Here's a partial installation shot of the Rolling Boil exhibit at the Lazy Pear Gallery in Montpelier, September 23 - November 16, 2008.
Another art lifecycle event this week: picking up and bringing back work after the conclusion of an exhibit. Making the work, loading it up and taking it somewhere, packing it up and bringing it back. Breathe in, breathe out. Jiggity-jig, jiggity-jog. A familiar ritual.
The Lazy Pear Gallery kept about a quarter of the work by volume to add to my other work on display at the gallery. There were two large pieces that came back, The Wall and Raising the Dead, as well as Rendition Vehicle. Rob, who owns the gallery (along with his wife Mary Jo), is a lovely guy. He always helps with the transportation. We packed the big work into Rob’s truck and the smaller pieces into my car and made the return trip to Barre, into the elevator, up to the third floor, and into the studio. It took about four hours with packing, transporting, and putting the work away.
One $350 piece sold during the exhibit, the turtle on wheels (see above, on the blog’s banner). It’s not uncommon, here in Vermont, to sell nothing during the run of an exhibit, so it’s interesting to think and talk about how art is priced and sold. Many people, when asking about a piece, want to know how long it took to make it, as though an hourly wage for the making (say, even a lawyer’s impressive hourly, $50 - $300, which seems extremely generous) would make sense.
In fact, it helps to think about the larger context of each individual piece to understand the business part of art. So, for example, I worked on this Rolling Boil body of work for two months and paid rent and insurance on the studio during that time. The materials were pretty much free, I’ll grant you! For this one exhibit, I spent about six hours just in packing and carting the work. Rob printed and mailed cards, hosted an opening reception and an artist talk, and kept his gallery open. He made $175 and I made $175.