Artventure: Wolfville Part 1

This past year saw many a milestone met in my art career, the most significant being back-to-back solo exhibitions in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

I can’t stress how rare this is.

My pattern since 2006 seems to be securing a solo show about every 18 months.  Receiving a last minute invitation to exhibit at the Acadia University Art Gallery in August/September, when I was already scheduled for a solo show elsewhere this fall, was extremely sweet.  Thankfully, the good people at Gallery ConneXion in Fredericton, NB were able and flexible enough to bump their exhibition dates back so that I could accept Acadia’s invitation.

In addition to feeling like an art-star, there are concrete advantages to showing the same work back-to-back in the same part of the country.  The exhibits were scheduled close enough together that I had Acadia mail the work directly to Fredericton – sparing me one round of return and outgoing shipping costs to eastern Canada.  Savings: approximately $800.00.  Enough to cover one of my return flights back east.

The Acadia show opened mid-August and carried through to the end of September.  The curator, Laurie Dalton, was keen for me to come out and deliver an artist talk and possibly a workshop, but suggested that I come out mid-September when campus life became active again.  This made sense to me and I was agreeable…if somewhat anxious.

Up to this point in my career, I’d always set up the Slim Shady series myself.  I’d arrive several days before the opening, unpack and install the work, and then be present at opening night and/or for an artist talk. The sculptures rely heavily on specific gesture and positioning and having someone other than me install meant that I would need to develop a thorough set-up guide.  I figured instances of my not being present to install a show would most likely increase down the road – I’d  have to create a set-up resource at some point.  Might as well be now.

It took quite some effort to finish the 20 page guide, but nothing feels as good as being prepared.

The set up is quite intensive and takes one person about three, eight-hour days with a little bit of help on the side, four days if plinths need to be cleaned and painted.  I have to admit that although not having to install the work myself was a huge relief, it wasn’t easy to give up control, let someone else install, and not be present to help with any decision-making.  What would the exhibit look like?

I was anxious to find out.

Tomorrow:  Wolfville, NS Part 2

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