My most recent solo exhibition is now closed and I have banished most of the 45 pieces that were exhibited to their boxes in my home. Unfortunately the number of visitors and sales were very low, although I was pleased that those who did attend were very complimentary about the work. I was truly saddened that many of my friends and fellow art quilters did not make it to my show, but I would say that a good number of the traditional quilters who enjoy my work did make the effort---and it was much appreciated!
The location of this venue is not very good for traffic and they get very few drop in visitors during the week. Their best opportunity to sell anything is opening night and this one was rather slow. The weather was pretty good for most of the month so I don't think that kept people away. Busy lives and other priorities are probably the culprit.
The owner of River's Mist Gallery did a marvelous job of hanging my work and creating a beautiful exhibition. The front windows were beautiful and probably attracted some attention from passers-by. But, I think there is something about a nice looking art gallery that seems to scare some people and they are afraid to actually go in and look. I'm not sure why this is, but I have sat at the front desk and watched people look in the windows but never come in. I wish I could tell them there is absolutely no dress code, no minimum required purchase, and looking is free (and much appreciated!)!!
I now have a pretty good inventory of pieces to spread around to other shows and galleries so I guess that is a good thing!
I have had a lot of other success in the last week including a 2nd place award for my piece, “Heated Conversation” at the LaConner Quilt Festival in LaConner, Washington. I sent 3 pieces to a juried gallery fiber show in Whitefish, Montana, for the month of October and a number of pieces to a gallery in Billings that approached me about showing my work there. I have 2 pieces at this weekend's Machine Quilting Exposition (MQX) in Portland, Oregon. I received word that my 3rd article has been accepted and will be published in a future issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited. This weekend I was contacted by a company that markets a certain very popular fabric line at major quilt shows and wants to use one of my designs to create instructions/kits using that fabric. I will receive royalties on those sales so that is pretty exciting! All of this is keeping me quite busy checking e-mail, preparing images, and wishing I could be a fly on the wall at all of these places! My quilts get to travel and have much more exciting adventures than I ever do!
Locally our art group, Montana Bricolage Artists, will be showing our most recent group effort, “Reflections” at a local brewery for the month of November. Kicking off the first weekend is a city-wide art event with numerous venues around town featuring different kinds of art. So if you are in or near the Hamilton, Montana area do stop in to the Higher Ground Brewery and see this really wonderful fiber art show with our quite varied interpretations of the “Reflections” theme, and visit some of the other interesting venues around town. In particular there are approximately 100 artists who have been participants of a program to teach artists how to market and sell their work who will be showing their work at the First Interstate Building at the Hamilton Fairgrounds on the first Friday and Saturday in November.
I'm excited about all these opportunities that have presented themselves and all the success I am having with my work in some of these new directions. I wish I could sell more work locally, but I'm thinking that I better pursue the goal I have been pondering for some time of getting my work into some gallery venues outside my region/State—and in more lucrative markets! Now to figure out how to do that!