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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Reception: Don’t Act a Fool

For those of you who are not familiar with the etiquette of an art reception here are a few tips.

Artist Statement
There will typically be an artist statement close to the entrance. There are two ways to use this to your advantage.

You can either read it first or you can take a quick look at the work to come up with some thoughts and questions of your own. If you look at the statement first it will give you an idea about the work. It may also give you some terms to use when the person next to you asks you what you think about the work. If you read it at the end you will have the freedom to come up with your own thoughts about the work.

Your thoughts are just as valid about the work as any one elses, including mine...That being said

Don’t Try to Use Fancy Language
When someone asks you about the work, you don’t need to use fancy language to talk about the your opinions. In fact, please don’t. However, being prepared to use a few basic terms may be wise. Color, shape, contrast, line and value (darks and lights) are all great words to keep in mind. They can help you answer questions such as why you like or don’t like the work.

Many art students spend their first semester just learning about basic terms in the context of overall composition and concept, so don’t feel too bad if you are still not sure how to talk about other people’s artwork.

Ask Questions
The terms above are also great for asking questions and engaging the artist. In addition to the basic terms you can always ask the standard Who, What, When, Where, and Why. But don’t forget to consult the artist statement before asking too many questions.

I have often been asked what people should wear to an art reception and this is a tricky question. In Laramie, dressing up is wearing jeans with your Ugg boots instead of Victoria Secret sweats. That being said you shouldn't feel bad in whatever clothes you wore al day (at least not at my shows), but you should feel free to dress up a bit as well.

The artist and special guests may dress up a bit more (or may dress for the theme of the show). Artists are eccentric (and sometimes have crazy friends) which means the focus will probably not be on you regardless of what you are wearing.

How do you eat food without looking like the person who is just at an event for a free meal and getting out of doing dishes?

First of all, if you follow the tips listed above you will be better off than most people. Also, don’t be the person who just goes for the food. Check out these reasons to go to the reception if you are unconvinced. And finally, there is nothing wrong with grabbing food before (after or in the middle of) looking at the work. You can certainly walk around the space with food and a drink.

Look But Don't Touch
Which brings me to the final rule. Do not touch the work. Sometimes there are exceptions but if you are unsure don’t touch. Be thoughtful before touching. Does the artist want me to interact with the work or is it displayed in a way that interaction is not intended, helpful or needed. Furthermore, hanging work rarely has a need to be touched.

What tips did I miss? Comment below with questions or advice.

The Reception: Why Go?

Why go to an Opening or Closing reception for an art exhibition?

To Learn About The Art
Chances are you do not know a lot about the artwork. You may have seen online pictures and read a bit about the ideas behind the artist and their work online. There is nothing like seeing the work the way the artist intended for it to be seen. Every time I take someone to see my work for the first time they are excited about how different it is to see in real life than it was on FB or my blog. This is true for many famous artists as well. I was never a true Van Gogh fan until seeing him in person.

Art doesn’t become significant in a bubble and most art seems to impact the community that it is created in the most. Attending a local art show allows you to be a part of a unique conversation.

One of y major goals with my art is to encourage dialog about culture and life and often times how to bring about change. All of my art exhibitions have had a social theme holding them together.

Meet The Artist
The most important reason to attend an art exhibition is that it provides a chance to meet the artist, ask questions and dialog with others about the work.

If you are unsure about how to talk about art while at an art reception you are in luck as I will be sharing a post on this topic soon. Check out The Reception: Don't Act a Fool.

If you are an artist attending an exhibition offers an opportunity to network with other creative and art lovers. Oftentimes you can take your sketchbook (with a pencil) and sketch ideas inspired by the exhibition. With the emergence of alternative art spaces this is even more common. Even if sketchbooks are not allowed you can still gain inspiration. Sometimes, I will look at color combinations as well as hanging techniques.

And Finally Food
If none of the art related reasons have convinced you there will often times be appetizers or wine. It always seems as if there is that one person, or in Laramie a specific couple, that goes to every community event serving free food. I will not be offended if you do go just for the food but please don’t make it obvious. Say hello to me and have a nice conversation with others.

I suppose part of the reason I will not be offended is that there is a good chance you will bring a friend and I am certain you will enjoy the and will be glad you attended.

For more reasons to attend one of my openings, check out my past blog post.

I can't wait to see you there!

Monday, March 10, 2014

East Meets West: Artist Statement

Triptych: Unknown God
Unknown God 18x30
Jesus or Shiva 7x18
(Prices for prints)

East Meets West is the result of the mixing of two distinct cultures and worldviews. As a student of Religious Studies and Philosophy, I find the mixing of religion and the lines that separate culture from religion fascinating. In the field of religious studies the term that is applied to the mixing and combing of seemingly contradictory religions and cultures is syncretism.

Talents, Mixed Media
My experiences before, after and during India have led me to create some works dealing with the meeting, clashing, and synchronization of my own religion, Christianity, and the beautiful aesthetic of Hindu culture. Eight months after traveling to India I am still trying to process my experience and have continued to immerse myself in the culture that I find so beautiful. To my surprise, returning home and actively observing American culture is teaching me almost as much as being in India did.

I find that learning about other cultures allows growth and a greater understanding of the world around you that can only be experienced when two worlds meet, clash, and synchronize with each other. East Meets West is just that, a syncretic mix of the Eastern culture and my own Western world views.

For more information or to follow my exhibition please check out the Event Page or my Facebook page.


My blog and website have moved. Be sure to check out www.Feliciafollum.com