Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Ballarat Small Works Show

This week Marcia and I have a very exciting announcement to make, after plotting and planning for several months we are now very proud to be able to announce the inaugural Ballarat Small Works Prize!

The concept is an oldie but a goodie, works submitted are to be no more than 30 x 30cm, in any medium but ready to hang on the wall. A panel of judges will pick the winner of a $500 value voucher for services at RU Advertising, Ballarat. (Thanks RU!)
We are accepting submissions now, visit the website for a downloadable application form. Submissions are only $15 per artwork, max of 5 works per artist. All entries will be displayed in the show which will be opening on the 9th of July. You gotta be in it to win it!
- Steph

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hints and tips from Marce

Tips Part 1. Successful Art Openings.

Every day is a school day, and this week we are sharing some of the things we have learnt since we have been artists and more recently gallery owners.
Marcia is an experienced artist with a whole gamut of shows under her belt and shares some tips on exhibiting!
Tips for Successful Art Openings
"I’ve written some of my thoughts in regards to Exhibition openings. Some of it relates directly to Red Brick and how you can make a Red Brick exhibition work best, but I think most of it can be applied to all exhibitions. For some of you what I have written will be obvious, for others it will be the information you have been waiting for. Some of you will disagree with what I have written and that’s OK. I certainly don’t claim my thoughts to be the only way to approach exhibiting and there is much more to think about and do for a successful opening than what I’ve included here. However, now I’m an owner of a gallery I want to help break down the barriers between the gallery owner and the artist. I want to pass on the information to help artists exhibit and have a successful exhibition and I figured this was a good place to start.

An art opening at an art gallery is always a momentous occasion. The atmosphere is festive; the art is fresh and new. Everyone from the artist to the gallery owner is optimistic about the prospects for healthy sales and favorable reviews. In a sense, the art will never look as good as it does during its opening, and as such, this particular circumstance always represents an opportunity for significant advancement in an artist's career.
A successful art opening creates a buzz in the art community, not only about the art and the artist, but also about the gallery. The better the opening, the more people talk; word spreads and subsequent attendance at the show increases. And we all know that the more people who see the art, the greater the chances of making sales. With these facts in mind, the following pointers are designed to make your openings successful in terms of publicity, attendance, and sales.
The best way to make your art opening work for you is to create, in advance, a level of anticipation that encourages as many people to come and see your art as possible. Craft a compelling announcement or press release, disseminate it as widely within the art and general community as possible-- typically at online art and event websites-- and make sure that everyone sees it in plenty of time to make plans to attend your show. This announcement should be clearly written (so that ordinary people can understand it) and contain two to three paragraphs of two to three sentences each-- nothing more-- keep it simple. In addition to events websites, email it to relevant local arts organizations, newspapers that list local events, and any local radio or TV stations or shows that regularly cover on local arts and culture happenings (including community access channels).

Red Brick will send press releases to local newspapers, register your events on community event pages and publicize your show on face book, blogs, through newsletters and the website. But follow up all these avenues personally as well. Submit your own press releases to the local paper, they sometimes respond much better to an artist than the gallery itself. Send your CV and artist statement to Red Brick as early as you can. The sooner we have this information the sooner we can promote you. We send information weeks in advance to some places in the hope that your show might fit into a special event planned or it suits a topic they are exploring within their publication.

People love pictures, being an artist myself and one who does a lot of work right near the deadline I can understand you may not have a lot of images to send, but as soon as you have them even 2 or 3, send them to the gallery, include them with the press releases you send out. People may love a picture we post of your work and this may encourage them to come to the opening or even purchase your work. Press publications also like to put a face to a story, provide images of yourself also! The more of the work you do, the more likely it is that your exhibition will grab the attention of the media and potential guests for your opening!
Tell us about your accomplishments, this is your time to dig deep and find some inner courage and talk about yourself or write about yourself which is what I find easier. The more we know about you leading up to and during your exhibition the better we can help sell your work and promote you as an artist. I have been caught out a few times where customers have asked me questions about exhibiting artists but I don’t know the answers, this is because Artists can be shy and a bit aloof. We understand you are shy and may have trouble discussing your work but try and at least share your ideas and thoughts with the gallery owners, if they know the answers they may be able to do the hard work for you. But share and share openly, don’t make it hard and don’t wait for lots of questions from the gallery.
Also get to know and schmooze media people like critics or art writers, no matter how small or insignificant their publications or websites or how much you disagree with their views. You want your shows to be reviewed, so make sure you know your local reviewers and chat them up at your opening. Publicity is always good, no matter where it appears or what it says. When someone writes about you, that means you're worth writing about.
Make sure all art is priced and the gallery has your price list early. Make sure you consider the galleries commission before pricing and include that in your price. During your exhibition make sure your resume and prices are visible and within easy reach of anyone who wants to learn more about you and your art. Always include the title, size, medium and price on your price list. Some people want to know if it’s going to fit their walls.

Some more tips....
1. ALWAYS sign your work, it shows a level of pride, ownership but also adds value to your work.
2. Label your work accurately. If you are exhibiting prints, that’s fine but include 'digital print' for example in the description. The buyer is less likely to want your piece if you say it’s pencil in the description but it’s really a digital print. People will lean more commonly to original one off pieces when buying but will often buy prints if it’s clearly stated and that print is editioned
3. Take pride in the presentation of your work. That doesn’t mean always professionally framing work etc, it just means really look at it before putting it on the wall. Make sure there’s no hair under the glass (been there lol)... make sure the image sits in the frame nicely. Make sure it’s ready to hang, not just for the galleries sake but for the purchaser sake. Wire on the back through two eyelet’s on either side of the frame is the best way to prepare your work for hanging. Even if you are using cute little ‘found’ frames... put wire on the back. Those tiny little clips on the back just don’t really work and make it hard to hang.
Art buyers who see an artist's work for the first time and who like it would rather review prices and career accomplishments in private than ask about them. First, they want to decide whether they can afford the art. Those who can afford it and who are impressed by your resume will then speak with you, your agent or the gallery owners.
Be on time to your opening.Your visitors are your customers, you are hosting this party so be there to welcome your guests. Create atmosphere, complimentary drinks and nibbles need not be expensive but can make the difference between securing a sale or not. Also think about how you wish your guests to feel about your work, would a musician or playlist help create that?
Be available to speak with anyone who shows any level of interest in your art. Don't make yourself difficult to access by surrounding yourself with friends and acquaintances; you can see them anytime. The new people-- the first timers-- these are the ones who you should be talking to. The better people understand your art and the deeper the connection they feel to you, the more inclined they are to buy. So get out there and mingle.

By the way, walking up and introducing yourself to someone who's seriously studying your prices or looking at your art is perfectly acceptable, but be sensitive to the viewers and be careful not to overstay your welcome. Also make sure that everyone selling your art has been briefed on your career, has access to your resume, can speak knowledgeably about your selling prices, and can refer to your past sales, successful shows, names of people or institutions that already own your art, and similar hard art market facts.
Now get out there and make a name for yourself!"

- Marce

Monday, May 2, 2011

I love my Mum

And I'm telling the world!
I also think your Mum is pretty rad too! To prove it we are offering 10% off your purchase this weekend if you bring your Mum! Alternatively, purchase a gift for your Mum and the discount still applies!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bottled Magic!

I have pink hair. Very pink hair. My hair is so pink that people often ask if Im wearing a wig. Thats pretty damn pink.
Those in the hair-dying-know often ask how I get it so.... pink! They also ask how long it lasts. Thats because if you have ever entered the world of uber-bright hair dying you will know that it's tricky getting a vibrant colour, but its even trickier getting it to last beyond a couple of washes! Not me. My neon pink stays shockingly bright for about 5 weeks, and thats including lots of shampoo-ing, swimming in dams, and other hair-colour abusive behaviours! After those 5 weeks are up its time to colour the re-growth and refresh the rest with a new sploge of dye.

So I have decided to share the bright-colour love and we are now stocking a very limited range of Special Effects hair colours. This brand is the BOMB! I use 'Atomic Pink' and one bottle of this will last me 2 dying sessions it's so strong (AND it glows in UV light, how cool is that!?) Usually I buy my colour in from the USA as its not readily available in Australia, but now we are stocking a small range of colour instore.
We currently have in stock Wildflower, Blue Haired Freak, Purple Smoke, Sonic Green, Limelight and Hot Lava. Get it while it's hot! Seriously, this stuff is magic in a bottle!
Have a great Easter weekend!
Steph xxx

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fluro love affair

It feels so wrong, but oh so right.
I can't help myself. There is something about the way the colours make my eyes tingle.
3 of my favourite things, garden gnomes, fluro paint and making window displays!
If you are an artist and think you might be interested in designing a window at Red Brick you should get in touch. Today our Gnomes are witnessing the opening of Jessica Bellmans show 'Mememto' from 6pm tonight. This morning the lovely Margie from the ABC online popped in to interview Jess and I can't wait for her to upload the interview so I can check it out! I shall update with the link as soon as I can!
Happy Friday!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lady Bellman

I have said it before, and I will say it again,one of the best bits of being part of Red Brick is the amazing and talented people I meet on a daily basis and Jess Bellman has to be one of my faves!
Favouritism may be wrong, but this girl really doesn't give me an option, and I am extremely excited about her exhibition beginning tomorrow and have been taking a sneak-peek at her work in progress shots on her website.
Her paintings are seriously beautiful, but boy, they are a little thrillingly creepy too!
Have you seen our website? I LOVE it! I will fess-up that some of it is still a little clunky as we are still learning how to use it! I do however, feel seriously indebted to the very talented Jess Bellman and her wonderful hubby Glenn who designed it for us. Its not very often that you get to work with someone who gets your vision in an instant and turns that vision into something a thousand times better!
As well as exhibiting with us, Jess also has some design action going on with her equally talented hubby Glen, they do graphic design, websites n other great stuff and you can find them here.
To top it all off, Jess will be giving away one of her original oil paintings on her opening night tomorrow! Wow! To win, find Jess at her opening and quote "Great googly woogly!". How ace is that!?
Here is the piece entitled 'I'm with you' that's up for grabs!
Jess's show opens this Friday the 15th at 6pm and runs until the 28th of April. See you there!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Handmade love

Handmade love

I seriously can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than hanging out watching a movie. Actually. I can. An afternoon watching a movie about craft, feminism and political activism, with creative people, in a beautiful building, with an opportunity to meet the film maker, who is lovely, and friendly and answered lots of interesting questions!

Seriously, it doesn't get better!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Anna for an amazing, inspiring and stimulating day! You can buy Anna's film 'Making it Handmade' on DVD here. Do DVD players have a 'repeat' button?!