a show in a beautiful space and adding experience to your list of shows and resume. SO it is so important that you find ways to save, i.e packing your own art pieces, using supplies that can be reused and doing it right from the beginning so that you don't have to keep investing in the boring stuff like packing plastic sheets! It really opened my eyes as to how important it is to think through every step of what makes an artist. You can't just make beautiful thought provoking art, you have to be business minded and be willing to make sacrifices like putting in a lot of hours work just to get your work out there and seen!
I hope this post informed you guys and your work as much as it did for me!