Adios, 100-Watt Bulb


As of January 1, 2012, the 100-watt bulbs we are familiar with will no longer be sold. Manufacture is slowing down and many stores are just selling out what they have. In coming years, lower wattages will be phased out as well. In their place are more expensive, longer-lasting compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Are CFLs the ecological answer?
Hmm. Read about some of the drawbacks here--and that doesn't include the quality of light we need as artists

On the one hand, these lower-wattage bulbs mean that we’ll use less electricity. On the other, they contain mercury and other toxic components. So win some and lose some, ecologically speaking.

But I am speaking here as an artist. I am used to living with and working under the warm glow of incandescent. In the studio it's 200-watt bulbs set into bowl reflectors; along with 100-watts for ambient lighting. I use the 100's in my home. In preparation for the ban, I've just bought several hundred 100-watt bulbs. (Yes, I’m hoarding.)
It’s important to know that 200-watt bulbs are not being phased out, but they're not being produced in huge quanties; also, specialty bulbs, such as those used in appliances, photography and stage lighting, will not be phased out. At least not for now.
I posted a comment on Facebook to see what other artists are doing in the face of the ban and got some interesting responses:

 . David Kidd: “One of the problems that I have faced with CFLs is the time required for them to warm up. It seems to take at least thirty minutes to reach a steady color temp. They grow warmer the longer they are left on. This trait may have changed with the newer bulbs. It's been a while since I tried using them.

 . Melissa Potter: “Most lamps with adjustable light output don't work with fluorescent bulbs.” (Kiss your dimmers goodbye.)

 . Dawn Korman: “There are new studies showing that the CFLs may be causing migraines, dizziness, and other neurological problems.”

On the positive side, Carol Diehl had this to say: "Compact fluorescents are not like the old fluorescents. You can buy them full-spectrum and whatever else. I am very particular (surprise!) and don't have a problem using them in my house. If they have mercury, think about the fact that one will last forever. She suggested this link from the Mother Nature Network for more positive information.

Maggie Boys agrees with Diehl: "There's huge variety in CFLs--in color characteristics, the time it takes them to warm up, and other qualities. Except for those people who get migraines from the tiny flicker, most issues can be handled by doing some research (i.e., trial and error) into brands and types of CFLs. Definitely stick to highest quality. Sadly, there were some really terrible ones on the market early on that taught us to hate them all."

When I called Just Bulbs, a specialty store here in Manhattan, to ask about comparable light quality in CFLs, one of the staffers—they are all knowledgeable about an astonishing range of light bulbs—said, “CFLs will give you any color temperature you can dream of,” and suggested that we hoarders are just being “old fogies.” OK, maybe he’s correct in his assertion that CFLs can give us the light we need for our homes, but is he thinking about making and viewing artwork? I don’t know. And I suspect that finding the right CFL is something we’d have to do in a specialty store such as Just Bulbs or in the bulb department of a light fixtures store run by a very knowledgeable owner. Otherwise the number of choices is overwhelming and the result may be be less than satisfactory. And apparently the price will give you sticker shock.
Other artists are trying types of lighting:
. Rene Lynch: "We use halogen floods. They last a long time and are bright warm, and clear. Balanced with the cool fluorescents, it's close to true daylight."
. Sara Mast: "I can't see in my studio with the compact fluorescents (love my incandescents, as you do!), and just the other day spent $60 on three 150-watt Verilux bulbs that are natural spectrum 'designer' bulbs. I may end up trying to buy those in bulk because they are so much better than the CFs."

. Elaine Mari: "I'm going to check out LEDs. They are available in various tints and are a lot less lethal environmentally than compact fluorescents."

Here you see a Kelvin color temperature chart (from Light Energy lower the Kelvin, the warmer the light; the higher, the cooler.  In terms of studio lighting, I mentioned that I use 200-watt bults. Matthew Langley does, too, and here's what he says: "I get about 4 -5 months out of them and they cost about $6 each. As a plus the light is 5600K (and in the winter the studio stays warm)."

So, today I’m hoping we can do a little crowdsourcing:
. Have you made the switch to CFLs in your home?
. Have you switched in your studio?
. Do you like what you see? If so, what’s the brand? (And if not, tell us that brand, too.)
. Have you experienced some of the physical effects suggested by Dawn?
. What else can you add to the discussion?

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Agnes Martin at Pace


View from the front door, looking in to the foyer

The impending October blizzard working its way up the coast may force Chelsea galleries to close early, but if not you have until the end of today, October 29, to see Agnes Martin, The 80’s: Grey Paintings at Pace Gallery on 25th Street.

I went to the opening on September 16 and foolishly didn’t take any pictures (the guards seemed somewhat more relaxed than usual). When I went back the following day to see the exhibition with fewer people around, the no-picture policy was firmly back in place. I’ve pulled a few images from the gallery website, which I’d urge you to visit.

Martin’s work has always been subtle, as you know. In these paintings her grays range from very light to very dark. The darkest paintings have their own room, all the better to see them in relation to one another, when the meditative rhythm of her horizontals and the variety of paint application becomes more apparent. Like opening your eyes in the dark, it takes a while for your vision to acclimate; the longer you look, the more you see.

Martin, whose centenary will be celebrated in 2012, has described her work as “memories of perfection.”  They are also perfection expressed materially.

Three views of the installation from the Pace Gallery website

Above: This vangtage point is from the entrance. The space, especially when there were few people, felt meditative, something I don't normally feel in this venue. I don't think I was alone in this perception, as the sound level was hushed, even when the gallery was relatively full. Some of the work is glazed, which makes the subtleties hard to see.

Below: Continuing counterclockwise, we glimpse the back gallery

Below: A view of the back gallery with the dark gray paintings. While there's a tonal range, there seems to be very little chromatic range in the grays, with a fairly consistent degree of temperature, neither warm nor cool. I wonder if they are simply mixtures of black and white. The surfaces vary, however, from light washes to more assertive applications of paint


Head to Head

I first saw Mindy Shapero’s work at Art Basel Miami in 2007 (left), at the booth of the the Athens-based gallery, The Breeder. It was a huge black ball—more like a boulder, really—embellished with beads and shiny trinkets. The other side was concave, its gold-leafed surface painted with three ovals, like eyes and mouth. The work was organic and mysteriously familiar; at the same time it was one of the satisfyingly oddest things I’d seen.

The Los- Angeles-based Shapero recently had a solo show, Breaking Open the Head, at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea. The mystery became a little more literal with an exhibition that included three large mask-like sculptures. There were eyes and mouth all right; whole large faces, along with smaller linear sculptures of the face in profile.

Installation view of Breaking Open the Head at Marianne Boesky Gallery, September 10-October 22

Above and below: Outer and inner views of  One who knows otherness because you have seen it with your own closed eyes (after passing through the portal and losing your insides), 2011, painted fiberglass, gold and acrylic,
22.5 x 39 x 48 inches

The work seems to have contrary impulses. On the one hand there’s a material craftiness to Shapero’s work, with bright colors and hand-made objects. On the other, there’s a metaphysical quality, something spiritual by way of a hallucinogen (or maybe the other way around). I find myself responding to both.

The show is now over, but you can see more on the gallery website, here.

Two views of the work on view upon entering the gallery. The plinth on which these works rest creates a theatrical space, the objects, which read almost as figures, a kind of performance


Marketing Mondays: Who's Self Taught?

In a Marketing Mondays post in 2009, I asked your opinion of the MFA—if you have one, if you think it’s important, if you’d go through the process again (with an update on the topic from Paddy Johnson in Art Fag City here)—but I’ve never asked to hear from those of you who came to artmaking without a degree in art. Today is the day. I’m asking, prompted by this question from a reader:

Q: There are many people who do not have degrees
 in visual arts but have been making art, some for many
 years. I am one of these artists. And I have been concerned
about how to approach galleries. Will the words
'self-taught' cause an immediate rejection, or are galleries pretty
open to considering self-taught artists?

A:  My personal point of view: I’m at the point in my career where my education is far less important than the years I have put into the work, so much so that I usually list my education at the very bottom of the resume. I have a BFA and an MA, however my MFA and PhD came via the University of Keep Going Until You Figure it Out. So I’m of the opinion that it’s the work that counts, not where you went to school. Indeed, most dealers will typically tell you the same thing: “It’s about the work.”

If you’re presenting your work to a gallery, I suggest that’s what you focus on. The work: what you’re doing, why, possibly how you got to this point. You don’t have to bring up the “self-taught” issue at all. 
Dealers didn’t go to “dealer school” and most critics didn’t go to “critic school.”  Jerry Saltz, the critic, has noted on many occasions that he learned how to be a critic by looking at art and writing about it. He was not trained in art; indeed he was a long-haul truckdriver before achieving his influential position in the art world. So let colleagues, dealers critics and others respond to what they see before them: the artist and the art.

That said, one of the things art school helps students do is understand (and these days, negotiate) the art world, along with providing a sense of art history, and a context for it all. Relatedly, there's a big difference between self-taught artists who work within the context of contemporary art--serious artists who may not have a degree but who have taken classes with good teachers, who attend lectures, who involve themselves in the art network of their region, who read about and think about art--and the hobbyists who dabble in self-contained societies.

Another issue is the one of the career switch. Here's a curator from a non-profit gallery: "Most (not all) self-taught artists always seem to make the same visual mistakes in their work. And worse are the professionals who have decided to change careers and become artists. It's not so much that their work is good or bad, but their attitude of privilige that their professional credentals are deserving of something."

I don't see enough self-taught work to recognize patterns of  "same visual mistakes," so I can't address that issue, but I would agree with the curator's comments about the career switchers. I, too, see an expectation in certain people who come late to art directly from a successful career in another field, like medicine, law, entertainment, publishing, that they will show up and enjoy the same kind of success they had in their earlier career. Sometimes it works, especially if they are well connected (example: Sylvester Stallone showing his derivitave paintings at Basel Miami in 2009 to big sales); sometimes it doesn't. Often there's no real background in art, no thinking about history, theory, technique, only that they want to express themselves and they want a gallery now. And a solo show, reviews, attention, and and sales, lots of sales. But the ones who roll up their sleeves and plow through with the rest of us, I say, "Welcome, comrade."

Now, artists--degreed or not--over to you. What do YOU think about this issue?

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Beautiful Violence

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, 1962, copper, 38 1/4 x 77 3/8 inches

I can’t say that I was wild about the Lucio Fontana/Sterling Ruby exhibition at the Andrea Rosen Gallery (closing tomorrow), but I loved this copper piece by Fontana. However you would describe it, painting or sculpture, it consists of a surface rent by five roughly vertical slashes. In cutting the thick copper foil—you can see where the knife went followed by the staccato stops, tentative at first, as he pulled and rested, pulled and rested—Fontana didn’t just expose the inside to the outside, as he did with his painting, but created a beautiful yet violent topography that appears higher and deeper because of the way the metal reflects and refracts the light: pools of bright color melting into deep, almost bloody shadows, and just as suddenly flowing out again into the light.  

Detail of Concetto Spaziale

Two angled views of the work, above and below
Big thanks to Andrea Rosen (that's she with the silver hair at left in the photo above) for showing this spectacular piece

There’s more beautiful orange metal in the neighborhood: Richard Serra’s enormous torqued and maze-like sculpture at Gagosian. I’ll post pictures soon.  Here’s a peek:


Alternatives to Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

The Comments feature is fixed. Please  feel free to weigh in.

Image courtesy of

In a recent Facebook thread, the artist Oriane Stender posed this pointed question: “What is the deal with artists fundraising among their artist friends in order to make/exhibit/promote their work?” 
“I'm sorry," she added, "but buying you a plane ticket so you can go to your exhibition in another state is not an appropriate project to hit up your friends/peers for. Mentioning it once, okay. But don't continue to harangue people as if your project had some kind of moral imperative.”

Despite the fact that I solicit financial support for this blog (and I’ll get to that in a moment), I agree. If it’s for personal gain or acclaim, don’t hit me up. But if you can come up with an ingenious win/win, I'm listeningand I may give.

Can You Secure Funding?
See if you can find a project grant to underwrite some or all of the cost. I notice, for instance, that artists in the big rectangular states seem to do rather well in securing grant funding, perhaps because there are fewer of them competing for the grant money. Of course, there are the grant savvy among us everywhere who always seem to get fundedfor exhibitions, catalogs, travel. (The more grants you get, the more grants you get. Grant-giving institutions seem to favor those who have a track record of using their funding well.) And artists who teach are smart to avail themselves of the modest professional development grants available through their institutions.
I like this approach because you're seeking funds from the institutions set up to give them. No other artists are harmed in the procurement of your grant.

Want Money? Offer Something
As someone who quietly fundraises year round (see my request in red on sidebar at right) and more vocally in advance of covering the art fairs in Miami, I understand both the need for financial support and the annoyance it creates in those who are solicited. I’ve resolved the issue for myself by seeking funding only here on the blog. If you read this blog (for free), you know the service I provide, and if you can afford to underwrite even a small portion of it, you know what you’re getting. Like NPR. This year, for the first time, I offered a unique digital print in return for a larger donation. Here's what one supporter emailed me after she had received her print in the mail: "Wow, talk about a win/win."
I like this approach because, since you're already here, you know the value of what you’re reading.  If you help underwrite my effort, you get more of what  you like. And I don’t have to stand around, cap in hand, asking for spare change.

Some other examples of Gimme . . . And of Giving in Return
I'm sure there are many, and I hope you will post that information in the Comments section. Here I offer three, win/wins all:
. When Laura Moriarty decided to create a monograph of her work, she went to USA Projects to seek matching funds. Well known in the Hudson Valley as a committed and critically successful  artist and as the director of a gallery there, and internationally known in the encaustic community, Moriarty created multiple levels for giving. Her friends and followers rallied 'round and she met her goal of some $9000.
I like this approach because it offered a supporter several levels of reward. The straight-up donation of a few dollars would be rewarded with updates on original postcards; for $50 the supporter would receive a book, signed by the author (I’m looking forward to my autographed copy); for $100, a book and a small monotype relating to the project.  Also, I know Moriarty will share her grant strategies with other artists; in fact, I've invited her to do just that at a conference I run.  (Another funding platform for artists: Kickstarter.)

. Sharon Butler, the force behind Two Coats of Paint, posted this recently, on the eve of a leave of absence (not sabbatical) from the university where she teaches: “Support the blog (and help pay my studio rent!) by inviting me to your university to participate in student critiques, to lecture about my own art practice, or to lead discussions about trends in contemporary painting and online media. I'm also available to write catalog essays for exhibitions. Thanks. Now back to our regular programming." You can read the entire post here.
I like this approach  because Butler is engaging her academically affiliated readers to seek support from their institutions, whose students would benefit greatly from Butler's expertise. And should you consider her for an essay, you're already aware of the quality of her writing through her online projects.

. Jody Lee, a New York City artist, came up with what she calls her "Partisans" project. She sought studio funding from people who had collected or expressed interest in her work. Says Lee: "I didn’t want them to feel like they were helping bring something about so much as support something that is already fully there and would be taken further with their support." So she printed several copies of a booklet with images of her work via Shutterfly and sent one to each potential Partisan, including a letter of solicitation. Lee's Partisans are welcomed for studio visits, and depending on their level of support receive two or four works on paper a year. Jackie Battenfield, author of The Artist's Guide, interviews Lee about this project in her online Reality Check series.  
I like this approach because Lee engages her supporters with studio visits and artwork. She's not only getting funded, she'd helping to develop collectorsand that will benefit other artists over time. (All the major cultural institutions employ some version of this strategy with membership, special deals, discounts, a sense of being part of something larger, and everybody gets something out of it.)

Over to You
Have you solicited funds? What were the circumstances? The results? Has anyone ever raffled off an artwork privately? Is there a funding request you found ingenious and/or worth your funding? Conversely, what has offended you?  Your comments are welcome, and they don’t have to be just in response to the previous questions.

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The Shadow Knows

Regina Silveira, installation with vinyl

I went to Alexander Gray Associates in Chelsea to see Jack Whitten's show (and I'll have a report for you next week), but I was taken with this front-window installation by the Brazilian artist, Regina Silveira. The West Chelsea Arts Building, which houses artists studios and, more recently, galleries--including this one--faces north, so the shadow Silveira depicts in vinyl is a physical impossibility. Conceptually, of course, it's another story.

View of the gallery window from the High Line (info here and here); this image from the gallery website


Melissa Meyer: New Paintings and Watercolors

Detail of Caratina, 2011, oil on canvas, 20 x18 

From the first time I saw Melissa Meyer’s gestural paintings, about 20 years ago in a small gallery in  SoHo, I have marveled at the way they balance intense movement with the order of the grid. Meyer’s gestures are fluid, almost calligraphic, but they suggest to me something like skeins or tangles of yarn, which have more dimension than what calligraphy would imply.

Meyer’s current show, New Paintings and Watercolors, is at Lennon, Weinberg in Chelsea through October 29.  With paint worked lightly, sometimes almost a wash, Meyer squeezes out a lot of color, saturated color, engaging the picture plane flat up against the surface as well as deep into the distance. I could look at them endlessly as they elecrify their allotted square or rectangular area, as well as the space into and around them.

View into the gallery, with Dassin on the back wall and Walkabout at right, both oil on canvas 2011

Above and below, panning the back gallery

It's a bit of a challenge to shoot in the back gallery, because the dramatic alcove is illuminated largely by daylight while the rest of the space is conventionally lit. I like the scale of these works, substantial but not overpowering--just the right size to fall into visually

Below: a detail from right in the center of Dassin.
These are not stain paintings--the ground is gessoed--but there is a lightness that plays in counterpoint to the strength of the gesture and the vigor of the composition

 From the back gallery looking toward the entry
On the foreground wall, full view of Caratina, whose detail opened the post


Marketing Mondays: The Verdict? Guilty

No, this has not suddently turned into a law blog. I was moved to create this short post after reading a comment in a recent MM, Do You Ever Think of Giving Up?  Nancy Natale wrote:

"Sometimes I think it would be nice to have
guilt-free time off."

Guilt: Why are we doing this to ourselves?

Yeah, yeah, I know one reason: We spend so much money each month for studio space that we feel we need to be in there every spare moment. But, really, if you own a car, do you feel compelled to drive it endlessly? Of course not. If you own a home, do you feel compelled to stay in just because of that mortgage you're paying. No you don't.  And you don't feel guilty about going out, either.

Many of us spend so much time doing other things, like working a nine-to-five, that we feel we need to squeeze out every spare moment in the studio. That's understandable.
But why the guilt when we aren't in the studio making art? It is a Calvinist work ethic? (We're not Calvinists.)  Is it something we learned in art school? (Hardly. We were all smoking weed and having sex.)  Is it the pressure of "making it"? (Taking a day off is not going to tip the scales either way.)  Is is age?  (I felt that weight when I was 25, and I'll bet you did too.)

Of course we want to spend our time in the studio. It's where we work. It's where we think. It's where we come home to ourselves. But . . .

. . . where does this emotional burden come from?

Please, let's discuss.


Optic Nerve

Douglas Melini, Gary Petersen, Sarah Walker at McKenzie Fine Art

 Douglas Melini, A Dazzle of Remembrance, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas w/ handpainted wood frame, 23 x 18.5 inches

OK, so I’m late with this report. Blame it on a different nerve, the sciatic. It’s hard to write when you can’t think. But I’m getting better, and I want you to know about this show at McKenzie Fine Art in Chelsea while there are still a few days left—it's up through the 8th.

These three artists are not exactly what you’d call a seamless trio. Melini is making vibratory grids that resemble a patchwork of weaves that fracture space; Petersen, syncopated angles often suggestive of architecture; and Walker, energy fields that I'd describe as geographic hallucinations. But that’s the point. Each is working with a geometric vocabulary and saying different things. The resulting exhibition is a retinal workout of differing planes and spatial fields, twists and folds, excavations and layers. I entered sober as a judge and left with a buzz.

Let’s enter the gallery and look around.

Looking into the gallery from the doorway: Sarah Walker, foreground; and Gary Petersen in the distance. All photos by me except those credited to the gallery

Below: Sarah Walker, Continental Drift, 2010, acrylic on wood panel; photo: McKenzie Fine Art website

Walking into the main gallery: three by Douglas Melini, left; four by Gary Petersen

Below: Petersen's The Divide, 2011, acrylic and oil on canvas;  photo: McKenzie Fine Art website
I like the scale of these works: intimate to midsize

Melini's three paintings head on, with a closer view of the painting at left, below

Untitled, 2009, acrylic on canvas with handpainted frame


Swinging around the gallery: one by Petersen, two by Walker, each shown individually below

Gary Petersen, Passage, 2011, acryulic and oil with colored pencil on masonite panel; photo: McKenzie Fine Art website

Two by Walker
Points Without Planes, 2010, acrylic on wood panel
Masses and Forces, 2010, acrylic on wood panel

Below: Detail of Masses and Forces

Arcing back to the entrance: two by Petersen, and Walker's Continental Drift, which we saw when we entered

Below: Petersen, Slip, 2010, acrylic and colored pencil on masonite; photo: McKenzie Fine Art website

"Against the Tide"

An Online Exhibition and Printed Catalog

The Internet has been a huge boon to artists with an entrepreneurial bent. I'm not talking websites, which any serious artist should have by now, but of blogs and other e-projects that allow us to write, curate, exhibit and meet in an electronic community that transcends physical space.

I'm pleased to announce that my painting, Silk Road 117, is included in Against the Tide, an online exhibition curated by Sharon Butler on her Two Coats of Paint blog. Writes Butler: "This online exhibition presents paintings by sixteen contemporary artists in the Two Coats of Paint community who have been drawn, perhaps against the tide, to the power and metaphor of water."

The artists include Joel Adas, Sean Anderson, Mark Barry, Barbara Brady, Jenny Zoe Casey, Emilia Dubicki, Mary Addison Hackett, Sara Klar, Rachelle Krieger, Magnolia Laurie, Mott McCampbell, Claire McConaughy, Wendy Small, Cary Smith, Robert Yoder, Elizabeth Zans, and myself.

Above: Rachelle Krieger, Storm and Tide,  1, 2008, watercolor and sumi ink on paper, 10x10"

Right: Joanne Mattera, Silk Road 117, 2009, encaustic on panel, 12 x 12"

The online exhibition features a perfect-bound, full-color print catalog published by Butler and her Two Coats of Paint press.


Marketing Mondays: Rejection Redux

The second post I wrote for Marketing Mondays, back on January 26, 2009, was called Rejection.  Everything I wrote is still true. It still stings, we still cede way too much psychic power to the rejecter, and we still need to get over the hump of it.

But not all rejections are the same. Today I want to talk about degree. I’m jumping off from a conversation with a director/curator I spoke to back then. I’m reproducing her comments and then providing comments of my own and those of two artist/gallerists--the comments being something I didn’t do in that earlier post.

"There are three kinds of rejection," said the director/curator of an art institution in Maine. She calls them  "levels." I'm paraphrasing, but here's the gist  of how she responds to  unsolicited submissionswhether via actual  package  or  email:

Level One: A definite No
“I respond with a short note that says, 'We feel your work is not right for the gallery. Thank you for thinking of us, and best of luck with your career,'” said the director/curator.

What You Might Do
Many of us have received this kind of response. It’s a don’t-call-us-we’ll-call-you-and-we’re-not-going-to-call-you. The impulse is to say, “Fuck you,” as a handful of artists have. Definitely don’t act on that impulse. And don’t waste your time obsessing over the rejection. Instead:
. Painful as it may be, read the rejection again. It did not say You are an unloved, ugly, untalented scumbag with no hope of a career, and, by the way you’re going to hell when you die, which couldn’t be soon enough. It said, The work is not right for the gallery. See the difference there?
. Understand that galleries have programs and if your work does not fit the program, it will not  be considered
. Understand, too, that even sending a letter to you represented time and effort on the part of the dealer because the package you sent was unsolicited  
. Send a postcard, ideally with an mage of your work, with this message: Thank you for considering my work. I know you must receive many submissions, and I appreciate that you took the time to respond to mine.
. Continue to visit the gallery. Do not bring up the issue of rejection. Just enjoy the exhibitions. If you see a change in the program over time, it may be because the curator or director has changed—there’s a lot of movement in the art world in every region and at every level—and it may be that a different director or curator will have a different take on your work. Your work may have changed, too. Whether or not you decide to try again is up to you.
. Relatedly, don't dis the exhibitions you see there--at least not while you're in the gallery. A different gallery director tells the story of an artist who was rejected for an exhibition and then bad-mouthed each show, and the artists in it, every time he returned to the gallery with friends. I suspect that artist will be shown in the gallery only when hell drops below 32 degrees Farenheit.

A Voice of Experience
I’m quoting Eva Lake, artist, radio host, gallerist, force of nature in Portland, Oregon, who responded to that original post: “There can be a million reasons why someone decides against you. People have their programs—they may actually like many things but they don’t show many things. It gets very particular. I say this as someone who has curated many shows. One time an artist really pressed me for a decision right then and there! I had been considering her but in a back burner kind of way. I've shown plenty of artists who started that way and made their way to the front burner,  but her insistence for input really turned me off. If she was like that before I said anything, how would she be later on? So I just said No. That No was not about her work really. It was about her.”

Level Two: A Definite Maybe
“Although the work does not fit into the scheme of any exhibitions I have planned, I like what I see. I send the artist a note saying exactly that, asking them to stay in touch. If they do, a relationship begins. Who knows how it will culminate?”

What You Should Do
This is where many artists trip up. The dealer is saying maybe, stay in touch, down the road, who knows while the artists is hearing No No No No No No.
. What part of stay in touch do you not understand?
. First send that thank you postcard, adding that you will indeed keep them apprised of new work. Address it specifically to the person whom you spoke with, or who sent you the letter
. Then stay in touch. Put the person on your mailing list so that she’s aware of shows you’re in. Solo shows tell the dealer you’re ambitious and hard working, and that someone has else found your work compelling enough to give you such an opportunity. Pick the best image for that postcard and make sure your name is on the front of the card with the image (good office printers allow you to custom print a card). If you’ve got a catalog, send that. If you’ve gotten a particularly good review, scan it and create a PDF and email it to the dealer, with a short note.
. Continue to visit the gallery. Sometimes dealers are just too busy to respond to every missive, but if they like what they’re seeing, and they’re reminded of that by seeing you, they may want to take a next step, which could be a studio visit if you are nearby or asking you to bring in some work. If it doesn't seem forced, you could drop off a catalog of an upcoming show, or hand deliver

A Voice of Experience
Here I’m quoting Rob Hitzig, an artist who runs a small gallery, who also commented on that original post: “If a gallery is encouraging and asks for updates, believe them. They want to see your work progress.”
Level Three: "Let's proceed"
 “If I like what I see and think it might fit into the program, I ask to see more work," said the director/curator. "If the artist is nearby, I might call to schedule a studio visit. If distance is a factor, I would ask the artist to bring in some work so that I can see it in person and get to know the artist.

How to proceed
Schedule that studio visit or bring in some work! If the dealer calls you, great. If she asks you to call the gallery, do so in a timely manner. (Timely: later that day, the next day. Carpe diem! ) If you’re scared to death, plan what you want to say. Maybe even write it down and say it a few times—while breathing.
. In terms of scheduling, be available, be flexible, but don’t go to extremes. If you’ve got an operation scheduled, for instance, don’t put off the surgery
. Prepare for a studio visit  so that when the dealer or curator arrives she sees just what she has expressed interest in and/or just you want her to see, nothing extraneous
. Follow up as necessary, whether it’s to drop off work or prepare requested information. And send a postcard to the dealer thanking her for stopping by is a nice touch.
. When you visit the gallery, don’t monopolize her time just because you have had a personal encounter. She’s probably doing the same thing with a number of artists

A Voice of Experience
Here, it’s my own: Understand that it still may take time for things to get rolling. I showed a body of work via slide (in the early 90s) to a New York dealer; he liked the work but not enough to do anything about it. "Let me see your next body of work," he said.  About 10 months later I did, to pretty much the same response.  I kept painting  and showing in group shows elsewhere. About a year later I was so confident in what I had that I called and said, "I'd like to bring in a few paintings to show you." He accepted them for the gallery, sold one, and shortly thereafter included the others in a gallery group show. Sometime after that  I was invited to join the gallery. The process took about three years.

How have you followed up after a rejection?
My question not about how you felt after the rejection but what you did positively after that. Do tell.

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