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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Monday, 06.01.2015

“We’re all crying.” He says.

That statement pretty much sums up the reaction of most people I’ve met in galleries. The gallery owner, the framer, the artist, or whoever happens to be there asking me about my future goals. “You have to start with a lot of money, and then you make none.” This negativity follows me everywhere. We’re all desperate, we’re all lost, and yes, we’re all crying. There has to be a way around it. There has to be a way to make a living in the art community without selling your soul to greed. So where is the positivity?  It does not follow the pessimist. Optimism hides in the corners of galleries with the smiling host. It hides behind canvases splattered with late night passion, and creeps out so wink at the strong.

I’ve seen two opposite worlds in the art scene here in Chicago. The solo galleries and the community buildings. Usually the solo galleries are closer to downtown. Closer to the Gucci and the Prada. I walked into a lingerie shop where they sold a set of underwear for $1200. No wonder paintings sell for $70,000. On the flip side, I’ve seen solo galleries in different parts of town selling better paintings for $100, because “no one will buy it otherwise.” I’m searching for the happy medium.

I think it lies inside the rustic walls of larger art centers. These places are filled with private studios and galleries. I found a support system in these buildings like the Zhou B. I’m sure these places have their fair share of drama flowing down the halls, but mostly I see community. I feel the muses running between studios. I see the artist interacting and helping one another. They give each other advice and a helping hand when needed. Guests, collectors, and artists flock to these buildings to appreciate the art and the artist.

I was lucky enough to be apart of an opening at the Cornelia Arts Building. I was invited by an artist, Robert Pockmire, from 4Art to help him hang some paintings.IMG_9290 IMG_9291

I found this opportunity to volunteer helpful in beginning to train my curatorial eye. The experience made me even more excited to work with Robin on curating an exhibit with a variety of artists and work in a larger space. I had a splendid time at the opening. Seeing the different studios made me appreciate the variety these art buildings have to offer. I saw studios for sculpting, welding knives, creating paintings, jewelry, clothing, tiles and everything in between.

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These art centers do not have the superficial air I’ve felt in other galleries. I’m sure it’s out there, but it’s overpowered by the passionate artist who fill the rooms. I feel fortunate to have found my way into these circles.

Patricia Singer, Intern.

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Sunday, 08.24.2015

There is no lack of exploring to be done in Chicago. I have been here nearly two weeks and have visited over thirty galleries. One thing I am beginning to realize is that there is no secret rule to running a gallery. It is a diverse business where gallerist with a variety of styles have found success.

This week has me thinking about the different aesthetics in galleries. Some galleries, such as the Corosh Gallery in Pilsen, are overflowing with art. I pulled the door open to be greeted by a sculpture standing dead center, two and a half feet away from the entrance. The placement of this piece reminds me of a strategy mentioned by Curator Kerry James Marshall of the Smart Museum. He sets up his displays to force the viewer to look at an image by exhibiting only a single piece on a wall. Talk about powerful. Another way to force the viewer to look at a piece is achieved by a different approach to organization. This method is done by galleries that provide the viewer with a big open space. Either approach is acceptable, but I find galleries stuffed with art to be more comfortable. It may take away from the dramatic impact of seeing a piece on it’s own wall, but I enjoy the cozy atmosphere one gets when they are standing in a room piled floor to ceiling with art. Maybe I am biased from working in the tight crevices between massive stacks of books for five years.

Another aspect of creating a desired atmosphere in a gallery comes from wall color. I would say about 80% of the galleries I have visited stick to traditional white, but I am much more drawn to galleries with a little more color. The yellow walls of the Hildt Gallery in The Loop had me locked in. Perhaps this is another bias of mine, because I grew up in homes with yellow walls. Whether it be bias or fact, yellow walls definitely have a way of brightening up a room. It is a stark contrast to the Atlas Gallery with its gray carpeted walls. Dark walls definitely tighten up the space. The Hildt Gallery had a much brighter flow even though the Atlas Gallery was nearly half windows and the Hildt Gallery had no windows at all. Don’t get me wrong, reader, I am not saying either method is right or wrong, but mark my words: my future gallery will be luminous!
Patricia Singer, intern.

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