September 11th, 2021. It was a sunny Saturday in September. The event took place from 4:00 to 7:00 pm covering a convenient time of evening light and the happy hour.
It was an art show: a solo exhibit, a happy hour, a studio tour, a shop and a bit of a party. There was wine, Bellini and lots of snacks. On a large white wall hung 10 small watercolors of different beloved foods. In the hallway hung 4 paintings. In the bedroom hung 2 large oil paintings. In the living space hung 6 fine art paintings (3 watercolor, 3 oils). The whole show revolved around my current theme of gratitude. In the paintings the foods/objects/people were ordinary, placed in juxtaposition with fancy surroundings. In middle-class/upper-class America we take so many ordinary things for granted. I want to express the need to have gratitude and to use what we have for the good and empowerment of others.
My studio/apartment. One of the historic buildings in downtown Tacoma has recently become my home/studio. It was the perfect place to have an art show because of the tall ceilings and the natural light provided by large old windows. Studio shows are an intimate way for people to view art. It gives viewers a peek into the artist's life and practice. I also didn't have to transport my work to a far away gallery (or share my cut with anyone).
I had never had a solo show. The art in my arsenal had never been shown off all together. Knowing that people are much more likely to buy what they can see in person and that art should be shared/appreciated regardless of monies-- I decided to host a show myself. As an emerging artist, I'm constantly having to drum up my own hype. The art world is strange. It is a mystery to the uninitiated (both the artist and the viewer/collector). Therefore, it has made sense to have my own event if no one will have one for me.
Thank to several powerful forces when invited, people came. At the start of 2021 I had begun creating and fostering a healthy mailing list. This was my first go-to for invitees. I also was a part of the Spaceworks Business Cohort program and therefore when I reached out, they happily did a promo of my event on their Instagram page. I also did promos on my Instagram. I hung posters in the building, welcoming the residents to come check out the event on the fifth floor. The last powerful resource was my personal community--- my church family. Through posters and the email chain, I invited the church. (Thank you everyone from all these groups who made it to the event. You are my heroes. Thanks to you the event was bustling from start to finish).
photos by: Phil Lewis
I will happily host this show again (same or different art). And I will happily transport this art somewhere else if you want to host me. I'm always on the hunt for new opportunities. Art should be shared and seen. It inspires us and brings us joy. Please reach out if you want to do a pop up with me or have any other related ideas etc. (253)-495-7991. If you missed this event and want to be aware of the next: join my mailing list.