This May I am fortunate enough to participate in Portlands First Thursday art walk. This is an annual event where galleries and businesses open their doors on the first Thursday of each month in the summer to show off local artists and promote their businesses. The event is held in The Pearl district of Portland, which is known for it's proliferation of fine art galleries, design firms, trendy and chic home accessories, and all things that are upscale and/or cool in Portland.
At the last minute I was asked by the owner of 77 Salon (1100 NW Glisan) if I could pull together enough images for an exhibition in her salon. Normally, I do have some inventory of framed pieces that I take to art shows and such. But this....this is on a whole 'nother level....both in quantity and professionalism. Here's a shot of one of the salon walls with my images
I didn't want to pass up this opportunity to display my art to a wide range of potential clients, so I scrambled to pull together 21 framed images and hung them in the salon. Opening night was Thursday May 3rd and the turn out was fantastic. Plenty of walk in visitors who were participating in "art walk" as well as alot of my friends and supporters came down to view my work and wish me well. I met alot of wonderful new friends, sold a couple of pieces and had a fantastic time overall.
What is even more rewarding is to watch people viewing my images. It's intriguing to watch how they view the images, how long they spend viewing, are they engaged in the image or just casual viewers, etc. If there was a group of people viewing, it is fun to observe the conversations, body english, hand gestures and such. From both spoken and unspoken comments, the overall impression from viewers was highly positive. I met one couple who travelled to Portland from Seattle by train, just to get out of town and come see the art walk. He was transfixed by my image Art-Full and sat in one of the salon chairs for 15 minutes looking at it. Finally, he got up and said, "man, I have to get up, i'm just falling in to this image". High praise indeed. They eventually bought one of my images. I even received a few comments that my work is under-priced for it's quality (I thought I was asking alot, but maybe not)
It's always kind of scary putting my work out for public display. Since I shoot as much from the heart as from the head, my images are a little part of me and my soul, so displaying my work is a bit like baring my soul to the public. Once over my initial fears and seeing the reactions of the viewers, I was no longer nervous and it all felt very good!