Yesterday I hung my show over at Gale's Restaurant in Pasadena. I have to admit it feels really good to have it done and not hanging over my head anymore. Now I can relax and enjoy it. I ended up with 40 pieces in the show. Yeah. 40.
A few lessons learned/ observations about this whole process just in case you ever need to hang a show. Especially if you need to finish in two hours:
- If a friend calls to ask if you need help framing before a show… do not say “no”. Do not try to talk her out of it.
- Its really good to have friends who know you better than you know yourself. That way, if you do say “no, I think it will be fine” they know to say “yeah well, I don't have anything to do on Thursday, how about I just come over and hang out anyway?”*
- While I worked at Disney, a colleague or two (O.K. fine, more like 10 or 20) opined that I can be quite…um…”detail oriented” or “thorough”, I think is the polite way to say it**. I am much much worse when it comes to my own work. Occasionally this is a good thing.
- Be “thorough”: swing by the place to photograph the rooms and each wall. Those photos will really come in handy later.
- Embrace your “detail oriented” nature: Lay out all of your paintings on the floor– arrange and rearrange them to your hearts delight.
- Laugh at the fact that you've been stressing about not having enough paintings and now have to cut 10 or so out.
- Since you've already embraced your “detail oriented-ness”, go the extra mile and use your favorite software program to draw a map of each wall, where each painting goes and label it.
- Put post- it notes on the outside of each carefully wrapped painting with numbers corresponding to your map (you have SO embraced that detail-oriented nature!).
- Box up the paintings according to each wall.
- Day before the hanging: Call the place to confirm when you can start hanging and when you need to finish. If the finish time is much less than you expected, call friend #2 and ask for help.
- When friend #3 comes by to help the night before the show, do not get cocky and think that you are almost done (after all, you only have to make the labels) so lets sit on the front porch with a bottle of wine and gab for two (maybe three) hours.
- Do not leave the naming of the paintings to the night before you have to hang the show. This is a really dumb idea. This makes the whole labeling process take much longer.
- Triple check that all your paintings are, in fact, signed and that the signature still shows after you have framed it.
- That careful wrapping and boxing of your paintings? Do it after you have named and checked the paintings for signatures…..
- Be grateful that friend #3 had such a stressful week at work doing strategic planning and all sorts of left brain activities that staying up until 5:30AM with you getting an art show together is actually fun to her†.
- Be grateful that friend #2 is a morning person and is always on time, as she will be the only coherent person at the hanging. ††
- When all is said and done, take your friends' advice, step back and be proud of what you've accomplished.
* Thank you Kelly!
**After researching the answer to a technical problem and then calling the developer to report my findings, the developer exclaimed “Jesus, Joseph and Mary!! You are so… thorough!!!” Aside from the incongruity of hearing that from a Buddhist, I had never heard anyone use the term “Jesus Joseph and Mary” in real life; so whatever she was trying to tell me was completely drowned out by my subsequent laughter. Anyway, she was right.
†This is where I would say thank you Natalia, if I hadn't already promised to stop thanking her. So I am NOT using this opportunity to thank Natalia.
†† Thanks Jeannie!!