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.