Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Before and After



The big weekend for which I have been preparing these past few months has come and gone and here I am safely emerged from the other side with a full report to make.  Somerville Open Studios was an event whose true rewards and results may not be evident for a while. As of this writing, I am still coming down from the adrenalin high of so much social and creative stimulation. I managed to take photos of my setup at the beginning of the day, but thanks to steady traffic of visitors was unable to leave my studio to get shots of the people crowding the hallways as numbers increased, and too distracted with one-on-one exchanges to sneak photos of the people inside my space, so words will have to suffice to document the day’s activities.





I wanted my studio to feel like a gallery space and offer more than simply a selection of my work for sale. To my delight, the simple spare quietly intimate effect I wanted to create, and hoped would suit small black and white photographs, was appreciated and commented upon by many of the visitors to my space. More than once I heard  phrases like  “it’s like a whole other world in here” or “what a sanctuary.” Someone was even so taken with the quality of sunlight through my drawn red curtains he asked if he could photograph it! More than one person felt comfortable enough to sit on my couch while admiring my work and many fell into conversations with me that went way beyond “nice photographs.”  In general it seemed as if the people who chose to visit my studio were not only specifically interested in photography but often practitioners themselves, and kindred spirits. 


My Holga images were of particular interest, and confirmed for me that the backlash against technology and desire to return to simpler tools is indeed a widespread phenomenon and not a passing trend. My retro look disc player and equally retro selection of music also received a lot of attention. Apparently there are a lot of fans of Django Reinhardt and classic jazz out there! My New York background and images also sparked interest. New Yorkers are everywhere it seems and wherever they go they love talking about “the city” with a fellow native!  


Sales were less satisfying. On Saturday and Sunday I received far more compliments than cash. Each day I sold a few small prints priced at 5 and 10 dollars. The big sale of the weekend came very close to closing time Saturday night, and I was so taken by surprise I almost missed what was going on when a woman pointed to my snowbound bicycle photograph. I thought she was simply admiring it. Payment  was made in cash and I spent the rest of the night proudly showing off the 100 dollar bill to my fellow artists. 


My apologies for the brevity of this post. I am still in recovery mode from so much activity and unequal to so much thinking I’ll need to do about what it all means. I firmly believe that this weekend was not an end in itself or an ending at all, but a beginning. I’m leaving in a few days for a recuperative weekend in New York where I can let the events of the past weeks sink in and decide where to go from here. I may even have time to fully catch up on all the blogs I’ve been neglecting! Thanks to all my followers for being there. It is no exaggeration to say I could not do what I do without your continued support and sympathy!

All the best to all of you.


20 comments:

  1. Really happy for you! What a great post Gabriella. Enjoy it!

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  2. Thank you so much, Luis! I need to take a little break now but I'm sure good things will soon follow from this exciting - and draining - event! Have a great week.

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  3. Thanks for showing us through your gallery, Gabriela. It's not quite the same as being there but it's at least something. And congratulations on your work and success.

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  4. So happy for you I have tears in my eyes. It looked amazing and I think (hope) you were right that it is a beginning. And wonderful to be appreciated by your peers. Hugs. Enjoy your well deserved break.

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  5. Elisabeth thank you so much for your kind words!

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  6. EC - Your words touch me so deeply, my dear friend. I truly appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  7. G/TT - so pleased that you could take the time to pen this post and let us know how it went, how it felt and what it looked like! We are so very far away at the moment and it felt special to be able to 'see' your space online. The presentation looked beautiful, serene and calm, yet warm and welcoming as well. I hope you have a fabulous restorative weekend away - we are heading home in a few days and plant o be restored as well! Travel safe F

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  8. Happy with you too, dear!!!
    The photograph with the bicycle in the snow was
    very something else!
    Enjoy your relaxing time in New York!

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  9. Thank you Wong!

    Fiona, it means a lot that you appreciate my presentation - I've always envied and been inspired by your grasp of simple elegance, which I am so rarely able to achieve. I think I got it right this time! Safe travels to you too.

    Monika, my dear! Thank you for your comment. Yes, I love that bicycle image. It was a matter of fate that it was purchased - the woman who bought it said she was about to visit a friend who had moved away to a warmer climate years ago and it made the perfect gift to remind her of the Boston winters she had left behind! All the best to you.

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  10. Hey G... wonderful to hear about your sale!! I've been anticipating the results of your weekend and it sounds like some good connections were made.

    Your work is beautiful!!

    Onward & upward

    D.

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  11. Hey D! It's so good to know you were out there thinking of me - maybe all those good vibes helped the weekend to be a success? Can't rest for too long, though - lots of new projects and promotion ahead. You did a calendar last year, didn't you, or am I dreaming? If true, remind me to get your advice on that sometime soon. Onward and upward, indeed! All the best to you.

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  12. I think this is all so cool. Your work is awesome, and your decision to do open studios is fantastic. I loved them when I lived up there. I've only ever been a visitor, but the energy at them is so fun. Congrats, G! May you reap all sorts of good things from this.

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  13. Nice to see you here, me dear. You are right about the energy, from visitors and among artists alike. Heavy Dewey Lounge-type vibe at some impromptu gatherings before, during and after. Big buildup and then concentrated intensities and now silence and back to what must be reclaimed and redefined as "normal". Maybe that explains my drain this post-week. I think I went through something akin to a VC residency! Go well, you.

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  14. Yes ,yes, your studio was beautifully transformed, looks really professional, love those curtains too, and your photos... well they stand out.You can be proud!
    I'm glad you had a lovely time and I know that adrenaline feeling after a show and the energy and ideas that come with it. Enjoy NY xx

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  15. Thank you so much Renilde, for seeing and appreciating what I tried so hard to create in my space! I'm writing this from NY about to have a nice day in my native city - I can feel the energy returning already! all the best to you my dear.

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  16. I love the way you have transformed your studio space into a gallery,very beautifully done. You are right in saying this is just the beginning. Congrats on your sale!

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  17. Thank you Narayan! As I've made so evident, the presentation was just as important to me as the works I was showing - I do believe that every detail counts! It's good to know it all came across as intended! Many thanks for your comment.

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  18. TT- congratulations on many fronts: the creation of a quality body of work; surviving the event; great presentation of your work; the admiration of fellow artists; the sales; the courage to put your work out there. I agree with F- enjoy the time in NY - be restored and return with confidence to continue the journey. We are finally home again after being on the road for about 6 weeks - it will be good to sit again , to contemplate and to create. Say hi to B. Go well. B

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  19. Barry - thanks for your kind words! I'm on my way back from NYC this morning. It was a good trip, but I am eager to get home again and as you say, continue the journey. All the best to you and F!

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