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Reception was a mixed bag learning experience

It’s taken me awhile to get up the nerve to write this blog entry about last week’s 1100 Watercolor Society reception at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, because it was both a big success and a dismal failure.

In my previous working life one of my nicknames was Pollyanna, because I always tried to look on the bright side of things.  That just isn’t working here.  In terms of the attendance at the reception, the art itself and the way it was hung: big success. There were a lot of people admiring really good paintings that had been hung to advantage.  Nothing to be ashamed of there.

Ruth Hurd and her paintings

Ruth Hurd and her paintings

However, our price list and signage left a lot to be desired.  I did the price list and brought an extra 20 copies with me to the reception.  That was fine.  But the version I had emailed to someone to post in a frame on the wall was badly formatted which made reading it and understanding who had painted what and the price hard to decipher.  We had to take one of my printed copies and scotch tape it to the front of the frame (we couldn’t take the frame off the wall and be sure we’d be able to get it back up).  Very amateur hour.

The other watercolor group participating in the exhibit and reception, the Brooklyn Watercolor Society, had done a great job on signage:  a huge banner at the entrance to the exhibit, a special table with easily visible on-easel signage (name and logo), lots of price lists and a couple of Visitor’s Books for people to write in comments and their contact information.  All very professional.  Other than my 19 copies of our price list and one Visitor’s Book, we had none of that. The only place one could see the 1100 Watercolor Society name was at the top of our price list.  Very amateur hour.

To illustrate how disappointing it was, I twice saw people looking at my paintings and the BWS price list to try and figure out who had painted them and what the titles and prices were.  A number of people there simply didn’t realize that the 1100 Watercolor Society was half of the exhibit.

Although our paintings were very good, our presentation of our group was less than stellar.  Clearly a major learning experience, and we will certainly do it differently next time.

Posted by ruthhurd on September 15, 2013
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. 09/17/2013

    Consider yourself lucky. St Francis lists their gallery openings in their senior citizen event brochure so most attendees are more interested in the refreshments than the art often bringing containers or bags to take home the offerings. St Frances should make sure all openings and art exhibits are listed in art websites such as wagmag or artcards and the like to make sure attemdees are interested more in the art than the food. I have suggested that St Frances have their openings the first Thurs of the month to coincide with nearby Dumbo galleries who often have their openings on the first Thurs

    • 09/17/2013

      Wow. Thanks for your comments and suggestions. You sound like you speak from direct experience. I will pass this info on. We will probably be having another exhibit at St. Francis in 2015. Hopefully by then …


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