Friday, May 13, 2011

New Directions

Sometime before my dad really began to fail last winter, I made commitments for a few new local projects for May. Little did I realize at the time how truncated my work time would be when I was scheduling a busy "art May" besides being the month we open the campground here, but that's just how things have turned out. And so far, I haven't cancelled anything.

A new challenge I accepted was to exhibit my work in the context of wall hung, framed artwork, in public spaces so it would (ideally) be attractive AND secure. Wow, at first I had little clue how to start. But a friend suggested I shop for "shadow boxes" and as luck would have it, the weekend I finally went hunting for them--they were 50% off at Hobby Lobby. Talk about a lucky break (these things are kind of expensive!)

Nature Frolic, 17 ¼” x 13 ¾” x 2 ¾”
Mixed Material, Artisan Handmade Jewelry in Shadow Box, Assemblage not for Sale,
Individual pieces priced individually where available

So I took them home, took them apart, and went hunting for "appropriate hardware," fabrics and papers with this vague idea in mind to create some sort of installation that was intimate and casual and could showcase a range of my pieces. I decided that pegs, hooks and bars coupled with little shelves were the best place to begin my construction, after I had attached small hasps with tiny padlocks to the outside of the doors (adding these locks was a lot harder than I thought it would be!)

Going Forward in Neutral, 17 ¼”x 21 ¼”x 2 ¾”
Mixed Material, Artisan Handmade Jewelry in Shadow Box, Assemblage not for Sale,
Individual pieces priced individually where available

All the "interior" components were either white or a linen beige color, which I now see is quite pleasant to my eyes, but is not necessarily the best for photography....ahhhhh, you can't win them all, lol!

Then, I pulled little "collections" together with shared color themes. I added tiny altered black and white paper prints of some of these very pieces being worn and added a few "related natural objects" to sort of round out the compositions a la Joseph Cornell, at his most basic.

Turquoise Blues, 17 ¼” x 13 ¾” x 2 ¾”
Mixed Material, Artisan Handmade Jewelry in Shadow Box, Assemblage not for Sale,
Individual pieces priced individually where available

For these photos, which are not the greatest quality, I made the first set (all above) with the glass "doors" open in order to sort of capture a rough idea of the arrangements before I moved the pieces. Since the jewelry pieces included are actual pieces for sale, I didn't attach them in any way so a final touch up and clean up was necessary when the boxes were actually hung on the wall for the show. It was a pretty challenging project, to tell the truth! And I have no doubt these "shadow boxes" will change and evolve to become new and different pieces when necessary!! So now, I'm more prepared to hang my work in what I think of as "typical gallery installations" -- this is a good milestone for this body of my work.

One view of the final installation

So while this project is up and being viewed, I'm hard at work on my first (and only?) Summer Art Fair, scheduled for 5-22, Sunday, at an annual event in Barrington, IL called "Art in the Park." Wow, a whole different challenge for showing and installing!! I'll report on how this project comes together later....wish me luck!!

I'll close by mentioning a really fabulous new daily newsletter that ArtFire is producing which showcases a small selection of choice, related works each day and is a nice shortcut to finding new quality pieces by artists who keep their shops on ArtFire. It's called "The ArtFire Daily Collection."

But wait, there's more: a very neat contest is currently tied to subscribing to this daily newsletter (which you can sign up for here.) Everyone who signs up is given their own special code---and every day, in this lovely newsletter, a new code is randomly included. If you are lucky enough to be that winning number???? You win a $100 credit to spend as you like in any of the shops on ArtFire--hey, just think--maybe you could come and shop at my studio!! Good luck and let me know what you think of these new newsletters (I just love them!) And yes, I check for my own lucky number every day!


Anonymous said...

they look like little closets with jewelry instead of clothes - Very clever! (Why are you in the same section as a cow?)

WillOaks Studio said...

Thanks, Grace! I love that big yellow cow, but being there together was the luck of the draw. Each month 2 artists get to show on this wall in the Starbucks and the hanging is pretty it's a grab bag who ends up with who!! Big bright paintings bring the viewers closer so they notice my more subtle, intricate, detailed pieces....

Ann said...

Those look really great. You should think about putting out a line of wall mounted jewelry display cases. Who wouldn't like to have something like that

Lin said...

I love them! You did a great job of making them interesting to the eye, as well as being functional! Wish you the best at the show--wish I was closer so I could go!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you do have a lot going on! The gallery display looks great and I'm glad you had fun with it despite the challenge. Perhaps you could incorporate these into your summer show setup and see how it looks!?

Split Rock Ranch said...

These look fabulous! What a great way to showcase your work. Sorry I haven't visited in awhile - things are crazy here!

Suzi Banks Baum said...

What great ideas here and what a tender voice you have! I am so thrilled to meet you. I will surely sign up, if only to have messages from you in my inbox! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am honored you came. Love, S

FishHawk said...

"WillOaks Studio" has been included in the tenth and final edition of this years Thinking of Christmas Gifts in July. I hope this helps to attract even more new customers.

Swapna said...

That is a brilliant idea... thanks for sharing


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