Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let there be light

For years I've had this great idea for a group show called 'Let There Be Light'. I thought it would be really fun to have about a dozen artists each create art that incorporated a working light of some sort. No limitations or rules, except that it must be illuminated in some way. I imagined it would be beautiful and I also thought it would be smart to have a show in which all of the pieces for sale were also functional. The illuminated art would attract people from the street and seeing what artists working in different mediums would create would be totally fun and inspiring.

For years, I imagined it, sometimes I'd tell other people about my dream ("You know what would be really cool?"). I'd come up with ideas for my own pieces and I'd make lists in my head of the which artists to invite. But it was what I call a "Someday Idea". Something you like thinking about doing someday, but never get around to making a reality.

Then about two months ago I happened to read a little story about Beberuhi, a character in Turkish shadow puppetry. Beberuhi is a dwarf who wears a stocking cap with a light hanging at the tip, just in front of his face. The light is to help him search for the truth. For some reason, reading this story got me thinking about the show again... and I got a flash of total inspiration and energy. I decided to make it happen.

First, I spoke to Richenda, the owner of Childhood's End Gallery here in Olympia and she loved the idea. Then came the work of finding the artists - I thought this part might be tough, but within just a few couple of days I had 16 people committed. We met to discuss details and I submitted an official proposal.

I got the word this week - it's confirmed! The show will open August 20th and run until September 26th. Opening night Reception is Friday, September 3rd. (I'll be sure and remind you.) I am totally excited! I have so many ideas for my pieces, the kind of art I've only done for love in the past and never sold. I'm already working on several. So, I thank Beberuhi, he and his hat certainly led me to the light.

Here are the amazing artists participating in the show. Check out their websites!

Diane Kurzyna (aka Ruby Re-Usable)
Rob August
John Walden
Nancy Sigafoos
Steve Susky

Monday, March 15, 2010

Great PR Resource

If you have been reading this blog or getting my Hot Tips Newsletter, you know that when I find a great resource, tip, tool or website I have to share it with everyone I know.
This is one of the best resources I've found in a long time and at a really reasonable price. I just discovered, a great service for people like us who can't afford to hire a PR firm. I did a free online tour with a great guy named Greg. It was refreshing, not a boring scripted tour, more like talking to a friend. In fact, I can honestly say it was fun. So here's the deal: For $500 a year you get access to thousands of editorial calendars. If you don't know what an editorial calendar is, every publication on the planet has one. It's the schedule of every article that magazine (or blog, or website,etc.) is planning for the calendar year. Using this site you can do a search under any topic and then check for upcoming features that apply to what you do. The site will then send you an email alert two weeks before the deadline so you can send a query to the appropriate editor/reporter in hopes of being included in the article.
For example, did you ever wonder how products get listed in those Gift Guides published in every paper and magazine each year for every possible holiday? On My Media Info you can do a search for 'gift guide' and find hundreds of them and where and when to submit your work for inclusion. How cool is that?
If you have a larger budget, for $2000 (and up) a year there are lots more super cool options. They offer a living database of hundreds of thousands of media contacts in North America that is literally updated over 20,000 times per day. You can create a contact list of every editor and contact for every publication you are interested in and search any TV station for contacts, blogs, magazines. It's all there. (If $2000 sounds like a lot, look into hiring a PR firm and think again. Being featured in just one article can easily pay back your investment and more.)
AND you can explore and use the site for free. I got 10 free searches just for doing the tour. Check it out - I strongly suggest you write Greg Perry directly. He was the best tour guide ever. (Please tell him I sent you!) I'm not sure the others go off the script AND unlike most salespeople he discouraged me from paying for services he didn't think I would need. You gotta love that.
Greg's email is:
Let me know how you like it!