One Last Note…

SALON STYLE 2015 ECARD

Come one, come all, to see the art on the wall!

Between the months of September and November, 4Art Gallery will proudly present you with a chance to see an enthralling exhibition of twenty-three exuberant artist. After twelve years of dedication to the display and appreciation of fine art, 4Art gallery is keeping the 300 year tradition alive by hosting its 2nd annual Salon Style Exhibit. Dating back to 1667 Paris, galleries have been displaying art in a dramatic, floor-to-ceiling style. The group of 23 artist taking part in this three-month installation will transform 4Art into a modern Salon de Paris inside of one of the largest art centers in Chicago. 4Art aims to exhibit a variety of works by diverse artists from around the globe. From nonobjective to representational, dark to light, real to surreal, you will be taken through a thought-provoking journey as you will have the chance to view over 200 original works. The artist of 4Art are pleased to formally invite you into a dialogue of fine art. Come one, come all, to see the art on the wall.

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Monday, 08.10.2015

In Conclusion.. 

Chicago, Illinois is a city filled with culture and diversity. The streets are overflowing with performance artists, sculpture, and galleries. One can’t go downtown without seeing a flyer for a play that week or an opening reception for a gallery that weekend. All aspects of the city, from the lampposts in Millennium Park to the gardens in the mediums, seem to have been dreamt up through an artistic mind. I couldn’t have ended up in a better place for an artistic internship than the art mecca of Chicago.

After visiting approximately forty galleries, museums, and art centers, and working in one of the largest and most happening art centers in the city, I feel like I got a well rounded experience of creative life in Chicago. I started my trip by going to every gallery I could find to compare and contrast. I learned that there is no one and only correct way to run a gallery. I’ve seen salon style galleries where paintings fill the walls from floor to ceiling. These types of galleries are usually packed with sculpture and exhibit a colorful atmosphere for the viewer. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’ve seen formal galleries. These galleries are typically more quiet and use the classic [½(height) + 60] – wire formula to display the work at eye level. 4Art, the gallery I had the pleasure of working at for the past three months, was sort of a mixture meaning I got to experience both. I understand that the style of hanging that the gallerist decides to use depends more on the art than on the gallery.

When setting up a show, a good gallery always starts with cleaning up the walls. It surprised me how many sloppy galleries I visited that allowed scratches, chipped paint, and huge holes to take the viewers’ attention away from the art. At 4art, I always started with patching, painting, and sweeping the gallery. Next, the curator gets to decide where to hang the pieces, This is the part where the curator must learn to use their eye. The colors and subject matter must pull the viewer’s eye through the gallery. My mentor and boss, Robin, walked me through this step. She pointed out how to look at a group of pieces, and decide which would look best next to each other. I found that she uses elements of design to make decisions. The element of line, moving between pieces, is a good way to move the eye. Elements of color, in the piece and even the frame, that are either uniform (two black and white pieces together) or complimentative keep the viewer moving from one piece to the next. Positioning of figurative painting or sculpture has a great effect on the viewer. If a face in a piece is facing a corner or another wall, then the viewer will be limited and the movement between pieces may reach an end. The size of the pieces also impacts the balance and harmony of an art show. Larger pieces should be displayed below or between smaller pieces. A curator must pay close attention to detail and understand the viewer’s mind, even if the viewer does not.

Once the pieces were laid out on the walls they would be displayed, it was time to get them up! This was an important process for me because it takes practice and muscles memory to be quick, neat, and efficient at the job. I learned all the small details such as sticking down the piece in a clean way once it is leveled, what types of hooks and nails to use, how to make sure your measuring stick doesn’t run away from you, and more. I feel that I have improved in the past three months in my speed, confidence, and neatness, but I know that the learning and improving process never ends. Once all the work was hung or placed on a shelf, everything had to be cleaned and presentable for the opening reception.

The opening receptions were always a blast. My job was to greet the guests and to help them if they had any questions. More importantly, my job was to make the connection between viewer and artist. Not only was I encouraged to talk to as many artists and guests as I could, but Robin also wanted me to watch. Part of the job as an artist and curator is to become an observer. She showed me the importance of seeing how the viewers react to the show. I met a couple of handfuls of artist that I really connected with. My goal for the future is to keep these connections sparked, and maybe even work together in the future whether it be doing a show together a year from now or in my own gallery ten years from now. These artists did not only become my friends, but they also gave me feedback on the show, life as an artist, and places to visit.

I did not only get to speak to the artists and clients at receptions. I was also invited to observe meetings with Robin and the artists. In these meetings, they discussed finances and planning for exhibitions. The artists brought in their work, and we went over the best way of presentation. Artist to curator communication is important when planning a show.

Outside of art show planning, Robin invited me to observe her framing. I did not actually do framing myself this time around, but I still feel that the experience was well rounded and I learned a lot. I have seen her go through the steps of matting and framing four or five pieces. She would make sure to talk me through each step she was making. Her demos will be of great help to me in the future when I get to frame on my own.

In the end, I definitely feel like I got the experience I was looking for eight months ago when I started applying for internships. I got practice hanging, found insite on curating and opening a gallery, and successfully networked with artists and gallerists. Moving to a new city on my own was an experience all in itself. I am eager to see what the future holds, and I’m excited about where my adventures as an artists and an intern will lead me next summer.

For an in-depth analysis of my day-to-day adventures and experiences, please refer to my previous blog posts.

Patricia Singer, intern.

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Thursday, 07.09.2015

My best and worst quality is that I constantly reside in the future. It is best because I’m always planning and prepared. It is the worst because of the anxiety it stirs in me. Last night I fought hard to settle my tumultuous mind to no avail. I know I work hard to make the grades and gain experience to build myself up for after graduation, but what if it is all no use? I keep questioning my degree and whether it will really prepare me to run a business when I graduate. I never wanted to be rich, but I don’t want to have to worry. I worry about how I will support my family when they are old and feeble. I worry about having kids, and I worry about supporting myself. My biggest fear is that I’ll invest all this time and energy into my art degree and my internships and then end up working in a cubicle or a post office. What good will my masters in fine art do me then? I want to believe that hard work pays off, and that if I just keep working and pursuing my dreams, then everything will fall into place, but am I lying to myself?
Maybe it would be a good idea for me to go back to the galleries I found most successful and most interesting for an interview with the gallerists.

Patricia Singer, Intern.

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Saturday, 07.04.2015

Thoughts on the immediate future: I would like to start working in the art field as soon as possible. Most of my past jobs were in the food industry, and I am making a promise to myself right now to get out of it. When I return to Daytona, I want to start focusing on my art. I want to try selling some sculptural designs I came up with in class. Also, I want to find out how to obtain a permit so I can start selling art on the beach. Originally I wanted to sell my own art, but my dad suggested I sell other’s art as well. I think this would be great practice for planning my future gallery. If all fails, then at least I’m still young and just experimenting.

Patricia Singer, Intern. 

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Friday, 07.03.2015

Thoughts on the future: my mind is still spinning in a million different directions when people ask me about my career goals. I know I want a gallery that focuses on contemporary art. I also know that I want to provide other services as well. Some of my options include framing, art repair, and book repair. I hope to find an apprenticeship with a frame shop when I return to Daytona because the best way to learn is hands on. The bookbinding and repair will be the focus of my degree, but I’m unsure about where I can learn art repair. I know some schools offer it as a degree, but I’m lacking confidence in the chemistry of it all. I wonder if there is a loophole to going to school for such a thing. Another concern on my mind is the business aspect of running a gallery. I know I should theoretically get a degree in art management, entrepreneurship, or business management, but I do not wish to abandon my path toward a fine art degree. I wonder if it is completely necessary to get a business degree or if I can just jump right in and learn from experience. These are some questions I am stowing on the shelf in my mind to ask Robin and other future mentors I may have. Another idea I had is offering an open studio for artist. This could include classes as well, but I’ve always had trouble finding a place where I can just go in and work on my own without having to take a class. This big art megaplex is building up in my mind and forcing me to fall head over heals. How will it escape the walls of my cranium and come to life in the real world? Where does one begin?

Patricia Singer, Intern. 

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Thursday, 07.02.2015

My second First Friday has already come and gone. Time is swiftly passing as I hit the halfway point on my internship timeline. I felt much more established this time around. Last month I felt too pushy and eager to talk to every single person. This month I still kindly introduced myself to the guests as they walked through the door, but I noticed that people came to me if they really needed me. I had more people coming up to me asking questions, and definitely way more people coming up to me to just chat.IMG_9863

A couple of the artist complimented me on the show. On the other hand I was told that some guests found it confusing when the work of one artist was broken up throughout the gallery rather than grouping each artist in their own section. Whether is was compliment or criticism I found all the comments to be helpful and constructive. The diversity in comments combined with the diversity in hanging styles I have observed are teaching me that there is no ”correct” way to hang a show. You just have to find what works best in that particular gallery. In my own gallery I would definitely keep the works of artists grouped together, while still paying attention to the flow of art in content and color. The physical hanging of the show took me hours. I’m excited to see how much I can cut my time next month. I’ve noticed other galleries that may be larger or connected to a larger institution take months to set up an exhibit. I can definitely appreciate the speedy nature of small gallery exhibits. I have not worked in a museum setting but the pace and atmosphere of galleries still win my heart.

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Patricia Singer, Intern.

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Sunday, 06.14.2015

Life has truly been getting in the way of my gallery scavenger hunt. I finally had a chance to check out a couple of openings the other night, but I was graciously let down. Two art centers advertised openings, one seemed to be between shows, and the other only offered maybe two open galleries filled with middle aged men throwing back beer and Cheetos. I have been to a couple of amazing galleries during my search, but none have offered the colorful life of the Third Friday I experienced at the Zhou B.

Third Friday is  finally approaching again. Robin and I finished the show yesterday. She did all the curating, and I did most of the hanging. It took me just about forever, but I know I’ll get faster at it. This profession I have decided to partake in relies on my ability to trust my eyes. Not only for my art, but also for curating and even hanging. This week I fumbled around with my measuring tape and had to rehang a couple of pieces here and there, but you have to start somewhere I guess. Maybe by my last Third Friday I’ll have trimmed my hanging time from two days to two hours.

Once everything was straightened and stuck down, I felt accomplished. I didn’t get to help with the actual curating of the show, but I still felt great about it. I’m beginning to see the flow of things. I’m beginning to see how colors and content of different pieces drag the eye from one side of the room to the other. I’m starting to see patterns in the layout of art in 4Art and other galleries as well.

The next time I go to 4Art will be Third Friday. I’m excited to meet the artist again and to chat with the guests. If you are reading this from the Chicago area, be sure to come see all our hard work!

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Patricia Singer, Intern. 

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