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Looking Back While Planning Ahead


And in the expenses column, here is a wall of my 2023 new studio. The good news is that it's a mile from my home and I'm renting from an artist friend, Lisa Jennings, whose studio occupies the other half of the building. Having the larger space will allow me to try to sculpt something larger, without the hassle of stairs, if the opportunity ever comes along and at the same time, Lisa and I can enjoy our companionship and creativity.


But in reference to the title of this post, I suppose I'd summarize the year of 2023 as a year of professional growth in many ways as I worked hard to further my sculpting endeavors artistically, and I also worked hard to understand more about the business of art. I've come away from the year learning that 2024 has got to be the year to apply what I've learned about the business of art to both the making and the selling of art. You simply can't have one without the other if you're going to survive financially. As I plan ahead, 2024 has got to be the year for me to start applying to galleries, both near and far, so let me know if you have one in particular to recommend. I'm also planning to start broadening my price points by possibly casting some pieces in plaster and by creating smaller busts and wall decor. Meanwhile, since I haven't updated in such a long time, here is an update of 2023:


2023 PRESS:

As you can see in the video below, I had a pleasant surprise in June of 2023, being interviewed and filmed at my home studio for a segment on Tennessee Crossroads that aired in November. The TN Crossroads Team was so professional and I thought they did a great job of pulling all of the information together.




2023 WORKSHOPS:

The year brought six helpful workshops where I was further able to study anatomy, as well as portrait and figurative sculpture from master artists, Rick Casali who taught a figurative workshop at his studio in Maryland, Alicia Ponzio, from San Francisco who taught a figurative workshop at Studio 521 in Nashville, David Simon, a sculptor from Los Angeles who taught a portrait workshop at Townsend Atelier in Chattanooga, and Jammie Williams who taught a figurative workshop at Belmont College. I also enjoyed a road trip with artist friends to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where we learned more about artistic anatomy from John Krimsier and McKenzie Graham, as we were given the opportunity to sketch cadavers after anatomy lectures. In August, I enjoyed learning a new way to draw at a Charcoal workshop taught by the talented Oliver Sin, who is from Los Angeles but taught at Studio 521.


I'm giving Oliver a check for the purchase of his lovely drawing which hangs in my NEW STUDIO.




Sculpted at a David Simon Workshop at Townsend Aetlier in Chattanooga.


2023 COURSES:

I learned a lot both on-line and in person about the business of art, from the Art Business Academy which is taught by Scottsdale gallery owner, Jason Horejs, and was accepted into the local Nashville Arts and Business Council's program, Periscope Pitch, which focused on the business of art and helped us all network with artists from many disciplines.


Thalia Ewing (also known as Muziqueen) and me at the Periscope Pitch event. The program was 5 months of Art Business seminars, a final competitive public "Pitch," and 6 months of mentorship. I got lucky enough to have Alan LeQuire as my sculpting mentor. Alan has been super helpful in terms of helping me learn how to branch out into the sculpting world. He also says he'll be available for consults if at some point I want to get brave and try to sculpt something life sized. We'll see.


2023 ART MARKETS:

Art on the West Side is always a fun time as a vendor, For one thing it's indoors, which is always a plus. Whether it rains cats and dogs or whether there are 60 mph winds, it simply doesn't matter. All you have to do is bring your merchandise, set up, and show up. There is an evening cocktail reception and one full day show, so it's easy on the mind and body with patrons that truly appreciate the variety of art that the curators provide.






TN Craft Fair: I've loved this craft fair ever since I was in college when I used to dream about being able to afford some of the art there one day, but I never imaged that I'd become a vendor. There are two shows throughout the year, one in May and one in October, but in 2023, I only applied to the May show. It's a Thursday set-up and the show runs through Sunday. It's held at Nashville's Centennial Park, so if you've never been, it's also an opportunity to tour The Parthenon which is in back of the fair. The weather can be a bit challenging in May, but in 2023, it held up pretty well until later on Sunday, when it decided to do one of those cats and dogs rains.






JUVENILE DIABETES MARKET: My husband and I carted tables and heavy sculptures up Nashville's Legislative Plaza stairs in September for a Juvenile Diabetes Art Show where a percentage of the proceeds went to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. From that, I decided to create a sculpture that represents Juvenile Diabetes. It will be coming soon and will be available for purchase at the 2024 Juvenile Diabetes Fundraiser Gala in April. But more on that in the next blog.




100 TAYLOR ART CRAWL: Taylor's juried art crawl happens the third Saturday of each month and has been a fun place to meet new artists and develop new friendships. My first time there was a time to meet a stained glass artist, MARTHA MORALES-PURUCKER. Martha and her business partner, SUSAN HENDERSON ISEL, have opened their own stained glass shop, NASHVILLE GLASSWORKS, at 100 Taylor in case you're wanting to take a stained glass class and see their cool pieces. Their creativity knows no bounds!






FRANKLIN ART CRAWL: This past December I was at the Archives Building where I enjoyed conversations with the employees and a few visitors. It was the night of the Christmas Tree Lighting on the Square, so honestly, most visitors stayed at the opposite end of the area. Still it was fun to be amongst the holiday atmosphere and listen to Christmas Caroles played on a keyboard just outside the building. Then, in February of 2024, I showed in the Luxury Homes building.




2023 GALLERIES:

Customs House Gallery hosted TN Craft members from across TN in their juried 6 week exhibit. The reception there was a fun place to meet new artists and to see and visit with artist friends such as the awesome enamel jewelry maker, Nina, of Nina Katherine Designs. My bronze of Erika was honored to be amongst such incredible art from across the Stste.






100 Taylor Gallery and Retail Shop: And last but not least, right around Thanksgiving, I joined the 100 Taylor Gallery and Retail Shop which FINALLY means that I won't have to schlep my sculptures from market to market. It's so nice for them to have a place to rest before hopefully being purchased by an admirer.






And on a more personal note:


My cousin got roasted in my hometown.





Her brother got her really good...he's prepping for his speech in the photo below with my husband.



My dog still sleeps like this:



And we had fun entertaining friends and family at Christmas. The photo below is of my daughter and her friend cracking up with the gift she received of her third grade story about mid-evil life.







So, until next time, hope you enjoy the rest of Winter 2024, that Snowmagedon doesn't return, and that Spring comes soon!


Cheers to all,

Beth

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