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Archive for August 6th, 2020

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All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.

–Sally Ride

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This year’s Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery was originally scheduled for this coming Saturday. It is obvious now that this year’s talk just can’t happen in the same way as in the past. As much as I enjoyed the one from last year, one where we jammed as many people as was possible into the gallery, the idea of replicating it seems downright crazy in the time of the virus.

I am not willing to risk my own health to do such a thing and am even less willing to put anyone else in harm’s way.

To be clear, this year’s Gallery Talk ain’t happening, folks.

At least, it can’t take place in the way we know it.

I am working with Jesse and Linda at the West End Gallery on a way of doing some type of online Gallery Talk, something through Zoom or other web meeting service. It would actually be more of a Studio Talk, a visit to my space and maybe a little tour. It would still have some of the same elements as the normal Talk–the annual giving away of a painting, to be exact– and would be missing others. That would be a live crowd.

There are plenty of pros and cons on doing this.

The pros for doing it are:

  • It would be safe and convenient–No crowds and no having to find parking
  • Everybody gets a seat! Unless, of course, you feel like standing in front of your computer
  • Because there are no space limitations, more people could participate¬† and it would allow people who are not able to normally get to the Talk, people from out of the area, to participate. We might be able to go international?
  • It would be a different experience, a changeup from the norm and that’s a good thing once in a while
  • No Masks needed, though I might wear one just to cover my face
  • I could show some stuff from my studio that I can’t easily do at a regular Gallery Talk
  • It would shame me into straightening up my studio
  • If someone doesn’t like it and wants to leave, they can just turn it off. That sure as hell beats having to worry about how they could creep out of the gallery during the talk.

The cons are:

  • No living, breathing people. Well, they will be out there, living and breathing. Just not in front of me. I don’t get to see immediate reactions and react to those. It makes any attempts at humor a bit harder for me.
  • No oohs and aahs. I can’t overstate the impact of the oohs and aahs.
  • My own ineptitude with technology and inexperience with online broadcasting. I would have to bone up on doing this in the right way so that the experience is not painful– for you and for me.
  • I lose the ability to interact one-on-one with folks before and after the talk, which I very much enjoy. I get to just talk with folks I might not have seen in some time plus it loosens me up beforehand and eases me down afterwards.

There are most likely many more pros and cons that will come to mind. If you think of any not on this list, please let me know. Any additional info or opinion I can get will be helpful.

I have to admit, I am more than a little nervous about doing this. Worried about technical glitches. Plus, I’m not used to talking in this manner and am afraid I am going to be left hanging in the breeze at some point. You know, where your mind goes absolutely blank. During a normal talk, I can turn to someone in the audience and make a comment and that sets off a whole new line of reaction and discussion. Alone in my studio in front of a camera, I won’t have that luxury.

The whole thing scares me a bit.

But it’s like late astronaut Sally Ride said: All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.

Of course, she was talking about being strapped inside a damn rocket to the stars. I am just talking about sitting in my studio and talking into a camera. I guess I better just quit whining, put on my big boy pants, and just do it.

So, keep an eye out for details. We are going to work on this in the next few days and will hopefully have something to announce next week. If you have suggestions, hints, ideas, questions or even just crackpot comments on this, please let me know. I can use all the feedback I can get on how to do this right.

Have a good day!

 

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