Every First Friday, Fairbanks puts on a show. Businesses share local artwork, spotlighting a range of artists, from emerging to professional. It’s a really great day to walk around, especially downtown, and get a sample of what our art community is working on as a whole.
As one of my “gigs” (yes, most artists have these!) I organize, hang, and run First Friday art shows for our local coworking space, The Hub. This month, I had the pleasure of hanging Poem By Becca, and prints made by elementary students from Spruce Tree Montessori School. Having these shows means that The Hub, where I do a lot of my “officy businessy” work (ahem, writing a blog), changes in mood and scenery from month to month. The walls are always fresh (even if they’re full of holes).
I will say one thing though: art shows are work.
On the day, I’m usually working for at least 12 hours. I love doing it, but there’s definitely a lot that goes into making things run smoothly, and I couldn’t do it without our fantastic team (L, you will be missed. *glares all the way to Australia*).
Here’s a peek at what goes into my Art Show Survival Kit:
I’ve touched on how dependant I am on this stuff before. Really and truly, you don’t want to see me try anything without proper caffeine levels. It gets dangerous, and I’m invariably operating a paper cutter, soooo…
This month’s show day kicked off with a massive headache. Time for more caffeine, because really, who are we kidding?
3. Thumb tacks, safety pins, and tape
These should be in everyone’s event bags. It’s like a wedding: someone’s dress is going to rip, a frame job didn’t happen, etc. These things come in handy, and having the right tape for the job makes all the difference! Title tags get Scotch Tape, everything else gets painters tape.
I’m absolutely getting a call or text with questions about what the artist should bring. It’s also good to have in case I can’t get away and need to order lunch.
If I’m busy, I forget to eat. This is some more advice I got from reading wedding blogs-- have food ready, or a plan, because you will forget to eat! I’ve made it to the end of a show, and realized that I’m starving, and the room is spinning. Not a good place to be. Plan to have snacks in your bag! This week I found a sushi restaurant in town that delivers. A life saver! They even threw in some fried oreos, which I’m pretty sure saved someone’s life.
6. Ice pack/ ibuprofen
Lots of running around happens, and even if I’m in my sock feet or bring my dreaded crocks, I’m sure to notice my bad ankle more on First Friday than most other days...
7. Coffee no. 3
Just do it. Don’t ask questions.
On the day, I'm basically running on caffeine and adrenaline. Music is a must, and helps set the pace for the day. It sets the tone for the show, and can at least fill the empty sound space while title tags are being put up.
9. The ability to think on your toes
Like I said, sometimes framing jobs don’t go as planned, the artwork is all much bigger than you envisioned, or the artist can’t get the artwork to you until MUCH LATER than you expected. I’ve made simple business cards for a friend before her show, because she wasn’t able to get them made in time. Being able to think on your toes is so important, because something unexpected is bound to pop up with any event.
10. A GOOD TEAM
Delegation is your friend! I don’t know what I would do without the other Hub members! They understand my pre-caffeinated mutterings, or at least pretend to, will run fliers around, and take over the “show people around the venue” job while I have a mouth full of thumbtacks. They’re usually pretty good at making sure I’m fed, too. The Hub in particular relies on community and a great team, and having someone near by who I can ask to edit a facebook post, or help me hold a big piece of art is a life saver.
Signing off until next week!
Have an artful day!