Getting ready for the new show
Getting ready for the new show
Some favorites that I’ve seen the past few weeks by Ann Conner (Logs 6, Timber 5, Hollywood 3, Post Oak 2)
The last two weeks we’ve been preparing for the new prints exhibit. Last Wednesday, I made a list in the online registrar of all of the new prints that were going into the exhibit. Taylor had done some measurements for plexiglass, and Mark hung all of the work later in the week. Monday of this week, I created wall labels for each piece that Taylor finished and hung yesterday. We also did a bit of dusting and cleaning, and today, Cynthia (the print studio intern) and I touched up, cleaned, and painted the walls of the gallery to make them look as good as possible before the exhibit opening in two weeks.
Despite my hatred of painting walls, today was beneficial to my internship experience because it allowed me to spend some time talking with Cynthia and hearing about her background as an art student from Oklahoma (just like me!) and how she ended up at Flatbed. I also got to ask her about various print techniques that I have encountered in the Flatbed collections but haven’t learned about in my printmaking class. It was also great to see the gallery come together as we were painting. Not only does it look much better now, but I also learned some tips and tricks about how to clean up and set up a gallery before showing a large collection of work.
Since we recently took down the Speed exhibit, it seems like Spring cleaning around the gallery, so I had a slew of random jobs today. I peeled the vinyl letters off of the exhibit walls, cleaned the front tables, and most importantly…sorted a bunch of keys.
Every day, I walk into a storage closet attached to the gallery office and there lies the largest pile of keys I have ever encountered in my good 21 years of life. Okay, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but even so, Mark asked me to find all of the keys that worked to the front door so that we could give one to one of the new tenants. Thus, my key testing experience began. I stood in the warm sun, feeling the breeze of the cars pass on MLK, trying out key after key. I eventually sorted the large pile into various piles, including EAST DOOR “works well” and “finicky” (laughing on the inside at the play on words…finikey. haha). Anyway…
Today was great. I was not only excited for an exhibit change and impressed by Flatbed’s ability to have so many different exhibits within one year, but also, I loved getting to stand outside testing keys. I really like repetitive and seemingly useless tasks because they allow me to think about where I am and what I’m doing, so as I stood soaking up the sun, I thought about how much I love Flatbed and how lucky I was to be there and know those who created it and kept it going. It also gave me another chance to look at the “Art, it will change your mind” sign that hangs outside, so I contemplated how true that really is and how this gallery exists for that very reason, to change minds. It certainly has changed mine.
Some of Julie Speed’s work (Pirate Queen, Bunnyman, Fishmonger, Launch)
Most days, Mark isn’t in the office, so I sometimes have to find jobs to do. Today, I helped Kathy and Tracy (the master printer) in the studio, pinning wet prints on dry wall so that the prints would dry as flat as possible. After that, I organized the desktop on the Flatbed computer, just sorting all of the clutter. I also removed wall labels from the old exhibit to prepare the gallery for next week’s exhibit hanging.
The last exhibit featured in the gallery consisted of the work of Julie Speed, one of Flatbed’s most important featured artists. She comes to retrieve some of these prints this weekend, so I packed them in a large folder and pulled some extra prints that she had asked for.
I enjoyed working today and finding ways to make myself productive. I especially like days when I get to work in the studio a bit because it allows me to watch and/or be a part of the printing process. I’ve watched the colors changed, the blocks inked, the images cropped, pinned, and dried, and the finished product laid on my desk to enter into inventory.
Taylor and I began a project this week, sorting through books, files, and press clippings in the storage closet and searching for any images that could be used in the book about Flatbed that Mark and Kathy hope to make. This week, I searched the Flatbed server for images of the old Flatbed gallery and beginning snapshots of the current location; these images illustrate the physical transformation of the gallery itself. I also looked for images of artists and Flatbed staff at work. There were multiple images of working artists that demonstrated particular details or close-ups of different printing techniques. We also created two folders for every Flatbed artist’s work, one for images large enough to use in a book and the other for images that needed size adjustments. The book will be printed through UT, so we have a strict set of guidelines for the images we can use.
I’m excited that I was able to work on this project because it allowed me to educate myself on the history of Flatbed and to actually see its transformation. It also allowed me the opportunity to spend some time looking through every artist in the Flatbed system and acquaint myself with their work. I also think that I’ve honed some excellent computer skills and have realized that behind every great mind that runs this gallery stands a computer, filled with files of Flatbed’s rich and complicated history.
Today I continued to organize the flat files, and inventoried a few new prints. I feel like I’m finally accustomed to entering information in the Flatbed systems and inventory. Every day, I enter new contacts into the mailing list, and after entering new prints into the online inventory, I feel fairly confident on the computer, especially since I have a Mac and am already mostly accustomed to the systems. In addition to organizing files online, I did a bit of cleanup around the gallery and the office as well.
some of Dan Rizzie’s work (Blackberry Thieves III, Bird on a Limb, Nature Morte I, Untitled Flatbed Suite)
Taylor made a lot of progress with the Dan Rizzie images, so today I took a break and focused on the ongoing project of organizing and maintaining the flat files. Kathy asked me to pull some prints for showing within the week, but actually finding the prints proved difficult because so many of the flat files are either mislabeled or unorganized. As I was pulling the prints, I developed a method for organizing and recording exactly which prints occupy each drawer. After finding the prints that I needed, I began using this same method on some other drawers. Hopefully we can use the records template I made to better maintain the flat files in the future. I ended the day by returning to the Dan Rizzie project.