Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Need A Party

With the month coming to an end it was time to finalize the details of the Half Moon Creek Anchorage Gallery closing. I’ll be picking up the few remaining pieces on Tuesday from the Gallery. Yes, Half Moon will be opening a Gallery in Palmer within the coming months, hopefully by May 1. But until then I’m bummed. Their closing has been much more depressing than I care to admit. I really owe it to the girls at Half Moon for getting my sculpture career off the ground eight years ago when Chris (one of the owners) noticed my metal work at an outdoor fair and told me about their new Gallery that was soon to open. This one gallery enabled me to sell enough of my artwork to more than pay the bills, buy more steel and become a real live working artist. Because of Half Moon I was able to unplug my mega-graphics systems network and plug in a plasma cutter and welder. My hands finally had a chance to create art and not punch a keyboard and draw with a mouse. Before their Anchorage Gallery opened, I was only a weekend art fair warrior, selling my metal garden art at craft fairs and events less than part-time. My 20+ year old successful graphic design business generated a terrific income, though I couldn’t go anywhere with out a laptop, Palm Pilot (yesterday’s iPhone) or a portfolio stuffed with client proofs strapped to my body. There were impossible deadlines, corporate to-do’s, demanding clients, new media to stay ahead of and no real hands-on artmaking in sight. I was thrilled to make the switch from Graphics Girl to Carhartt wearing Flame Chick. Sure, my income took a 50% hit in the beginning, but my mental and physical health immediately improved –just ask Daddy-O!

Over the last eight years, I’ve gotten spoiled on how I sell my sculptures locally. I make them, drive them literally down the street to Half Moon and they sell them. They send me a nice check BY THE 10th of EACH and EVERY month. They filter the weird customers, put up with fussy customers, call me with special requests and commissions, they happily package, they carefully ship and they will even pick up a sculpture if Daddy-O has the truck that day. I’ve been in a bit of a funk and didn’t want to admit it was because of the closing, but it is. Karmatically I know how dangerous these “lows” can be for an artist, so I’m pulling straight out of it with a PARTY. Yes, tonight we’re throwing the first Art Coffee Soiree downtown. I’ve requested artists from our informal coffee group bring retro-themed* appetizers and BEVERAGES, artist made gifts for a Chinese auction and everyone is also bringing Artist Trading Cards to share.

*for the retro themed appetizers think fun frilly toothpicks, deviled eggs, spam, cheese balls, mini marshmallows, bbq meat balls, Little Smokies, Jell-O dishes gone wild, melon balls, potato chips, mixed nuts, cup cakes, popcorn balls or anything wrapped in bacon or dipped in hot Velveeta!

I’m already feeling a l i t t l e better, I just was notified that I won an Amazon Gift certificate from Lesley Riley’s Art Fabric Blog (via Judy’s Painted Threads Blog) and I know just what I’m buying!! In our house, food really is Love...

10 comments:

Christine--RHP said...

bummer!! hopefully the break will prove productive and the new gallery will be more awesome than before!

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

Sorry about the gallery closing, but you know what they say about one door closing...
The party sounds like great fun, enjoy yourself!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

sh!t, a wonderful place like that closing???? dang...

ang said...

what a brilliant idea cindy party up!!!! I know its hard i'm travelling a similar part p/t graphics p/t ceramics and everything else i can squeeze in between, i've had a big slump in work since sept really its just starting to pick up now but i chose to spend more time in the studio and just make stuff, make lists for more stuff, look at how i can plan for shows this year find more galleries....if nothing else i've filled the time creatively and i'm happy with the new batch of work...so i guess its all how you approach the next batch of time before their new gallery opens and then you'll be flat out just keeping up!! and you could have a holiday!!

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

Party on! There are lots of galleries out there, go get 'em!! I was telling Wesley today that I am going to develop bipolar disorder from the highs and lows of being an artist. Today was a way up high, but boy have I had my share of pity parties! Chin up, your work is brilliant, they will come :)

Peter said...

Party sounds good, not only as gallery blues therapy, but as an active and fun way of staying warm (I guess you are still very much in winter mode up your way!).

I was pretty down to it in the middle of our winter here, sales basically dried up for me at the Potter's Co-op that was my major outlet for work in ...($60 total sales there one month and $30 another)... We were spurred on by desperation to open our place 4 afternoons a week, and we have actually had a liveable income for the last 4 months of sales from our studio, and Co-op sales have perked up enough to justify me still keeping on there. I'm even starting to have an interest in the business... it was so bad before that it was hard to be bothered to shuffle paper around and do spread sheets. I know that your situation is far different to mine, and your solution will be different, but I write this to say, if good things can happen for us down here, I'm sure they will happen for you.

Sending you every good wish, and happy party thoughts!

Peter, Laura (sleeping.. it's 1am and I am kiln watching), Ginger (who is wildly excited by my nocturnal excursions!

Linda Starr said...

what a great idea having a party, I am sure creative things will come from it and winning something from another blog is the first sign.

cindy shake said...

Aren't these Blogs just the best for lifting the spirits and finding out how much we all have in common!! I so enjoy everyone's comments & support. Thank you all.

...I'm up early and not suffering too much from a WILDLY SUCCESSFUL party last night. I'll post pictures tomorrow...the artwork was incredible and so was the KODIAK BROWN ALE!!! WOW

jimgottuso said...

sorry to hear about the gallery closing... it's a real drag. last year two of the galleries my work was in closed. beautiful crow with moon and stars in the previous post. when i switched from the graphic world to the clay world my demeanor changed dramatically too.

cookingwithgas said...

Tis hard to lose a great place that was so good to the artist- they are HARD to find.
A new door will hopefully open soon!