So the day has finally come and gone. I attended my very first Opening Reception as an artist on view in a gallery at the Chelsea art district in Manhattan!
And believe it or not I think I'm more excited now that I'm writing about it and have had time to process it, than when it was about to happen or happening.
It was very different from what I thought and definitely a learning experience. I've done pop-up shows before and those are a LOT of work for the artists before the show for very small profit and networking. Contrastingly, this as an established, professional gallery made things leading up to the show extremely painless. They recommended the printers (who were super fast and have great quality works) and provided me with framing quotes which helped a lot in making an informed decision as to where to go. I ended up finding framers near me offering a pretty good discount and overall, everything went pretty smoothly and I even gained two NY trips to get everything done and delivered as well as get some more shots and enjoy myself in the Village :)
It's never good to have expectations, expectations mean you are living out of your head and ego and not from your heart, which just makes us lose out on the beauty of the present moment.
None of my friends or family other than my mom who is always with me thank goodness, could make it and sales rarely happen the way I pictured it in my head.
I created so many expectations that I was a bit let down by reality. In my imagination the event was cocktail formal with waiters coming around offering fancy hors d'oeuvres and lots of art critics and collectors were trying to buy everything on site and write amazing reviews that led to movie-like opportunities in just two hours. All this while my family and friends were there beaming with pride at the fact that "they knew me when" lol.
In reality it was a Chelsea reception not a 5th Avenue one in a movie, it was very casual and if there were any critics or collectors I was never aware of it. I did see quite a few people walking around with price sheets though so who knows? People were friendly and I got very positive feedback from fellow artists on view in the same show, as well as the public. There was no food and you had to go to the check-in desk to get your own water and, since it was all about mingling, there was no place to sit. So here's what I learned for next time: NO expectations. Living in the moment is the best gift I can give myself, life rarely looks like the movies, the fact that no-one tried to give me all the contents of their wallet on the spot does not mean I will not sell in the future. I also learned to eat before arriving to the gallery and never wear high heels again when you have to stay standing by your work for three hours straight! LOL
Here's the biggest negative of the night: Having to speak in public and introduce myself and my work to everyone and talk about my inspiration and intentions with my art. I hate public speaking, I have horrible classroom flashbacks with all the bullies whispering and snickering! I have the worst stage fright ever! I've never understood why others love to make authors and artists speak, the point of these creative outlets is for the work to speak for us and for us to be able to express without spoken words. Explaining your work as a visual artist, when your frozen with fear, in my opinion defeats the purpose of showing your art lol
Here are the biggest highlights: Meeting two other female photographers that have also found Spirituality and Nature conservation are completely intertwined with photography. For one is all about saving animals, for the other is all about showing the Divine perfection out in Nature and within each of us! How perfect is that synchronicity? Three female photographers in the same gallery, with work on view at the same time all trying to show a very similar message with very unique voices and techniques. The artist that works more closely with conservation is currently involved in a program to help animals being captive, like in zoos, get better living conditions. The program is currently only in the Mid-West but we exchanged cards and there's hope for a collaboration in the future! And of course the other highlight was sharing my first big moment as an artists in Manhattan with my mom, and all the things I learnt from this experience :D
It was a fun and interesting night once I got out of my head and whenever I could distract myself from my foot pain thanks to those darn heels :P
And now, here's the youtube video for a glimpse into that night: https://www.youtube.c
Hope you enjoy it! And you can check my work on display physically at Agora Gallery until the last of the month or by clicking here.