Sunday, April 10, 2011

My next solo show, in October, seems a long way away, but by now I know better than to get too comfortable with that distance.

It'll be at Austin College (in Sherman, TX). I'm very familiar with the school, as I received my undergraduate degree there, once upon a time--but not nearly as familiar with the Dennis Gallery, part of the Betsy Forster Complex (named after its generous donor), which sprung up a couple of years after I graduated.

My unfamiliarity with the space means that it's hard to know how much work is needed to appropriately fill, but not crowd, it. Having been provided with the space's floorplan certainly helps...


...but only so much. I don't always think spatially, and it's hard for me to really get a sense of the space. So I used a piece of matboard to make a maquette of the gallery.

Half an inch = 2 feet. A little crude, but when I printed out mini-paintings and placed them in the "room," it was believable, in terms of intervals and proportion; and gave me a better idea of how the high ceilings, wide open space, and impressive spans of unbroken white wall, will allow the paintings to breathe.

And okay, I'll admit, it was also a little fun to make. (Regardless of whether you prefer dollhouses or model planes, who doesn't appreciate an interactive miniature?)

I tried out a few different arrangements, moving the paintings from wall to wall and varying the spaces between them--and established to my satisfaction that the number of pieces I'm scheduled to finish by September will be sufficient to fill the room.

Then I thought it might be useful to be able to anticipate how the space would feel with the addition of a few extra guests. Because I am four years old.


  1. This is SO CUTE. I love dollhouses and miniatures!!!

  2. Oh, this looked like it was fun to put together...

    When my-kid-brother-the-architect was in college, he took any number of classes for which he had to build models out of cardboard, foamboard, etc. It was almost scarily entertaining to watch these things develop, and to actually touch the things (and to talk with their builder, before, during, and after).

    In yours, the miniature-to-scale artwork on the walls killed me.

    When you're exhibiting at a show -- or gallery, for that matter -- do you generally get a blank schematic of the floor plan, and a free hand in deciding what to show and where to place it? (Within limits of course; every artist may always WANT to exhibit more work than the physical space permits!)

  3. The bust in the doorway looks like he needs some punch and cookies. Where's the reception table?
    Really though, pretty cool stuff.

  4. Anissa: thank you! I found myself wishing I had your little dolls. Yarn-Hair Warhol and Nico would have been honored guests at the Wish You Were Here reception.

    JES, it was fun (and thank you for commenting, by the way). How very cool, getting to interact with all of your brother's assignments! What IS it that's so fascinating about space in miniature, the things that are only habitable via imagination?

    The one and only time I got to visit the Guggenheim (as a teenager), they were doing an exhibition of Frank Gehry's architectural models, and I had never seen anything like it. (Floor after floor of stuff like this: Mind: blown! It sort of changed my notion of how beautiful, and functionally different from the final product, "sketches" could be.

    Hilary: what, a rubber chicken in the jaws of a two-headed monster isn't buffet enough for you? I gotta tell you, it's going to have to cut it for Mustachioed Schubert, because the cookies are for ME.

  5. Can you please bring this model with you when you come? I'm sure that the exhibit will be sublime. However, it is hard to imagine that it could be better than this!

  6. Yes, Heidi, I will! Thank you for appreciating it.

    Of course, I fully expect Joseph to follow the installation blueprint to the letter--and for you to pull as many strings as it takes to make sure the show is patronized by giant snails and dog sledders. I don't see how it could fail to be a success rivaling its miniature.

  7. JES,
    I just realized I never addressed your question! Yes, in my experience, when one is invited to do a show of one's own in a non-commercial space, one generally has free rein in deciding how much work goes into the show, and where, and how. I suppose if one were working with a museum or something, or were supplying pieces as requested by dealers, the quantity and arrangements would be up to the professional installers and such. But at the level I'm operating...these are not concerns yet!