Excitement, validation, elation, these are just a few of the emotions we feel when our artwork is chosen for a juried show.
I really remember the first time my work was selected for a show at Chicago’s Women Made Gallery titled “From Sham to Shame.” King George was one of my first artists’ books and my teacher, Tess Sinclair, recommended that I enter. When I got the “congratulations” email, I couldn’t believe it. Somehow having my work chosen was validation that my work was “real” art. It had to be, since a gallery liked it, right? I think I called everyone in my family – twice.
I also remember the first “thanks but no thanks” response that I got. Wow, was that a let down. Ironically, it was from the gallery I’m about to tell you about. In hindsight I understand that: 1. it was not my strongest work; 2. sometimes the work you submit doesn’t fit with the juror’s vision; and 3. sometimes there are more entries than the gallery has room for.
In the interest of full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Laura Russell, owner of 23 Sandy Gallery. She taught the first book arts class that I ever took and is largely responsible (together with a great experience at Donna Seager Gallery’s annual The Art of the Book show) for my becoming a book artist. I also love her artists’ books, especially, Colfax Day and Night. And, I appreciate her generosity in both time and enthusiasm in helping artists be successful. Laura has given guest lectures to the Bay Area Book Artists (and I’m sure any book arts organization who has asked) and taken the time to help me with my business plan when I was studying for my BFA.
I recently emailed Laura asking if I could interview her for my blog about the jurying process and, by coincidence, on the same day, Laura published a blog entry of her own on exactly that subject: Behind the Scenes of Jurying an Exhibition.
And, while I’m at it, let me point you to some of my other favorite blog posts by Laura:
How to Get Your Artwork into a Gallery
Photographing Your Artist Books – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Have you entered your work into a show yet? How did it feel to get accepted? How did it feel to get a no thanks letter?
Posted in Art, Artists' Books, Handmade Books
Tagged 23 Sandy Gallery, Bay Area Book Artists, Colfax Day and Night, Donna Seager, entering juried shows, From Sham to Shame, Ginger Burrell, King George, Laura Russell, Tess Sinclair, Woman Made Gallery, www.gingerburrell.com
I’ve been fascinated by the possible uses of polymer clay in artists books since I first used it for the jesters hat on my artists’ book King George.
My next use of polymer clay was as candy piece covers for my artists’ book Love/Chocolate:
Now, in preparation for teaching a class through Palo Alto Art Center, I’ve made sample books with polymer clay covers, decorative medallions and entire books made only from polymer clay. I’ve found it to be a flexible and interesting medium and one that allows me to create almost anything I can imagine for artists’ books.
The first book, Tropical Dreams, has a polymer clay medallion mounted on the cover of an accordion book. The clay medallion was made using a series of fondant (like for cake icing) molds and then glazed with a satin glaze after baking.
The second book, Lace Journal, was made by debossing the lace pattern into the clay using a pasta press and then emphasizing the pattern with fluid chalks. The polymer clay panels are then glued onto a pamphlet stitched book made of Rives BFK.
The last book, Tea at Grandmother’s, is made entirely of polymer clay panels. After marbling two colors of purple with some green clay, I cut out 6 panels and baked them. I stamped the black images onto the clay using Staz-On ink and baked the panels again. To make the images part of the panels I painted them with liquid clay, which turned translucent after a third baking. Finally, I cut black panels the same size as the original marbled panels and embedded, between the sets of panels, two black ribbons the length of the book. The black ribbon acts as hinges for the finished accordion and went through the final baking process just fine.
There are so many more techniques to play with, I can hardly wait! I think a 5 week class is going to fly by and leave us wanting more time to play with the clay. If you’re interested, the 5-week class runs on Wednesdays from July 6th to August 3rd, you can sign up for the class through Palo Alto Art Center by going to their website: http://enjoyonline.cityofpaloalto.org/Activities/ActivitiesDetails.asp?ProcessWait=N&aid=16471 or by calling 650-463-4900.