there is a shift in my sail

I am doing something different this year.  I am returning to my roots, just a bit,  and it's been kind of fun.

When I first started exhibiting my work, I booked out local coffee shops.  For one year, I had twelve coffee shops booked with exhibits in the metro (Twin Cities) and I hung every one.  This helped me with confidence, sales AND exposure.  I even opened up my home once for an exhibit on the main floor.  The walls were covered with my work.  The spare room was the SALE room.  Were you there?  Do you remember this?

I cannot remember when I first was represented by a gallery but I do know it started with the cows at Fanny Garver  (Madison, WI on State Street, at the time).  Next came galleries like the Grand Hand in St. Paul, Chait Galleries in Iowa City and Artifacts (in downtown Bozeman, at the time).  I do know that all of this was working like a well oiled machine before 2008 and sales were really successful.  The REALLY COOL thing about these galleries taking me on was that they basically came to me.  And they were a very good fit for my work.  I will always have strong sentiments and loyalties from working with them.  I loved ALL the owners and felt deeply connected to them.  I trusted them 100%.

The last gallery exhibit I had was in June of 2016 and since then I have been really trying to figure out how to gain an online presence.  Not the easiest thing for an artist who can't seem to ever follow trends.  FORTUNATELY, Deborah Saul picked up my social media 1.5 years ago and has been pouring her heart and soul into this part of my work too.  Bless her heart FOREVER and EVER (even if she stops tomorrow).

So, back to what I am doing differently.  This year, I've had exhibits in retirement homes, church parlors, coffee shops and the antique store? YES! An antique store!  I'll be showing the bison (otherwise known as buffalo) as well as other work there beginning mid-July and I am so excited.  I had a dream about it, actually (if it's half as good as the dream it will be great!)

With these new gigs, I still pay consignment costs and they still fall close to 45-50%.  It was always 50% with galleries.  I mention this because some people really don't know this.  I was always happy to pay galleries for representing me so strongly, selling my work and for even the simplest of things - like paying the sales tax!  Now, I primarily have to do this. With these different types of gigs, now,  these costs are shared between the venues and BIG helpers (and I appreciate these spaces and  I REALLY NEED these helpers)! 

So, still not getting to what's different.  Here goes a stab at it (not in any particular order):
1. I find that these venues attract another kind of crowd and I really like this crowd.  This crowd feels a lot like home. 2. Receptions can be during brunch and I really like my mimosa (and my early bedtime).  3. Clients can take their purchases on the spot and I can fill this new space with another piece. 4. I feel like I can be more personally involved  5. I usually hang the show myself  6. Peter can do his thing and draw names for door prizes.  I love this part SO MUCH.


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