Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Beading at the Fair!

I am so very excited to announce that I have been invited to participate in the Minnesota State Fair  Fine Arts "Studio: HERE" program this year!  In this curated exhibit, a practicing Minnesota artist is installed in a small studio space in the middle of the gallery show, to providing a window into the WORK of creating art.  The fair runs 12 days, and 12 artists (one for each day) from a range of disciplines are invited to spend 12 hours, working and interacting with gallery visitors.
Detail from my 2010 Fine Art Show entry, which won the Jewelry Catgory the only year is was offered.
"January Dawn"
 When I got the invitation, of course my first reaction was to think that I might not be worthy and that the organizer might not understand that I am a part time bead artist, who supports herself with a full time ballroom dance competition costume business.  So I dashed off an e-mail explaining that there were other local beaders with much more experience than my own, books to their credit, and international reputations.  I explained that I was not a "professional artist" making my living through my bead art.  As I fretted about the annoyance of having integrity and telling the truth, a friend offered me her definition of  professional artist vs. amateur artist, which I found very amusing: 

"An amateur artist is one who works an unrelated, full time job to support the pursuit of her art work. A professional artist is one who has a spouse who works an unrelated, full time job to support the pursuit of her art work."
My 2011 entry to the Fine Arts Exhibit, which was not accepted.
"Persephone's Return"
Fortunately, I was informed that the curators were looking for individual artists with a combination of experience, a body of work, and eduction, as well as passion for their work, and that I would do nicely.  So I accepted!

Other friends tried to imagine the scene.  One of my favorites came from my fB friend Chris Maj: "How cool is that?! I envision groups of tourists being led by a tour guide whispering "And here we have the Bead-a-saurus Sparkletastica. The female of this species spends her days hunting the tiniest, most colorful beads. We have caught her in a rare moment as she weaves the adornments she will use to attract a mate."
My 2012 entry in the Fine Arts Show, which was juried in and was sold before the show opened.
"Daisy Buchanan : Innocence in Decay"
Actually, I imagine it will not be very different from demonstrating in the Creative Activities building, which I have done for several years as a member on the Upper Midwest Bead Society.  And I alternate between being really excited to talk to people about what I do, and mild terror.

SO, I hope any of you who are able might stop by on my day in the Fine Arts gallery, Friday August 30th from 9am to 9pm, to say hello.  Wear your UMBS shirt if you have one, and help me move forward my personal mission to make sure that there is room for bead art in the beautiful Fine Arts Gallery each year.  Please submit beaded art work each year to the juried competition if you have something to offer.  It is not an easy show to get into.  There are over 2500 entries each year, and just over 10% of those are accepted.  BUT, persistence pays off!  I have entered my "Picnic in May on Lilac Way" this year and do not yet know if it will be juried into the show, but I am allowed to have one of my pieces on exhibit for the run of the fair, so once again, beads will be represented in the gallery.
My entry in the 2013 Fine Arts Show, jury status as yet unknown.
"Picnic in May on Lilac Way"

18 comments:

  1. I loved your friend's definition of artists.

    You will be great. I put together a show, more a home party, with friends one year and called in "Work in Progress." We were making pieces to donate to girls who would also be receiving donated prom dresses. We all brought work to do during the show and set up finished pieces to sell.

    I found that I did not actually make much that day- I was too busy chatting with the non-beader shoppers. I also found that they were really interested in my supplies- seeing how the tiny pieces fit together, the variety of crystals, pearls, beads... They were also interested in the tools, not just pliers, scissors, and cutters, but the thread, wax, trays to contain the beads, and in my case a lighted magnifying glass. The finished pieces are inspiring, but the materials make you want to join in- it is like looking at a new box of crayons and a blank piece of paper.

    Expect to have a really great time. You will be wonderful.

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    1. Kathy Jo, what thoughtful and helpful comments. I love that definition of pro vs. am as well! I have begun looking up definitions of ART, and I have found a list created by artists (who should know, wouldn't you think)and some of the ideas are fantastic! I sweat blood writing my short artist's atatement, and I am glad I had not read these first! :D

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  2. How exciting!!! OOoo how I wish I could come!!! I am just so thrilled for you - I hope it's a wonderful and beautiful day, and that you spread beadiness everywhere!! :D :D :D :D

    ... and in my mind, at least, no matter your media, you are indeed a professional artist. With a capital A.

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    1. Thank you Nancy! It occurs to me that my beading not-for-a-living is, in some ways, an artistic benefit. As always, I appreciate your support and comments! And I would just LOVE to see you there!

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  3. Congrats, Marsha, and know that you're much entitled to be the star for the day! I love the comment defining 'professional' - I seldom get to sell any of my beadwork, most of it I wear a few times and stash away in a large box of finished pieces which get fondled from time to time. I was hoping that my beadwork would provide some income in retirement, but that has not been the case - but I still bead daily, buy beads too often for one so old, and love learning new techniques. Your work says 'artist' for sure, whether it's your costumes or the stand-alone beadwork! Wish I could see it in person, but appreciate all the photos you post.

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    1. What a lovely comment. I am going to go and see if I can find info about you and your work. Funny thing, I sold a piece today on Etsy, and hate to part with it, but as my husband says, "you cannot keep them forever, we would run out of space", and he is right. :)

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  4. I am totally convinced that you will do so very well as an embassador or our art. Everything you make has your perfection signature and I regret to not be able to pass by! I hope that you will have a picture or two to show us the event!

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    1. Cath I promise to take photos, and write about the experience! There is nothing I would love more for you, and all my fB friends, to drop by the fair!!

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  5. would love to have the pattern of this

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    1. I am so sorry, but have very little time for beadwork and have chosen thus far to spend it actually beading. But learning Adobe Illustrator is on my To-Do list!

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  6. Wish I could come see you in action! This will be fun. I loved the description of difference between professional and amateur artist!

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    1. Thank you Kinga! I love that definition too! :)

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  7. This is so incredible! Wishing you good luck and a fun time while you are representing yourself in the spotlight! Bead artists you don't even know will be sending good vibes and positive encouraging accolades from around the country...This one will be thinking of you from sunny, hot desert of Southern California!

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  8. Congratulations, how exciting!! My fingers are crossed that I will be able to make it to the Fair that Friday!

    On the issue of being a "professional artist," I think a big part of it is taking your work seriously and bringing competency, skill, and an emphasis on quality to your chosen medium. From what I've seen of your work here in your blog, on Etsy, and with the Etsy Beadweavers Team, it seems to me you fit the category quite well. I hope you have a great experience at the Fair.

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    1. I hope you will make it on my day in the gallery as well Laura. I do not think we have met, and I would like to meet you!

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