Opening next weekend, the holiday Winter Arts and Craft Expo at the Evanston Art Center
I am dropping off 26 small encaustic paintings this afternoon and look forward to attending the preview party this Friday.
It's almost been six months since I moved to Chicago and I have to admit, it's been a huge adjustment both personally and professionally. The first priority was getting here, which happened early June. After that, finding professional networks and exhibition opportunities became my focus. I don't always make accurate first impressions but here goes...
I joined FUSEDChicago before I even got here because I knew several of the artists from the encaustic conference I attended in 2010. I immediately befriended several more members and was able to participate in a small group show at the Fine Arts Building and I felt fortunate to have made the connection. Through the Fused Chicago group I submitted and participated in WAXinBlue at Morpho Gallery this fall and was also referred to another artist group that meets weekly at a local restaurant, the artist's breakfast group.
The breakfast group allowed me to talk to long time professionals, several of which are members in the Chicago Society of Artists and it was suggested that I also join this juried group of established artists. I submitted work and was juried in, attended their annual meeting last month, and participated in the fall reception last night, hosted at the Tom Robinson Gallery.
The work in the show was a mix of photographs, paintings, and sculptures, ranging from traditional to abstract, similar to Copley Society shows but minus a higher standard that a juror usually dictates. Their website is out of date and postal mail is preferred over email communications. There was no real leadership at the reception and as a new member I definitely felt lost.
Starting over, networking and meeting artists, establishing exhibit and teaching opportunities, getting my work "out there" has been exhausting, frustrating, and a huge challenge. I miss going to receptions comfortably alone, seeing friends and colleagues, and feeling like I belong.
Fortunately, I will be one of the featured artist's this January in the Chicago Art Source Gallery. As I continue to paint new work, maybe it will lead to a better fit in future endeavors.
P.S. I did complete "Tribune Tower", had to make a few minor changes, and will be starting a companion piece soon.