So lately the first question I ask myself regarding what show I might want to enter is – where is the show? In other words – what is the venue?
One of the reasons I got burned out sending my work out around the country is that it takes a lot of time and, lets face it, money, to ship your quilts. I’ll talk about that a little bit in another post. Suffice it to say that over the past couple of years I chose to only enter local shows. That way I can just pop in the car and drop off the artwork. Fortunately there are many venues available in most cities and larger towns like mine. Lots more than there used to be.
There is a very active quilt guild in Raleigh that hosts a members show every other year. It’s held at a local college in their gymnasium. I have to say that they do a lovely job of hanging it. It’s mostly well lit and fairly roomy and I’m always amazed at the calibre of talent displayed there.
Shops and Cafes:
Whether it’s a coffee shop or a fine restaurant, many a local eatery will work with the local arts community to hang work on the walls. If you see a place like this – ask to talk to the owner and find out who is in charge of the art exhibits. Ask things like, is the artwork insured (usually not), how long does the work stay up, do you have a contract? How long in advance do you schedule exhibits?
Community Art Centers:
My town has a beautiful new art center with two dedicated art galleries. They also have another arts and history center and also show artwork on the walls of each community center and the town hall. Cool eh? They exhibit solo shows (I had one at a community center), group member shows, and special exhibits. These are usually booked up to a year in advance. Find out what the process involves. It’s usually a portfolio application process. The Professional Art Quilt Alliance – South (their show Whimsy has a deadline of March 1!) exhibits both our members exhibit and our internationally juried show in these art centers and the sites are beautiful.
Raleigh boasts a very happening art scene. A newer arts district has sprung up over the last couple of years. I’ve not applied to any of the regular commercial galleries. If you want to be regularly represented by a gallery, you need to have a solid body of work and a regular production schedule. I’m lacking the latter at this point in my life while I still have kidlets at home. I am also a member of the co-op gallery Visual Art Space and have had work there a number of times in both juried and non-juried member shows. They also have reserved walls at the front of the gallery for featured artists and I did that as well. My suburban town has several smaller galleries and I’ve had work in them off and on as well as a solo show there.
If you know how to get into one, let me know. Being shown in a museum is a big dream for me. Of course – I need to make a LOT more work before I feel that I have something worth saving forever. That isn’t a self-depreciating-lack-of-confidence kind of remark. I like the work I do now. I just don’t think it is stuff that will hold up design-wise down through the ages.
I’ll go on in my next post about what kind of shows each of these venues have.