Friday, June 1, 2012

Odds and Ends

Just a few "catch-ups" on things that I couldn't post when my computer was having its meltdown...

The Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen sponsored a one-day seminar with Arizona gallery owner Jason Horejs, which I attended a couple of months ago.  Jason is the owner and director of Xanadu Gallery in  Scottsdale, AZ, and the author of Starving to Successful: The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting into Galleries and Selling More Art.  This was the subject of the seminar, and each participant received a copy of the book as well as a CD containing the art business-organizing software Art Tracker.

 The seminar was well organized and packed with valuable information, and Jason is an entertaining speaker.  It was enlightening to hear about this subject from a gallery owner's viewpoint.  I don't know about you, but it doesn't seem to me that a lot of gallery owners are very forthcoming with practical advice concerning how an artist should approach them for representation.  Of course, the seminars, books, software, etc., are profitable ventures for him, beyond just sales from the gallery.  And if he is an able entrepreneur, then who better to go to for business advise? And no, I'm not being paid to advertise for Xanadu Gallery, I'm just passing this along in case you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these seminars.

Other than his information about how to get your work into a gallery, there were a couple of things Jason said that stood out in my mind.  They both have to do with treating your art career as a real job, not just a hobby.  He commented on the fact that many artists' families don't see it this way; they feel free to stroll into your studio at any time, interrupting you, asking for your help with something they're doing, or whatever.  Boy, did this ever resonate with everyone!  Apparently it's a common and widespread phenomenon- and I thought it was just me.  I could feel a long group therapy session in the making here.

The second piece of advice concerned the utter necessity of getting distractions out of your studio.  I'm paraphrasing here, but I believe his words were something like, "... and by distractions, I can sum them all up in one word- the computer."   He stressed the importance of not letting the flow of your work be derailed by emails, or by all the tantalizing eye candy on the internet. I know how easy it is for me to start out saying I'm only going to look up this one thing, only to have it turn into an hour-long click-fest. He told us that he designated one hour at the end of the day for answering emails- and I'm pretty sure he gets a lot more email than I do. (However, it's Saturday morning as I sit here typing this... which doesn't negate the fact that I totally agree with him on this point.)

As promised, here are some photos from the recent opening of the "Figuratively Speaking" exhibit, a three-person show of figurative work by Jan Boone, Suzanne Fisher, and me.  The gallery is in the offices of the Global Novations consulting firm in Cincinnati (Sharonville), OH.  Curator Steven Clark did a great job of pulling the pieces together and arranging them to best advantage.  The work of the artists played off of one another well, creating an interesting juxtaposition of styles and media within a common theme.  I didn't take many photos, probably because it was the night before the last day of school, and my brain was fried mush.  I didn't even get a photo of Jan, for which I have to apologize.

  Steven Clark and Suzanne Fisher

pieces by S. Davidson, Jan Boone, S. Davidson

Suzanne Fisher

 S. Davidson, Suzanne Fisher(2)

Jan Boone, Sharmon Davidson

Steven chatting with guests

And last but not least, my most important news is that I finally got a new computer.  As a Mother's Day/ birthday gift, my kids chipped in to help me buy it, we ordered the parts, and this past weekend my son came in from Virginia to build it for me...

... and voila! I'm using it right now.


  1. well that's good that a gallery owner is getting out there & selling the news about how the gallery owners would really like us all to make lots of excellent eminently sell-able art, and how they would like us to be on time and preferably charismatic as well but I think the best advice is Neil Gaiman's "make good art" from his address to the University of the Arts Class 2012
    and it's free!

    1. Oh and thank you for sharing the photos from your show you are all making such good art!

  2. Jason was kind enough to give a condensed version of his seminars to our local art association last year and was super informative about the business of art. His insights were welcome eye openers for a lot of us. The presentation was sans book and CD of course and I was told by another member that his book was an invaluable aid to her. The Art Tracker program sounded intriguing as I have considered a program such as that but most of the programs are rather expensive for my present situation, would be nice to hear if you think it would be worth investing in. Glad the opening got off well and hope the show is successful for you!

  3. Mo Crow- thanks for your comments, and for sharing the link to Neil Gaiman's speech. I had read quotes from it, but had never seen the whole thing. I enjoyed it immensely, and agreed with him almost entirely. I don't mean to imply in any way that Jason Horejs's advice is the answer to anything except, perhaps, how to get into a gallery if that is your present goal. Thanks again!

    1. John Foley of Imagine Gallery in England is the perfect gallery owner he is passionate and kind and has a great eye
      I dream of one day being invited to show there but until then I have a few galleries here in Sydney who show my work when I get it out which always takes years because I work so very slowly. Those gallery owners have become good friends & that's what it's about really like anything in life a good relationship is built with love, trust and honour and it's a two way street.

  4. I can certainly appreciate the sentiment that the time we spend creating is hobby-ing... It's a difficult but so necessary transformation to realizing that it is our work, what we do, who we are. Thanks for sharing - love the exhibit photos!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.