The Billboard Art Project Breaks ART BOUNDARIES in Duluth, MN
Is it fruitless to even think of creating something fast to get into a show?

Make Work YOU WANT TO MAKE and then... THE WORK Will Find a SHOW

Harriete,
I have spent the afternoon reading Ask Harriete.  Often times, I see a show I feel my work would fit into...due to the subject matter, title, etc., however, there is NOT enough time to create a piece and get it submitted in time .  After reading what you say in the Etsy Recycler's Guild interview of Harriete Estel Berman interview (from Etsy Recycler's Guild  , I am surprised to see, that you most likely enter shows after the work is done. 

Or as you once told me, you shop the work around in order to find an exhibition space.  So, what can you offer to those of us who have the problem?  

Mary Anne Enriquez

Harriete Estel Berman standing near Measuring Compliance at the exhibition ManufracturedbstandingThis issue often causes artists and makers to feel overwhelmed.  Your schedule is already full and then an opportunity arises that would demand even more time. Who can just drop everything and start
                                                    something new?

Although I do make work for some shows (and will show some examples in the next post on ASK Harriete),  I prefer to make work that I want to make based on my long term goals.

I recommend that all artists and makers make the work they want to make.

Measuring Compliance Poster
Measuring Compliance Poster
portrays sculpture by the same title.
Measuring Compliance © 2006
Recycled materials, 3rd grade desk,
3rd grade chair, banners, custom made
straight jacket, yardstick, rulers.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

It is the artist's or maker's responsibility to bring  important or significant ideas to fruition without the dictates of a theme, exhibition or invitation. Maybe these ideas are big, expensive, demanding, or even scary. So what if it takes a year or more to finish because you have to put it down, work on your day job or other art work that makes money. Just keep working with the big goals in mind.

If you wait for a show invitation to start making something big or important, you may never get around to creating significant artwork. Too often, I have heard from artists expressing disappointment that they didn't  get invited to be part of a particular exhibition even though they had been thinking about making something that would have been "perfect" for the show.  Don't wait for a show to prompt the making . . .  start making.  By waiting to make something "for a show" ... they lost an opportunity.

The emphasis is on making work that is challenging, significant, and stands on its own . . .  not making work that fits into a show in a few weeks.   Make work that you will be proud of for a lifetime.  Sooner or later a show or some other opportunity will turn up that is right for your work -- not the other way around.

Alyssa Endo working on Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:
I just finished the project Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin.
It took the better part of five years. I often had to put it away until  I had time or help available to work on it.

Penci lBrotheres Pencils in Pick Up Your Pencils Begin by Harriete Estel Bermans582bellcurve

Most often, the bigger or high risk projects aren't necessarily the ones  that will sell, but they may become the "show stopper" that establishes your reputation years later.


Close up of Pencils fabrication Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin by Harriete Estel Berman Here is my real life example.    The  day before I finished Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin, a major magazine emailed about writing an article on a topic highly relevant to this work! Wow!!!!! They need photos of the installation, so now I need to find an exhibition space.

This wasn't magic. I have also been working on documenting the construction of this artwork, writing about it on my web site, Facebook, my blog, Crafthaus and other social networking sites.

Website for Harriete Estel Berman The editor had become aware of this project from my web site. I've had a link on my HOME PAGE ever since I started the project.

Apparently editors and writers spend some of their time "trolling"  the internet for ideas and new work. Marthe Le Van, editor for Lark Books talked about this during her presentation for the Professional Development Seminar. A lesson to all of us to keep making your work, documenting your progress, never give up...steady progress wins the race!

MAKE WORK YOU WANT TO MAKE and then... find an exhibition space.

Anyone know of an exhibition space for Pick UP Your Pencils, Begin?

I'd love to hear your ideas! There are 3-4 weeks before the article goes to press.

Harriete

You can see the documentation of Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin on my web site.

NEXT POSTS on ASK Harriete:

  • Is it fruitless to even think of creating something fast to get into a show?
  • How Do You Find Exhibition Opportunities For Finished Work?

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