I recently exhibited in OPUS and it was somewhat of a surreal experience. Here, I got to be the artist and didn't have to do anything other than show up, install and be present in the moment during the event. It was pretty great honestly.
Typically I am the one running around like crazy, setting up, promoting and getting everything juuuuust right for a troupe of artists to come in and shine. Fringe keeps me busy so I hardly ever get to make enough artwork to participate in shows. At the start of this year, I made a vow to make more time for me... I wanted to make one piece of new art each week (obviously that didn't happen, but leave it to me to be overly ambitious!) but I did have 12 new pieces when the call for artists for OPUS came out.
I went back and forth on if I should even apply... I feel so "rusty" in my practice lately that honestly, most of the work I am producing doesn't feel perfect enough to share. I pushed it off and allowed my schedule to fill up and then, before I knew it, the deadline was just about over... then, surprise! Extension! Well, now I guess I had no excuse and under the advice of Kara ( Art by Kara Voorhees Reynolds) I applied and was warmly invited into show.
So how was OPUS?
Well, the people running the event were very kind and it was a pleasure to meet them. The event had great attendance and the selections on display were expertly curated. It was a great night overall and I'd love to show again or even be part of the jury panel.
I know that what you really want to know is if the event was profitable - I did not sell any work, but I didn't expect to. The collection I showed featured larger works that had pricing to fit their scale. With that said, there were three other Fringe artists there and all three of them sold at least one piece of art. That's pretty great if you ask me. It was also great to dip my toe back into this side of the art world, I am definitely bitten and eager to show again soon.
Here are some (very candid) photos from the evening.
Did you attend OPUS? If so, who was your favorite artist on view? I'd love to connect with you about this show and others in Tampa!
I'll be migrating all things Fringe to a new website. I'm really looking forward to claiming some of my own website real estate back and focusing on blogging, making art and spending some time with my inner creative.
Blending my own website and the site for Fringe came from necessity... hosting a website isn't free and thanks to our IndieGoGo campaign, we are raising some funds to create a dedicated web platform that cultivates collaboration, including a group blog, a shoppable online gallery and artist profiles so you can see/meet all of us who make the magic happen. Depending on the success of the campaign, I'd also like to find a few new venues to host regular art shows. Just like websites, producing an art show costs a pretty penny. On average, the cost can range from $100 to $300 to get a new show off the ground. So, this IndieGoGo thing could really help us grow in a big way.
I'll still be managing everything - seems like people always get confused by the growth of Fringe and they think I am stepping away because they may see a new face, that's not the case... you're going to see new faces and hear from new artists regularly because we are EXPANDING, not shrinking. The truth is, I am one person and I cannot do it all. So, I am enlisting the help of some of the best artists in the area to help with the day to day functionality of hosting art shows, organizing events and more. If I don't do this, we won't ever have a chance to be bigger, be better, show more art - I am being brave here... it's scary to turn over your passion to someone else but if I don't try to grow here, I'll never be able to see the full potential of Fringe become realized.
We may encounter bumps along the way, some people may not work out, venues that host our shows may come and go but I'm trying to make this thing real, hopeful to make this dream come true and confident that eventually - Tampa and St. Pete will be one GIANT public art space.