Friday, August 8, 2008

Loss and stress... and much disappointment!

Nothing but Blue Skies

Silk Wall Hanging with matching Pillows

60" x 45"

STOLEN - Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Annapolis MD 07 August 2008

Some times I have got to learn to trust my intuitions. I got a call in early June asking if I was available to do a solo show in July at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. It seemed awfully short notice. The curator mentioned she had meant to call me earlier... but hadn't gotten around to it. I went to visit the space and talked to the curator and we decided yes we'd do it but with a combination of silk tapestries and the paintings they were inspired by. I fiendishly produced 7 new tapestries in two weeks, since it turns out the delivery date was 3 weeks before the actually opening of the show due to scheduling issues.

I had been told I was responsible for rods to hang the show. I bought new rods so I knew they would be sturdy and make the show a uniformed whole. I even waited until the day I was delivering the show to purchase them. I bought exactly the number and sizes needed. We drove to Maryland and dropped off the show. Before we had even gotten back home I got a call saying one of the hanging rods was "missing" and I must not have brought enough. The next day I got an email saying the gallery manager had decided that now they "would buy dowel rods to hang the show as they thought they would look better." If they were going to choose the hanging method why make me spend money to begin with. And what about the lost hanging rod?

The opening for the show was scheduled on a Thursday 5:30 - 7:30 during rush hour traffic ( in the DC area a nightmare) because it turns out the other exhibits going on at the same time (I was not told this either) were an exhibit of amateur photography ESL students who were doing photos of their lives, and an exhibit by handicapped students. Those artists could only be available at that time. Did anyone really think there would be sales from an opening scheduled at that time?

To top it all off, last night I got an e-mail (not even a phone call) "only as a courtesy" to tell me that one of the pieces has been stolen and how sorry they were. Also that they had "not had a theft there for several years".

Needless to say I won't be doing another exhibition there, and I feel violated on several levels. I am often told that I can come across as abrasive, that I rub people the wrong way. I think perhaps because unlike a lot of artists I will not be walked over by the system and galleries. Artists seem so afraid to stand up for themselves. The work we do is not easy. The odds we face to simply make a living are hard enough. And yes I realize that there are thousands of other wannabes who are next in line to grab a chance to be seen or to sell. But the more I learn that this is a BUSINESS - the more I expect and even demand to be treated with the respect and courtesy of any other business person!

There are many more wonderful experiences than negatives in this life. But it seems the negatives need to be brought to light in order to break the old patterns and beliefs, that what we do, who we are is LESS THAN any other producers of quality goods.

until next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love