Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the surprise of de-installing an art exhibit

De-installing an art exhibit, particularly one that's been running for several months, can be a strange experience for the artist. When you haven't seen works for a period of time, it's always a bit of a shock to view them anew. It's a strange out-of-body experience with the self telling the self, "I did that. I made that. What do I really think of that?" And so with that strange set of emotions, there is also satisfaction at having shown and sadness at seeing an exhibit come to an end. For a short time, you were an exhibiting artist and now that the display is down, what does that make you?

It's Shauna Lee Lange Art Advisory's experience that de-installation is also almost always fraught with technical de-hanging problems. They can't find the maintenance man with the keys, the gallery director is absent, you need to come back and sign paperwork, it's the gallery attendant's first day, the works are not in the condition you left them, and then there's always the nasty business of attending to any outstanding commission payments. Uuughh. What's worse, is then there you are, carting your little box of wares out to the car like you did on the day you were fired from the corporate job you hated before you even became an artist.

Like life, art exhibits are cyclical with definable stages. But remember, an artist exhibits to share a vision and to sell. And when one day, you go to do your de-install, and shockingly and surprisingly you find some of the works actually SOLD - it's such a joy and a great confirmation. Recently, we even had the pleasure of meeting a collector who purchased small pencil works inspired by antique printers blocks. And when the collector sees the beauty you see and the collector's sense of aesthetics clicks with yours, whew! It's like you can finally exhale - like you've been holding your breath and now you can relax, go back to the studio, and start all over again.

Image: "Basket" mixed media pencils and pastels by Shauna Lee Lange 2006..