Monday, May 5, 2008

Portfolio Review

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to take part in a "portfolio review" that was hosted by a Boston area Art Association. To quote from their website, "a portfolio review is a way for emerging and established artists to meet art professionals across several disciplines, present a portfolio of work to them, and make contacts that can be followed up on which will hopefully help the artist meet his or her goals. During the course of the review day, each artist is provided with three twenty-minute reviews in which artists meet one-on-one with a reviewer to show him or her their art".

I was fortunate enough to be able to meet with two assistant curators from two very well known and respected Boston area Art Museums, and the third person I met with is an independent curator, and college art instructor. Twenty minutes is a very short amount of time, but within that time, I was able to show four pieces from my Orange Construction Fence Series, and many pieces from my monthly 12 x 12 x 12 Series. There was enough time with one reviewer to show her all of the pieces from my weekly Mixed Media Project, and I was able to mention it to the other two reviewers.

The three discussions were very eye opening for me. Two reviewers thought my work fit well in the categories of painting, printmaking and mixed media (in addition to fiber). One didn't even realize my work was quilted until 15 minutes into our conversation, and one mentioned it right from the start, but the conversation quickly moved to painting and printmaking. When I mentioned my inner conflict with doing "women's work" she quickly said that it was "women's work with an influence from men's work", because of my use of construction fences, and because my imagery is from building construction. I have struggled with the Q word for years, so I very much appreciated their opinions.

One thing I noticed while talking to my reviewers is how incredibly knowledgeable they are not only about art history, but also about history. I think artists (myself included) don't always know how to talk about their art, and how it relates to the world. It was a real eye opener.

Thanks to the orange construction fence bag (above) that I bought a few years ago, my smaller work was easy to carry around. My larger work I rolled up.

The image at the very top of this post is of the greeting cards I recently had made. I am going to send each of my reviewers a thank you note, for the time they took to talk to me. It's the least I could to in return.

If any artists reading my blog have the opportunity to participate in a portfolio review, I suggest you do. You will learn a lot about yourself, your art, how you communicate about your art, and how professionals in the art world relate to it.