03 June 2010

Countdown... Inspired by Exhibit

"To succeed... you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you." ~Tony Dorsett

I am embarking on a creative challenge like no other. And I am worried about its success. Or rather, I am terrified that I will fail.

In less than 75 days I will be attending the Opening Night of my biggest Inspired by... challenge yet.

I will be the solo exhibitor at the Gallery Q for the month of August and September. An honor that I am not taking lightly and that will likely make me sick from worry and angst. {But it is also one of those 'doors of opportunity' that I am always harping about -----------------> so I really cannot ignore my visions of what is on the other side can I?}.

One year ago on June 13th the Gallery Q Artist Cooperative opened in Downtown Stevens Point. I feel fortunate to have garnered the attention of the Founders who came knocking on my door with an offer that I couldn't refuse. This past year has been one of tremendous growth for me. I have met so many wonderful people and been a part of something larger than myself. I have had an opportunity to sell my work for an amazing commission rate and grow my art. I have helped with the events committee and feted many artists who were having their own exhibits, a privilege of membership.

And I was asked repeatedly by the members to mount a show of my own.

{Besame Mucho, Inspired by Gustav Klimt's The Kiss, featuring a Humblebead}

At first, I balked. I had to remind them that I was not an artist like my friend Ann who paints the most beautiful watercolors or my friend Kristin with her vessels of many shapes and sizes. But these people believed in me, and made it hard for me to shake off the 'artist' name badge.

I must be some sort of one note because the first thing that came to mind when asked to pick a theme for my show was "Inspired by..." I mean, I am always doing that on my blog each month, and finding ways to be inspired by my clients or the painting of the month at Art Bead Scene. Actually, I think I owe the talent over at Art Bead Scene for a lot of my fascination with inspiration.

And if you know me at all, you will know that I am the least competitive person around. I love collaborating with others. I love picking their brains and posing questions that get them excited and thinking in new directions. And I especially love it when you can collaborate on art.

{Norma Jean's Pearls, Inspired by Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe screenprints, featuring Jangles}

So, in January, the "Inspired by..." exhibit was born.

Inspired by...The Beginnings

{Les Chants de Fleurs, Inspired by Monet's Water Lilies}

In the spring of 2009 I was asked to participate in the local Arts Walk event. I decided that I should make new jewelry for this in a theme. In keeping with what I had been learning from Art Bead Scene, I thought that it would be cool to have a small exhibit based off Master works of art. I made showstopping necklaces based on Monet's Water Lilies, Warhol's Marilyn Monroe screen prints and Klimt's The Kiss among others {which you can see above}. It was a big hit.

So when I was asked to consider a show of my own, I thought that it would be an interesting twist to do the same, but with local artists. And since art beads are important to me I decided to use one in each piece, having it created just for me if possible.

My original proposal indicated that I would be willing to work with any artist in the Gallery Q who wanted to collaborate. Today I am glad that only 7 of the 30 artists came through. Because I have my hands full.

I told them that I would like to have new work, or at least something that is fresh, from each of them and I would then create jewelry that was inspired by their art using art beads created just for each piece. In my mind I saw at least two pieces for each piece of art. One larger-than-life statement piece and some others that were more affordable.

The artists were excited, and that made me think that anything was possible. But what I discovered is that juggling this many artists is a lot like those guys who would spin plates to keep them from falling. I am spinning the plates as fast as I can. And trying not to drop these delicate things.

I naively thought that if I started in February I would be able to secure my local artists and get in contact with bead artists to start creating so that by the end of May, I would have half of my pieces done. Today, I have not one piece complete. I did start back then, but some of those I contacted that long ago I am still waiting on beads from. I know that life has a funny way of throwing road blocks up, but to say that it is an inconvenience would be an understatement. I have always had a propensity for over stating what and when I could complete something. And this project is no exception. At the beginning of May I was still begging for pictures of the local art so that I could contact a suitable bead artist. But others, like Kerry Bogert and Heather Powers, who were contacted some time ago, were so excited about the outcome of our collaboration that they couldn't contain their enthusiasm and wrote the most passionate posts. {I promise that I will come back to both of these in more depth to come when I introduce you to the artists.}

Did I mention that I have to have all of my artwork at the Gallery Q by the end of July for the gallery committee to hang? Also, did I mention that I hope to have a booklet of all the artists in the show, but I have nothing to even get started with since I am still not sure which artists will be working with me? And just to complicate matters I will be attending a traveling baseball tournament every weekend from now until the end of July? And the first week in August I will be flying to Houston for a trade show for work? And my job...don't even get me started on my job....

Luckily, next week is the Bead & Button show, and this is absolutely it as far as the bead buying goes for this project. {This is likely going to be the most expensive project yet. I do hope that I can let go most of what I create because I must recoup my investment.} I am planning to make a list of any art beads that may be lacking in my arsenal so that I can kick start the process of creating pieces for the show as soon as I come back {right now it is 1:44am and this will be the norm for me for the next 75 days}. I will be meeting many bead artists there. Some, like Melanie at Earthenwoods and glass artist Dora Schubert from Germany will {hopefully!} have beads that we have discussed ready for me. Others I will be discovering as I go.

One thing I do know...if I can pull this off {and it is a big IF!} it is going to be the most impressive collection of my work yet, and I am very excited about it.

I plan to take the next 75 days and tell you of my "Inspired by..." exhibit one piece at a time. I will give you a peek at my inspiration pieces and tell you of the artists that I am working with to create this show. I will share with you the ups and downs of mounting this show with such a limited time frame. I may vent a little along the way. There will certainly be quite a few tears and many sleepless nights, but I promise you I will give you a glimpse into my inspiration. And who knows? Maybe it will even inspire you.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

If you could put on an exhibit of your best creative work, no matter the medium, what would you call it and why? Do tell!

Enjoy the day!


Alexandra said...

Gasp! You are magical.Have angst no more! That first necklace looks JUST LIKE "the kiss."

In everyway....I am sitting here mouth agape.

I think all your work is exceptional, and riveting: but there have been 2 times when, while viewing your pieces, I am left wide eyed.

This is one of those instances.

You have NOTHING to fear, so walk through that door of opportunity.

Deryn Mentock said...

Fantastic, Erin! Your lovely work will inspire all who see it and I have no doubt your show will be a huge hit!

Michelle said...

There is no "if I can pull this off...." it's WHEN you do. I know you can do this! It is all about positive thought.
Good luck! And I look forward to meeting you at the show!
Bead Happy!

EmandaJ said...

Oh Erin, you will have your hands (and heart and mind) full for the next few days! I'll keep you in my thoughts and anxiously await your "reveals" Good luck!

Spirited Earth said...

if you are in houston in august( poor thing)
email me ..perhaps we can get together for a coffee and bead/art chat
wow you took on a huge task.coordinating a couple of artists is like herding cats..but 7 the mind boggles..deadline?? what's that?

Riki Schumacher said...

Erin, you can do this!! You are talented, original, creative and inspire others. It's in you to do this, just reach deeeeeep down inside and get in touch with that inspiration. Sometimes more creativity comes out of deadlines. I work better up against the wall often. You'll get it done, start telling yourself that please!! Just keep us posted, we're here for you girl. Big hug, now breathe! Riki

Silver Parrot said...

Well, I'm not worried about the finished pieces because you ARE an amazing artist and you'll come up with some fantastic things - I have no doubt. Sounds like you just need the raw materials...which sounds like an excuse for...SHOPPING! Woo hoo! I have no doubt the vendors at Bead & Button will totally hook you up.

Oh, and I think there needs to be at least ONE pansy-related piece in your exhibit! What a fantastic opportunity - you go, girl!

stregata said...

What a mind boggling opportunity!! And you definitely must walk through that door. You will get it done - maybe not exactly as you planned it originally, but that is part of the creative process, no? I am sure it will be fantastic and I can hardly wait to see your creations. You go, girl!

Brandi Hussey said...

This is fantastic! I am so excited for you!

And I think it's totally normal to freak out and be nervous. Acknowledge those feelings, then power through them! They are nothing compared to your talent and what you can do. Don't listen to the little fears, because it will be okay!

Can't wait to see who you collaborated with and what the final pieces look like!

Mary Harding said...

Erin, I have no doubt that you will do a fantastic job. Every piece you make is so fabulous. Hopefully you work well under pressure. It seems you do. I look forward to seeing what you make because it will such a visual and emotional treat. Enjoy theses anxious months. We will too.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

First, a big congratulations for this wonderful opportunity you have been given. I am awed by the beauty of your work and know that those who view your show will be awestruck as well. It will be hectic, nerve-wracking and gut-wrenching to be sure...but after my few visits to your blog, I am sure you can accomplish it!

Lance said...

It is a complete JOY to be along on this ride with you. And I know that you will shine!!! This is so exciting, and I'm really happy for you!! I know that it will be lots of work to make it happen as you want it to. And just reading this, it all sounds so heart-centered and connected to something deeper. And that's YOU, doing something that is deeply meaningful to YOU.

Shine on, awesome friend!!

Regina said...

Yes, Erin you can pull it off! We will be with you (in spirit) every step of the way. Thank you for taking the time to post, there is much relief in sharing that as well. You got it! You can do it! Your work is unique and we are all looking forward to your finished products. we will count down the days with you. Good Luck and best wishes.

Margot Potter said...

Extraordinary. Spread those wings and fly, my friend.


Jenners said...

How exciting, stressful, and exhilirating all at the same time! Noting like being creative on a deadline. I'm sure you will put together something wonderful. I have complete faith in you .. and I look forward to getting a sneak peek here on your blog.

steufel said...

I'm certain you can pull this thing off! But thanks fpr sharing your journey with us. regards Stefanie

Stacey said...

Sheesh - there is no if - you will totally pull it off. And it will be a huge success - no doubt in my mind. Congrats to you on this awesome event. I can't wait to hear all about it. Best of luck with everything. And just remember to breath. :)

Gardanne said...

Sounds exciting, we can't grow if we don't take risks. I love "The Kiss" inspired necklace, and your photos are beautiful.

Beth Hikes said...

I'm tingling with excitement, Erin! I'm really looking forward to watching everything evolve and take shape. Thanks for inviting me to watch you take flight this summer!! xoxo Beth

Shai Williams said...

I am totally impressed! And to think that you are planning to take us along for the ride?? However are you going to find the time.


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