Sunday, February 19, 2012

Successful Art Show (And What Made It So)

So, how was our show? Tinley Park, IL artist Sylvia Westbrook and I spoke to an interested and packed room.  We shared 22 works of art.  And folks loved the 12 sweet potato pies that my Mom made.  Besides having the presence of Mom's pie, there were other factors that helped us.

Artist Sylvia Westbrook and I - ©vanWestrop Photo
 What made our show successful:
  1. Completion. Sylvia and I focused on completing our respective tasks.  We kept at it until each task was done.  Sometimes she reminded me of tasks(most times) and sometimes, I reminded her.
  2. Collaboration. Working with another artist on the show from beginning to end was delightful.  Teaming up with Sylvia made the experience fun and halved the work.  After working with her, I have decided to never again run a Lone Ranger show. 
  3. Commitment. We decided to commit to the show and to each other. I never felt that Sylvia did not have my best interest in mind. I got to the point that I did not have the frames--for my  pieces.  Sylvia had hers, but I did not have mine.  Sylvia was an encouragement.  Another  artist, my friend Pamela Casey further encouraged me and I committed to getting the frames.  The miraculous happened.  I was helped by seen and unseen hands that day and was able to frame the pieces I desired to frame.
Sylvia Westbrook speaking; painting by Toni Ruppert - ©vanWestrop Photo

More on Committment...

In “Be All You Can Be,” by John Maxwell, the author quotes a card which he at one point carried with him:

“Until I am committed, there is a hesitancy, a chance to draw back. But the moment I definitely commit myself, then God moves also, and a whole stream of events erupts.”

Sylvia and I committed to utilizing social media, texting, e-mail and etc.  We committed to honoring other artists (Boston based artist Lois Mailou Jones and Chicago based artist Marva Lee Pitchford-Jolly.)  We also committed to prayer about our nerves, tasks, responsibilities and minor stuff like the Powerpoint presentation.

Guess what? Folks responded.  They brought people that we had no idea were going to show up. I should not have been shocked when things worked out.  In the Old Testament, Proverbs 14:23 says, "All hard work brings a profit..."   

©vanWestrop Photo

©vanWestrop Photo

We were thrilled to see friends - old and new in our audience...
©vanWestrop Photo
  I will share more of the paintings I shared at the show soon.  More show images will be posted to my Facebook Page.  Feel free to head over there.  If you have not--I invite you to “like” my page while you’re there.
Toni Ruppert speaking; painting by Sylvia Westbrook; ©vanWestrop Photo

So, how was our show?  It was a lovely experience.  I'm glad you  - my reader - were able to experience it here with me.


Melanie Jongsma said...

Toni, I especially appreciate your thoughts about collaboration. So often, art is a very personal expression, and it's easy for artists to develop the "Lone Ranger" mentality you speak of. Collaboration requires trust, which can be difficult. But it's a beautiful thing when that trust is rewarded with refreshed energy and new insights! Thanks for sharing your photos and thoughts about the show.

Toni Ruppert said...

Thanks Melanie - I so appreciate your comment. You said the magic word, "trust." It is something worth cultivating.