Over the years I’ve participated in several art shows, some in college and some after. I’ve sold a few paintings over this time (half of them to my grandma), but I’d like to sell more. Not that I want to part with my paintings, but selling my paintings means people other than me and my parents like them, which is a nice little validation that’s more meaningful than when people say, “You’re so talented,” and then keep walking by.
In May I’ll be participating in my first art showing in about two years. I’m excited and nervous, so I thought I’d briefly go over my history at other art shows.
Art Shows in College
Throughout college, I participated in art shows each semester, displaying mine and every other art major/minor’s art. It was a gallery of paintings for other students to see, appreciate, and whatnot. The two shows from the second semester of my senior year were different.
The first show was off campus and included the art seniors, the art teachers, and a few alumni who still lived nearby and wanted to participate. Our art was on display for a few days, and we had a showing with all of the artists there on a Friday or Saturday. There were hors d’oeuvres and a bunch of people from school and the town actually showed up. It was at this showing that I sold my first ever painting. One of my English professors really liked my piece and said he wanted to buy it. He put it on display in his office, but now that my college no longer exists he said his daughter has the painting at her house.
The second show was just my art and that of the other senior art major. We each got a section of a campus hallway to display our art. Again, our art was on display for a few days and we had a showing on a Friday or a Saturday that we had to invite friends and family to. My parents, one friend, and an aunt showed up for me, with my friends from campus attending as well. Here, I sold my second and third paintings.
By the time of the artist meet and greet thing, my art had been on display for a few days. Towards the end of the event, a math professor I never had approached me and said she wanted to purchase two of my paintings. She said she used to be a dancer and she really liked how I represented them.
Because of these sales, I was pretty hopeful leaving my senior year. I thought, “Hey, if I can sell paintings in college just think what I’ll do out of it.” I was at least a bit overconfident, but thankfully I didn’t expect my art to be paying my bills.
Post-College Art Shows
One friend of mine from college, Nicole Thomsen, was doing some art shows at this cafe in Chicago the summer after I graduated. I attended one of these shows where she invited me to join her for another showing in a few months. I was super excited at the prospect of selling more art, so I agreed.
We ended up doing 3 showings at that cafe, and I never sold one painting. The next summer and fall I also participated in several craft fairs and an art show at the Indiana Welcome Center, but I never sold any paintings there either. Except one to my grandma. A sale is a sale!
These shows were all good experience, I guess, but they were definitely rather disappointing. I don’t paint to sell my art, but it would be nice to sell some art to fund my painting.
2018 Art Show at Uptown Cafe in Valparaiso, IN
After a few years of nada, I’m finally doing another art show. A cafe/gallery in Valparaiso posted on facebook that they were looking to book artists for shows, I replied to their inquiry, and they picked me. How exciting!
I’ve titled the show Lost and Found, because sometimes I feel lost but I can usually get rid of that feeling by painting.
My art will be on display from May 5 to June 2, and everything there will be for sale. I’m really hoping that I’ll get at least one sale to counterbalance the cost of using their wall space!
If you’re interested in seeing my art in person, stop by Uptown Cafe in May! I’ll be there on May 5 from 4-7 PM for my artist meet and greet! Plus, there’s going to be a fun little raffle/giveaway — details will be coming soon!