30 October 2009
IPCNY Opening (Introverts at a Party)
Artists and members gather before the public opening
Me and my print (nicely placed next to a print by Endi Poskovic)
I'm an introvert. Maybe that's hard to pick up if the only way you know me is through this blog. I come across pretty well in writing, but put me in a room full of people I've never met and I'm apt to fade back and observe rather than engage. Certainly there are artists who are extroverts, but an awful lot of us are introverts, and this is never more painfully obvious than at an art opening.
The opening at IPCNY was a nice surprise, though, and I found myself feeling relatively at ease. I think there were several factors that made it so:
- The IPCNY staff set aside the first hour just for artists and members. This gave us the opportunity to really look at the work that had been selected, to stare at each others' name tags and figure out who belonged to which work, to introduce ourselves, to ask each other questions and to talk shop. Nothing overcomes the shyness of a printmaker faster than a chance to talk about technique! I also got to meet a couple of the people who had been on the selection committee and it was interesting to hear a little bit about their process and what they saw as the themes running through the show (maps, landscape, sense of place and dystopia).
- The IPCNY staff were present, available and enthusiastic and they did everything they could to help us feel welcomed and comfortable. Director Anne Coffin took a few minutes to chat with Lynn and me, and I especially enjoyed speaking with office administrator Amanda Young and an intern named Guillome.
- Artists like other artists. It reminds me of my dog Ty, the yellow lab. When he sees another lab on the street, especially a yellow one, he always always wants to check them out. I find artists are like that too, especially printmakers. I was happy I got to meet Victoria Burge, who often comes to Zea Mays Printmaking here in my town to print. I also spoke with Nicholas Brown from Washington, who does intricate linoleum carvings of forest floor underbrush and Ross Racine who makes very interesting digital drawings that are aerial views of imaginary (and kind of frightening) suburbs. I also enjoyed speaking with Daryl Vocat, an artist from Toronto who worked with screenprint images that seemed to be from old boy scout manuals.
Other highlights of our whirlwind 24-hour trip to New York included a visit to Pace Prints, where we saw a room full of professionally produced moku hanga prints including the 16-block woodblock above done with Helen Frankenthaler.
Lynn and I both really enjoyed an exhibit of screenprints by Sister Corita Kent at Zach Feuer Gallery:
Going to openings has become a nice way for me and Lynn to do some traveling together, and this trip included a couple of great meals plus this view from our hotel window:
Can't beat that!