Tag Archives: Broad Ripple Art Fair

The clouds and I …. on the move

I am suddenly longing to get back to carving and printing — as I have been consumed with gathering new imagery, and getting the work I have completed ready for new homes.

We recently escaped to Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan as a celebration of my husband’s milestone birthday. An unseasonable cold front had settled over the Midwest, so we were greeted with light snow, temperatures in the 40s and a furious wind. This gave us very atmospheric conditions to hike the dunes and the springtime woods, and provided me with lots of moving cloud pictures for inspiration. Here are some favorites…

cloud 2

cloud 1

The wind was blowing so hard — sometimes taking sand with it — that all I could do was point my Iphone in the direction of the clouds and push the volume buttons. We did take a moment to snap a quick self-portrait. Note the fleece headband — in May!

cold weather selfie

Back from our weekend, I have been madly framing and preparing to take my work to the Broad Ripple Art Fair at the Indianapolis Art Center. One of the greatest challenges — undertaken by my dear husband — was to create a way to transport all of my work and equipment in our RAV4. Here is his solution, complete with clips that hold the metal display panels together that he 3-D printed himself. Quite a mensch!

rav 4

And yes, if you thought the RAV4 was riding a bit low despite being on an angled driveway, you would be correct. Always an adventure…

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The seen and unforeseen of life

I live in a university town. I am continually aware of the predictable changes in life — graduations from high school and college, weddings and first jobs. People move in and out of our town with regularity. Other changes — a surprise award, an illness or a job loss — are not so expected. And their results not so predictable.

Elizabeth Busey. Unforeseen. Linoleum Reduction Print
25 x 17 in, 2013.

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Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words

An amazed printmaker at the Broad Ripple Art Fair.

Sunday was a good day at the Broad Ripple Art Fair. I was surprised that morning with the news that I was the first place winner of the entire show. Words escaped me then, as they do now. What it said to me was that even though I am a printmaker who makes prints that don’t look like traditional printmaking…I should keep going!

For all of the no’s I have had this spring, finally a yes.

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A tale of travels, tents and travails

I have not been blogging for the past month because I embarked on the adventure of outdoor art shows. This year I applied to many shows and I’m trying them out to see just where my art is best received.

I attended the Broad Ripple Art Fair at the Indianapolis Art Center, Summerfair in Cincinnati, and the Art Fair on the Square in my hometown of Bloomington, IN. I spent lots of time talking with people, and found a home for some of my work. What I found most interesting was people’s lack of knowledge about printmaking. Either people had done some printmaking, and knew exactly what it was, or they had no idea, and thought my work was painted, airbrushed or computer generated.

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Impressions from my first jurying process

I spent the afternoon in the dark auditorium at the Indianapolis Art Center observing the jurying for the Broad Ripple Art Fair in May. This is my first year applying to shows using the ZAPP system. I had several thoughts as I watched. I should caution readers that I donot know if my musings are in agreement with the jurors, as the results were not announced that day.

Application process 

Artists were requested to submit three images of their work, plus a shot of their booth and a 200 word explanation of their process. The jurors were asked to judge over 800 entries, where only a bit over 200 would be accepted. A schedule of the media categories was e-mailed to applicants, and the categories were considered in alphabetical order. I arrived in time to see the jewelry, leather, painting, photography and printmaking categories.

 

Such a short time
The jurors would see a quick run through of each category, and then each entrant was given about 30 seconds for the consideration of the jurors. During this time, the artist statement was read.

I was struck by how short a time this is. I learned from a former juror that artists are ranked between 1 and 7, with four not being used. There was no discussion between jurors throughout. I wasn’t able to glean any particular criteria they were using, other than their personal assessment of the quality of the artwork, and the appearance of the booth.

Image quality

I am a printmaker, and was surprised to see that when my images were projected on the screen, the top two images looked washed out, while the bottom image and booth shot looked fine. I chatted with Larry Berman, an expert on the ZAPP system, about why this might be. He suggested that part of the problem might have been the angle from which I was viewing the images. The jurors were much closer to the screen, and lower in the auditorium, so my seat in the middle of the auditorium might have been compromised by the angle of the projectors and the light reflected off the screens.

 

Another possibility was that the two top images had too much contrast. He noted that sometimes you have to adjust the contrast of your digital representations to make your artwork appear more accurate to the judges. I realized that I would have to think carefully about my images, and choose ones that are both strong artistically, but also are the best when reproduced digitally. Thus my “Fibonacci”, the most popular of my fine art prints, may not be part of future entries.

 

My booth shot.

 

Booth shots
The range of booth shots was striking. Many jewelry entries looked very professional because of the display cabinets and cases used. I was struck by how distracting a busy print could be on the skirting fabric when viewed from a distance. The best jewelers had large photos at the back of their booth to further display their work.

For 2-D artists, the best booth shots in my opinion were those where simple fabric or carpet panels let the work be the center of attention. Racks of prints made things look cluttered. The best ones were photographed in a way that did not show the outside setting, but focused only on the work. Open wire mesh and wood lattices really detracted from the beauty of the work.

What I was most surprised about, however, was the number of booths that had either their identifying banner, or the artist themselves, or both in the booth shot. The jury facilitator told us that artists who had identifying signs in their booth shot were contacted, and given the opportunity to submit a corrected booth shot. I was shocked at the number of people who ignored this request. These artists will lose two points from their overall score.

Short statements
For this show, artists were asked to submit 200 words explaining their process. This was read during the 30 seconds their work was considered. For some, their process was unusual, and the statement served to illuminate their work. Others chose to state the obvious, like; “I paint with oils”, or make somewhat political statements like; “I will never make copies of my work” or say something puzzling like; “I have a recognizable unique style.” I am already writing memorable future explanations to accurately describe how I make my prints, but also give the jurors a peak into why I make my art.

Who will get accepted?
The facilitator told the audience that they attempt to represent all media categories, but that if none of the entries in a category are of high quality, that category will not be represented. In my case, the eleven other entries in the printmaking category were impressive, arresting, and tremendously varied. I would highly recommend that artists attend any jurying that is open to the public. It was definitely a learning experience.

As it turned out, I was accepted to the Broad Ripple Art Fair (May 21 – 22)!  Good luck on all of your entries.  Make them the best they can be.

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