The truth about exhibiting art

The New Year has dawned…and I’ve been on the road. I am fortunate to be in several group shows this winter, two of which are in the southern part of greater Chicagoland. Because my work is large and heavy, shipping is not an option.

snow covered county road
With no highways running east to west, I have to trust Google Maps when it sends me out on a snow covered county road.

Woody Guthrie and I

My first car load of work was headed to a show at the Victorian House Art Gallery of Olivet Nazarene University, which is located in Bourbonnais, Illinois — a village of Kankakee. All along my drive, I just couldn’t get the “City of New Orleans” lyrics out of my head.

“All on the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out of Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields…”

With temperatures in the single digits, plus wind and blowing snow, Google Maps took me on a journey across very rural parts of Indiana and Illinois, and got me safely to my destination. The patterns of the corn stubble against the snow gave me ideas for new work, although relying on the white of the paper to represent snow can be tricky….

And more framing!

The dining room table becomes a cat-free zone as we struggle to frame large work under statically charged plexiglass.

Back at home and I need to get more work framed. Because of the expense of the large frames, I will often switch out the work depending on what is required for a show. I use acrylic (or plexiglass) to frame the largest work, requiring the use of our dining room table to open things up, switch the work, and seal things up again. It has been tremendously cold in the midwest this month, making the house so dry that I would swear lint from the neighbors’ house wanted to leap into the frame. Quite an exercise in patience for me, and my mensch of a husband.

Another trip north…

sun breaking through clouds
After seven and a half hours of driving in fog, clouds and snow, the sun finally breaks through as a visual reward.

With the RAV4 loaded with three large works and six medium-sized, I set off another morning for the Tall Grass Arts Association Gallery in Park Forest, Illinois. Warming temperatures and snow covered fields meant most of the eight-hour journey was completely white with fog and clouds. Thankfully the sun finally broke through during my last hour of the drive.

With everything settled in their galleries, I now have time to devote to a new commissioned work instead of heading out on the highway again. I’ll be watching the weather carefully, hopefully driving again on January 20th for openings for both exhibits. If you are in the greater Chicagoland area, here are all the details:

Water. Fire. Ice. Earth. Air.
Tall Grass Arts Association Gallery
376 Artists Walk, Park Forest IL
Opening Saturday, January 20 from 1 – 3pm
January 19 – February 24, 2018

(impressit) A Group of 8 Printmakers
The Victorian House Art Gallery
577 S Main St, Bourbonnais IL
Opening Saturday, January 20 from 12 – 2pm
January 9 – February 7, 2018

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