Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/22/2005: "Must the Show Go On?"

For reasons beyond anyone’s control I’ve been asked if I mind moving the show. It's a bigger cafe that gets more traffic but I’d be limited to one wall so I’ll have to cut some pieces. That also means a couple other artists will have work up (that's been there for awhile)- I remember my last 2-person show; everyone was ooing and ahing and buying her work and ignoring mine...a couple friends came up to me and said "I'd like to buy your painting on the end there" and I'd have to say "THAT ONE ISN'T MINE! I swore I'd never do it again) I’ve also been told no outside food or wine. “Welcome to my opening! Pay for your refreshments over there!”

Anyway, I’m starting to ask myself, what really makes this an opening then? (aside from the fact I’ll be there feeling awkward and unable to get drunk!) Plus, if someone wants to buy a piece later in the month they’ll have to hike several blocks up the street to the JAHC gallery to pay, which has very limited hours- so if nothing sells at the “opening” then it probably won’t sell at all.

To be honest though, I have *very* low expectations for sales. I hate thinking like a business person but choices have to be made and bills have to get paid. I mean, which pieces should I cut? I could cut the 30x40 painting of the fiddler in the yellow field which is the highest priced item and least likely to sell because in that space I could hang 2-3 smaller, less expensive pieces that have a better chance of selling. I hate that I have to think about things like that!

On the brighter side, if something does sell I only pay 15% plus I get to use their mailing list and bulk permit, but it’s starting to feel less like a solo show and more like a chance to hang up some work where it will get seen for awhile, which is nice too I guess. But if that’s the case, I almost feel like skipping the whole “opening” ordeal. I just can't bring myself to email all those people again.

Replies: 3 Comments

on Wednesday, June 22nd, Joan said

What happens if you say, "Yes, I do mind. I would like to stay with the original plan,"?

On the other hand, your whole ordeal with this seems to be a perfect example of "life happening while we're making plans."

Either way, it seems like the nuts and there will be pros and cons to both.

Not much of advice to go either way. Guess you just have to trust your gut and go with the punches. Oh, I guess that's how life is anyway.

Good luck with your decision and may you find peace.

on Wednesday, June 22nd, Elise said

Oh, glad that you left a comment Joan, that reminds me I still have the T-shirt design to work out. Do you have any photos of the actual popcorn factory? Would it have an interesting or a profile that people could easily identify?

Oh, and I talked to the organizer tonight after work. My choices were to have the July 1 show at the new local or wait until August 5th. I decided to wait until August 5th. I just *really* don't like sharing wall space with other artists unless it's a group show.
(I know I sound like a prima donna but I feel strongly about this, my fragile ego just can't take it)...

on Thursday, June 23rd, Joan said

I'll try to get some pictures to you as soon as I can. I don't think it is too interesting, but I may be surprised.

Glad you could come to an agreement that was workable for all. Enjoy your family!