The next few blog posts in this series will be about preparing and hosting the opening for my exhibition Anonymous Woman, which is running at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orléans, Canada from Nov 28, 2019 – Jan 7, 2020.
When I applied for exhibition space via the city of Ottawa, I was living there and thought we would be there indefinitely. So naturally I had already finished some works when we discovered the news of our impending move to Houston, Texas, USA.
Moving to Texas definitely threw a wrench into organizing and preparing for this exhibition! But when there is a will, there is a way.
Before we moved I made sure to finish and leave several works with friends so we didn’t need to ship the work back to Ottawa. Once we were in Texas, I had to be a bit creative.
The first thing I did was finish my paintings that absolutely HAD to be framed. When they were completed, I shipped the 3 works to the wonderful Wallack’s Art for them to frame. They already framed my Ruth, which was exhibited with the Bombay Sapphire Artisan series in Montréal, Canada:
Additionally, I shipped 3 large works to friends to hold onto until I arrived.
Note: be sure if you are an artist mailing yourself art for a temporary exhibition you make that clear in your FedEx or UPS label for customs. I’m currently trying to explain why I don’t owe HST (a Canadian tax) for art that I created and shipped to myself for a temporary exhibition.
So how did I get the rest of the work there for a 28 piece show?
I packed the remaining works in a piece of checked luggage. Gasp. I know!
I flew in a day before installation because I thought it would afford me some rest (I was 26 weeks or so pregnant at the time), AND if the luggage was lost I had a day for it to be returned to me.
I spent the first full day in Ottawa running around town collecting artwork and met a friend for lunch. When I carried one of my paintings, Peg, from my friend Holly’s car to my rented one, I was stopped by some police officers who asked me if I painted her. They were super excited about the work and very generous with their compliments!
I’m sure I made quite the image: a pregnant woman wielding (or maybe waddling with…) an at least 3 x 4 foot painting in the middle of Ottawa city streets! I don’t have a photo of that, but you can see Peg in the show here:
My in-laws graciously offered their help and arrived that Tuesday as well. And when I say graciously, they flew all the way across Canada from Salmon Arm, B.C. to be there with me in Ottawa! I’m one lucky girl. So I thought I better at least meet them for dinner 😉
The show runs at the Shenkman Arts Centre from Nov 28, 2019 – Jan 7, 2020. Some work is still available for purchase. You can see more of the works and watch my process videos by exploring the online gallery of the work here.