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Art Marathon

Sept 6 will be a big day.  I have the First Saturday Arts Market from 11 to 6, then that evening I am in the group show Fall 2014 Kaleidoscope at Heights Art Studios & Gallery.

The First Saturday Arts Market was the first thing I applied to back in April of this year.  I’d wanted to be in the June event but September was the first available open spot for me other than July when I’d be on vacation.  Looking back, there is no way I would have had my tent and display ready, much less any reasonable inventory to sell.

That day will be a test of a number of things:

  • Do I have everything on my art fair take-along list?
  • How well does the outdoor exhibition gallery (aka big tent) set up and tear down?
  • Does everything fit into my car?
  • How do my encaustics handle the peak summer heat?
  • What art pieces interest people, and which don’t?
  • What’s the reaction to my pricing?

The preparations for this have been a really fun experience.  Not wanting to pay big bucks for professional display panels that wouldn’t fit into my car, I opted to make my own.  While I think they look pretty good, I way underestimated the time and effort this activity took.  And everything has been a new adventure:

  • Researching & designing my own label/price tags
  • Settling on standard pricing
  • Inventory control
  • Planning exhibit arrangement
  • Publicity

The experience of getting my tent together also helped me achieve my major goal of making my application for the Bayou City Art Festival next March.  The submission deadline was this week and they needed five photos:  four of representative artwork, and the fifth being of your booth as you would be displaying it seven months from now.  The art photos I had, but for the booth shot I needed to have all the display panels done, and enough inventory on-hand to fill up the walls.  I’ll find out in October if I made it or not.  But in the meantime I will have gained the outdoor exhibit experience from the Heights art market.

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Artistic debut weekend – WOW!

In a nutshell:  Friday night I had one piece in Houston’s Lawndale Art Center Big Show which I sold within 5 minutes of my walking in the door. Two more pieces were at Archway Gallery‘s 6th juried exhibition Saturday night, one was already sold by the time I got there for the reception, and the other took 3rd place.  I could not be more thrilled!

“Song of the whippoorwill” my very first showing, with my mentor Salli Babbitt at Lawndale Art Center’s Big Show
“Mannequins at the leatherbar: It’s starting to get crowded”, at Archway Gallery’s 6th Juried Exhibition benefiting Houston Audubon (Juror: Mark Larsen)
“Winged Guilloché” at Archway Gallery’s 6th Juried Exhibition. 3rd place!!!

And here is the YouTube video of Archway Gallery’s jurist Mark Larsen announcing my win:


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My artistic debut

Via the Visual Arts Alliance I learned of the Lawndale Art Center’s call for entries.  Figuring it was worth a shot I paid my $30 entry fee and submitted three diverse pieces.

Their entry form said that if you hadn’t been called by 6pm Friday that you had not been selected.  By 5:20 I was already moving into the grief ‘acceptance’ stage, but 10 minutes later I got the call:  I was in!!!!   Whoop!  Whoop!

Of the three I submitted, the jurist selected what I considered my strongest piece, based on feedback from the VAA.

So my artistic debut will be at the Lawndale Art Center’s BIG SHOW Opening Reception on Friday, July 11, 2014 at 6:30pm.

Dear Joel,

Congratulations on having your work selected for The Big Show at Lawndale Art Center. We received 981 submissions by 382 artists. Guest Erin Elder, Visual Art Director of Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, selected 115 works by 106 artists for this year’s exhibition and that includes you!