One of the things that I highly encourage woodworkers to do is to show their work publicly at any level that they can. It is a great opportunity for growth as an artist and business person on so many levels.
I recently had an opportunity to share my work and portfolio at a local showing with the Rogue Gallery. The Rogue is a different sort of art gallery as the name implies.
First of all, it does not have a traditional gallery store front, it is a roving gallery that sets up in a different location for each show which lasts for only one evening. This adds a level of mystique, excitement, and anticipation to the shows. The best way to describe the Rogue is that is “Art Gallery Meets Night Club.”
The Rogue purposely stays away from showing the very typical and traditional western fine art which is commonly found in the galleries here in Billings, MT. While this type of art is nice on one hand, the galleries tend to carry it and exclude any of the modern and contemporary talent found in this area.
The Rogue Gallery has become a great venue for showcasing some great talent that is often overlooked. Their mission has been to bring art to the people in a more creative and energetic venue. The Rogue is not pretentious and presents art in a manner that is really attractive to a younger generation. I think their efforts are a key element in sparking & keeping the interest in art alive locally.
Public Showing Is Critical to Success (Survival)
I view myself as a woodworker, craftsman, and artist. I enjoy rubbing elbows with other artists of all types, they inspire and energize me. Being around other creative people influences my view of what my own work can potentially be.
The show was a great way to share what I create with my community and at what level I bring it. It was a great opportunity to show people what fine furniture can be and how pleasing it is. Unlike most art objects, my furniture is to be interacted with, I encourage touching all of the pieces and sitting on the Shaker Bench.
I made connections with a handful of young architects, designers, and associates in architectural firms. Some were aware of me and had an incorrect image of what I build. They were impressed with the quality of work and that fact that I designed it as well.
It is important to make a showing occasionally to keep your face out there. The guys that knew of me thought I had a traditional cabinet shop, but a traditional cabinetmaker I am NOT. A show like this is the perfect opportunity to mold your public image.
The message I am sharing here (without going into a full expository on the subject of showing) is to get involved with your local artist community and show your work publicly.
I put a video together with the footage and images that I captured during set-up and the show itself. I was limited on the pictures I could get during the show since I was talking to a lot of people about my work. You will see my display from 1:20 thru 1:28.
One more cool thing, the DJ spinning discs is having me build a DJ booth in his house. It has been an on-going project but that is another story I hope to share with you soon:)
Now Get Out And Show!
Your Friend in the Shop-
Todd A. Clippinger Share the Love~Share the Knowledge
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com