Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Very First Art Show

My very first, and hopefully not last, art show took place at the beginning of May at Mission Bay Campus of UCSF. Three years ago UCSF started a tradition of annual art shows displaying artworks by its employees. The two previous years the show was located on the ground floor of the building in which I work, but this year it took place in the atrium of the Bakar Gym. I believe it was a huge mistake.

The organizers probably hoped that hosting the show near the gym entrance will ignite more interest in it, but I do not think that was the case. People who come to the gym are usually in workout-oriented mindset and are not particularly interested in looking at art. Secondly, there are often IT/biotech/pharma exhibits and conferences happening there, so likely, with time, most gym members learned to ignore anything that happens in the gym's atrium. Thirdly and most importantly, the light in the atrium was simply terrible! It was so dark there that enjoying any artwork would not be possible.

The old location, on the ground floor of the Genentech Hall, was much better. There is much more light there and also there were more people interested in taking a break from work and enjoying the art. Hopefully, the organizes made the same observations as I did and will revert to the old location next year.

Despite these setbacks, the art show was a good learning experience for me. I learned the importance of the proper display of art, and I learned that I should make my art more visible by making it bigger :) As I planned to display six pieces, I decided to keep them relatively small (each piece was only 11 inches by 14, including the frame). However, after I submitted my artwork to the organizers, they told me that there is a limit of three pieces per artist. Needless to say, that rule was not communicated to me before. I found it tough to drop half of the series, and I was also not happy that I had to stick with the small photo sizes... I'm sure that my photos would have attracted much more attention, had they been larger.

On the positive side, despite all the things that went wrong, there was a considerable number of people who seemed to be interested in my art pieces:

"Colors of Namibia" - the six pieces series I wanted to display:

Poster-invitation for the show: