Deciding How to Display My Art

It’s happened.  I have been officially dubbed ‘Prolific.’  It was Jana Lynch, owner of Jana’s RedRoom Gallery in the Arts Factory who so dubbed me.  By that she meant I create a lot of art and I display it in a number of places almost every month.  I am honored and flattered that somebody – especially somebody as important as Jana – noticed!  

Chris Frausto at The Corner Gallery noticed, too.  She didn’t use the word, but she usually finds space for me in her shop every month.  It is a good feeling to have the sharp people who are moving the Las Vegas Arts District forward cheering you on! 

Being ‘Prolific’ comes with its own set of challenges:  how to stay fresh; how to avoid becoming formulaic; how to stay engaged and so on.  For me one of the biggest challenges has been deciding how to display my work.  

As I began my foray into works on paper – a foray that is turning into a lifestyle! – I framed what I showed.  I took a sharp but16903311_1491914564166773_819961149109977182_o economical route:  a basic single mat in a satin black frame with glass – some times non-glare, sometimes not.  Being as frugal as I could be the frames were coming in between $200 and $225.  That’s a lot to add to a piece you’d sell unframed for $200 – $300.  Suddenly my 18 x 24 pieces on paper were pricing at $500 +/- and after frame and gallery commission I was getting about 25% of it!  What was worse was that the pricing made the pieces inaccessible to many people who liked them.  

I decided to bite the bullet, order a high quality mat cutter and tools and start matting and mounting my own pieces.  I’d forgo the frame and sell them in plastic bags for a much better price.  As I got my supply order ready on Amazon, I watched the cost rise with every addition.  Soon I was spending close to $500 just to set up this whole matting and mounting process.  I decided to look further.

I found a company online that cuts mats and mounting boards to custom sizes for about what it would take me to do it:  redimat.com.  I was able to order mounting boards, mats, plastic envelopes and materials for 25 pieces – and I don’t have to cut a thing! 

So now I’ll hang a few special pieces in frames each month but have a rack just below with a dozen or more unframed pieces, attractively presented in mats and mounting boards that will ad about $10 to the price.  I believe for where I am today, this is a good solution.  Having solved that knotty problem, I can devote a little time to seeking out new and different venues in which to display.

Trust me:  I have no illusions about fame and fortune flowing to me as I indulge my art addiction.  I think there is little chance I will command BIG dollars or achieve widespread recognition.  What I do believe is that I can build an increasing following and sell enough art to keep my garage clear and to offset my costs.  My motivation goes beyond that, too.  I really believe art without an audience . . . is not art.  That’s why I show whenever and almost wherever I can.  Making my art affordable so that it is appreciated in lots of other places expands the audience further.  

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