Working up to a Crawl

crawl setup The Art Crawl is a twice yearly studio crawl in Lowertown St. Paul. It is one of those deadlines that always comes around again too quickly, but which has taught me at least a little about managing my “to do” list. The opportunity to participate in the Crawl is one of the great things about being here at the Tilsner Artists Co-op. It’s a pretty inexpensive show to do, since the registration fee is low. My total expenditures are determined my how much I spend on materials for last minute works, refreshments, paper-goods, promotional printing, and any new lighting or other fixtures. Set up is easy and convenient, since it’s in my studio, so no travel or packing the car is involved. Basically, I can do as much or as little as I want. Which is great if you never know what your level of ambition is going to be. But I have become convinced, through doing the crawl as well as going to other’s in studio events, that time and effort put into the promotion, arrangement, and hostessing aspects is well spent. You can make people more interested, more comfortable, and therefore more likely to spend money, just by how you arrange and run things.

One of the most important things I’ve had to learn about doing shows is how to judge when to stop making pieces, and when to concentrate on preparing for the show itself. It used to be a hard call to make, because a)making stuff is really what I want to be doing, b)there are always more things that I have in my head that I think would make for a better showing, and c)I can be pretty bad at judging how long things will take, yet unwilling to amend the “to-do” list as it becomes more and more clearly impossible. This is still a challenge for me, but I think I’m getting better. My progress this summer has been more internal than usual, i.e., not been my most productive one in terms of cranking out work. So, actually the decision to stop making work and start working on set-up, was a bit of a no brain-er this time. A few last minute inexpensive items are being made, but the realization that it was too late to pursue anything else creative was clear a few weeks ago. So, on with putting on the show.


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