Your Art Reception: It Helps To Be There

I was going to post my own little list, but this article from Art Marketing does it so well.

The subject of showing up to your own opening has come up recently; a lovely gallery owner here in Cleveland actually had to have a meeting with various artists about the fact that, “hey, you should come to your own opening, because when people buy your art, sometimes they wanna meet you!” I believe she got a clueless ‘ry dunno raggy’ Scooby-Doo reaction to this statement.

I can’t tell you how many artists show up fashionably late to their own openings, and guess what? It isn’t cute. Not long ago I was in a group show of about 20 artists in the area: I was the only artist there for a good 15-20 minutes! One thing I’ve learned is that when I’ve sold work, or others have sold work, it happens either right before the show or within the first half-hour. I’ve seen buyers come to shows only to buy something and wait around for the artist who never shows up. These are people usually on their way to dinner or another engagement, and have stopped in on-time — even early — because they wanted to get a piece before anyone else did. Do you think they are going to wait around forever for the artist to arrive 45 minutes later when they have plans of their own? Not bloody likely. Not being present at all the receptions around the country I do has hurt me; not being able to network and meet other artists, gallery owners, collectors, but it is a case where it can’t be helped. I’m not an artist who can afford to fly around the country for every group show I am in. However, if you live in the city where your art is being shown or can drive there within reason, you have no excuse.

This is a subject dear to me because I am a ridiculously punctual person. I believe one person referred to me as a “nazi” when it came to being punctual. Where I get this from I have no idea, but when people are constantly late or give no to regard to being on-time, I take that as a sort of, “I don’t care and screw you”. One of the reasons I broke up with a boyfriend was him being chronically late for everything and there was no reason for it, I’ve even ended some friendships, it got that annoying. I find it funny that cell phones and devices have done nothing to correct this in most people’s lives — it has actually been made worse!

So when you are late for a reception that you are in, or don’t show up period, your potential clientele might take that as a sort of “I don’t give a shit”. Well, if you don’t care, why should anyone?

Amy and Angela

You may remember this untitled painting from not long ago…


Although they weren’t necessarily part of my “faux portrait gallery” series, one of my collectors decided to not only name them, but also write a fake bio for them! How fabulous. That’s what I like, you know, people making their own stories and interpretations. You’d be shocked to learn how many teachers and students at CalArts were freaked out by that concept — at least while I was there. Anyhoo, I present Amy & Angela…..

“Amy & Angela AKA the infamous “kissing cousins” of Mollowray. As foundlings (presumably sisters) the infants were separated at a very early age and raised independently as cousins by the Duchess of Mollowray and her cousin, the Baroness of Scovelica. Later, the young (15) cousins would marry minor functionaries in the diplomatic corps of Mollowray, but both of their respective husbands were poisoned under mysterious circumstances.After these events the cousins became inseparable and the rumors of their presumed relationship began to spread. Later the widows would often be seen in the company of a single man (but never the same man). It was that this point the notoriety of their supposed licentious behavior multiplied, causing the Duke of Mollowray to exile the ladies to his castle in the peaks of the Portentien Mountains. The duke spent many months attempting to quell the emotions of the ardent ladies, and during this effort, he died peacefully in the process with the girls at his bedside. After the passing of the Duke, the Duchess and the cousins became legendary for entertaining travelers and merchants passing through the Portentiens, a tradition that continued until their passing in 1598. Their hospitality was so legendary that travelers would detour many hundreds of miles to seek an audience with the ladies and “rest” for a fortnight.” — C.H.