Monday, October 15, 2012

Art Show Preps

So how much "time off" did I get after coming home?  Not even a day.  Right off the bat, I was back in the groove: walking the dogs, mowing the lawn, and making the run to the post office, dump, and grocery store.  Which was pretty cool.  I'm not one to sit around expecting to be pampered, and Janis is not one to let me get away with it.  "Would you like a grilled ham and cheese sandwich?  You would?  Well, get up and make it, then!"  That's how things roll around our house.

I have a big project underway.  The University of North Carolina at Asheville is going to exhibit a selection of my drawings and pastels from Afghanistan.  The opening will be on Friday, Oct 26, with a reception from 6 - 8 pm.  That's only three weeks from the time I got home until the time the show opens.  There's a lot to do: select which drawings to show, order the mats and frames, cut the mats and frame the works, coordinate with the school's public affairs, arrange for posters, coordinate the reception, prepare the space, hang the show ... you get the picture.

The first task was to decide which artworks to include.  I wound up with a stack of 47 drawings and pastels.  All are Afghan figures, the vast majority of which are portrait sketches.  For this exhibit, I am not including the sketches of Americans or landscape images with MRAPs or other such drawings.  All the drawings are pretty small, with none larger than about 10"x12" unframed.  The gallery is pretty good-sized, so it needs a lot of works to fill it up.  Once the pieces were selected, the next step was to figure out the frames.  We're using some pretty nice frames - with so many artworks, the temptation is to go cheapo, but we decided to do them up properly.  We had a local frame shop (Frugal Framer) build the frames and cut the glass, and I picked them up today.  They look great.  Tomorrow, I'll start to cut the mats and put everything together.

A few days ago, I met with the art department staff at UNC Asheville to get some information, swap ideas, and get the ball rolling.  Today, I met with the public affairs guy at the school.  He's going to write up an article for publication.  I've sent out notifications electronically already and have more to go.  Next week, Janis and I will work on the stuff for the reception.  I'll hang the show on Thursday and set up the reception on Friday.

In the meantime, I re-photographed all the drawings from Afghanistan.  All of them, including the ones not included in this particular exhibit.  All the photos that I shot previously were quick point & shoots, with very imperfect lighting, exposure, and so on.  This time I took my time and photographed them as carefully as possible.  A number of people have talked to me about putting these drawings together in a book, and that is something I'll look into once the reception is behind me.  Oh, and I need to revamp my web site.  Again.

So that's what I've been doing for the past week.  Got lots more to do over the next week and a half.  But dang, it's good to be home!

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