When I think of art and the month of September, I always think back to the first time I heard the incredibly successful artist and teacher, Sally Bowring, give an artist lecture. I was 16 or 17, sitting in my high school art teacher (Mike Guyer) 's classroom. Bowring was talking about the best time of year to display your art. She said that in the summer everyone travels, so while showing your art at every opportunity is a necessity, June-August is not the greatest season for exposure. She then said if you're asked to show your work in September it's "an honor". Everyone is getting back into their routines and ready to see new and exciting artwork. I remember writing "September is an honor" in my sketchbook, dreaming of the day when a gallery owner would want to show my work off during the month that this talented woman deemed ideal.
Fast forward to a few years later when Sally became my painting teacher at VCUart school. I find it beautifully harmonious that her direction lead to my first solo show in 2011 that just so happened to open in the month of...yep, you guessed it: September. That opening night was a turning point in my career. Delivering my gallery talk with a lump in my throat from nerves and excitement, listening to my two favorite teachers, Guyer and Bowring, give their own take on who I was as an artist, and receiving praise from total strangers who showed up just because they love art - gave me the confidence to realize that if I worked hard enough, I could do THIS life forever.
Fast forward to a few years after that and here I am, sitting at my desk at 12:05 in the afternoon, writing my blog, living this dream life of a full time artist; completely amazed and so insanely grateful that I have enough wonderful people in the world that want to see and/or buy the art I create.
So where is this leading? I'm writing all this because I want you to know how much YOU matter. You may think you're just a spectator and that if you don't buy anything you're wasting the artists time. I'm here to tell you that's not the case. That opening night back in 2011 I didn't sell one thing, and that couldn't have mattered less to me. I was so happy that people just came to see MY work! So tonight, I want you to be one of those perfect strangers! Tonight I want you to look at new art! Meet a new artist! If you like what you see, tell them!! Know that by just taking the time to look at someone's art, you are giving them confidence and showing them that whatever it is they're saying through their work- is worth your time. There is no bigger compliment.
It's September again and tonight is First Fridays. There are fresh faced artists who are nervous and excited about showing their work for the first time. Tonight there are artists who have been showing their work for 30+ years and still want to know that they matter. Show them!
Don't know where to start? Click here for the First Fridays website, details on each opening/locations/food/parking!
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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