Kristin here. My artistic career since starting a family has always been a side venture. In recent years it's taken on more and more import but there's always that balance to find between being present as a mother, diligent as a housewife (at least a little bit), and proactive as an artist. When we lived in Hawaii, I felt the desire to take my art more seriously, but never actually acted on it (the perils of knowing your time in one place is limited). Moving to Virginia with more independent kids and a husband who I knew wouldn't be gone for 12 months at a time, I made a pledge to myself to engage in the local arts community -- even if only temporarily.
I applied for and was accepted into the local art co-op and signed up for a solo show in their main gallery. Lucky me, I am scheduled for September! The opening is in just over two months. Yikes. But I'm ready(ish) with twelve aprons and five quilts and another textile to choose from. I've made lists and marked the calendar with dates by which I need things.
Right now I'm focused on dealing with some ideas I've been contemplating. I put the pedal to the metal on a medallion quilt that was bouncing around in my head and I'm really loving how it's looking. I'm so glad I had the chance to get a good start on it earlier in the month at the retreat even before I knew I'd be having a show so soon. I keep picking up a stalled quilt that I've been working on for over 10 years and finally decided that I'm not clear enough on it's vision to warrant stressing over finishing it for the show. I have a couple of half baked ideas in my sketchbook, but I don't think that they are necessary to fill the gallery, and I'm far more excited about starting the next series rather than dragging out this one unnecessarily.
I made a scale model of the gallery a few days ago and populated it with scale printouts of my work. It's like playing with a doll house! I ordered two mannequins to display work on but one arrived moldy, so back it goes to be replaced (glad I ordered early and have time to replace it). Next up is taking a look at my mailing list (terribly outdated) and writing a press release for some military-related venues that the normal publicity at the art center probably won't reach. Then I print postcards, and new business cards while I'm at it. I'll need a statement or something as part of my signage in the gallery (and I'll have to design and order the signage). And I can't forget to make sure each piece is signed and labeled consistently and ready to hang/install. I've got to get the builder guy at the art center to find or make me three pedestals for the mannequins too.
There's lots to do in the next eight weeks. But nothing is difficult or unexpected. I have been dreaming of this show for years as I've been creating The Army Wife series. I am incredibly excited and I can't wait to show my story to our community here.