About a month ago on a Saturday, I stopped by the studio of an artist in Durham who I had been following on Instagram. He does abstract, very minimal flavored canvases that I really like. We had a nice conversation. Turned out he also does photography, but had let that kinda lapse so he could concentrate on his painting. He suggested that I should join the Durham Art Guild, and that it was a good way to get information about local art exhibitions. They have like three different locations where they exhibit work. He also mentioned that they were taking submissions for their annual juried art show beginning in October.
I took his advice, and when I got home I got online and joined. I looked at the submission criteria, which specified that you could submit up to three pieces for consideration for just 15.00, so I thought, what the heck. I went through and picked three of my favorites and submitted them, I did not agonize much over the choices. I have submitted photos under similar circumstances in the past to other sites and venues, and never had any luck, so my expectations were for similar results. I have found that most of these types of calls, especially in the realm of photography, are looking more for content than quality of work, and since I don’t shoot people, my stuff doesn’t normally fit what they are looking for.
Last Thursday I received an email with a pdf attached, listing 67 artists and 97 pieces that had been chosen for the show. Two of my photos were on the list. It was truly a holy shit moment, and then it was, now what do I do. In the submission, I had randomly chosen 20×30 as the photo dimensions, which is pretty huge. I had to find a printer and framer and hope the quality of the photos stood up to that size when printed, and I had until the 26th to pull that off, as that was the last date for delivery to the guild location.
Well, I picked up the prints yesterday and they look very good at that size. My new artist friend, who does framing as his part time job is doing the framing, the same one who encouraged me to submit my work. I pick them up Saturday and deliver them straight away to the exhibition space, just under the deadline. This process is not cheap. The Guild encourages listing the pieces for sale, especially since they take a 30% commission. The irony is not lost on me that I had just decided not to sell my zines anymore, but it would be helpful to recoup my costs for printing and framing, so I arrived at a price. If only one of them sells, it will cover the cost for both pieces. If either or both sell, that will be the next surprise.
Here are the two pieces. One of them was in the first zine, and the other is part of an image in the most recent zine.
3 thoughts on “That Was Unexpected”
Whoa! That is very cool, even though I’m not surprised that your work got in. Man oh man, you’re building a little community there. I like it.
I have more to say. These are the interactions I love being a part of and reading about. Nothing ventured nothing gained, in the spirit of rising tides lift all boats. That chance interaction.
And it began with instagram.
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