Sunday, June 28, 2015

Your Reception Primer

As you know, you (yes, you!) are invited to the opening reception for Transitions, an exhibit of paintings by yours truly, and ceramic pieces by Sharon T. Ohmberger. The date of the reception is Friday July 3rd, from 5:30 to 8:00pm, the exhibit is available to the public the entire month of July at The Burkholder Project.

It’s been interesting and informative to hear people respond to their invitations.
A close acquaintance of Handsome Husband revealed that he was not likely to attend. This strapping enforcer of the law said with obvious worry, “I dunno what to do at these things!” This from a man whose hands are considered lethal weapons.

To this question Handsome Husband and I offer a primer of sorts.  Forthwith is a step-by-step how-to for the uninitiated exhibit-goer:

What to wear:

Keep in mind that this particular opening reception is being held in Nebraska in July. The Burkholder Project is located in the Haymarket area near downtown Lincoln, where the only shade comes from 3-story brick buildings. The temperature is likely to be in the lower 400’s. Dress comfortably. Flip-flops and t-shirt are fine, tie is optional.

Conversation starters:

Hellow is a good way to start. Other topics include the temperature, parking, or ‘Them Huskers’ (if you’re a Nebraskan, you know what that means). Open-ended remarks are excellent ways to begin, such as, “Tell me about this”, or “Is this a place near (name any city you can think of)”. “This one is lovely; this is my favorite; this one reminds me of (name your favorite uncle or vacation place)” are excellent ways to begin a conversation.

Conversation enders:

“My great grandma used to paint like this, or, I don’t get it” are not helpful.  “Gee, I can’t even draw a stick figure!” has been heard before. At least a million times before. If you feel one of those remarks piling up behind your lips, shove a cookie in your mouth.

Speaking of cookies :


You will most likely be invited to have a nibble of something and a glass of cheap wine. This is an art reception. Pinkies out.

 Mostly though, dear reader, stroll through the various rooms and hallways that house the art. The Burkholder Project is a 3-level gallery filled with excellent artists and creations. Consider what you see, how it was made, why, and with what.  Remember, the artist would love to visit with you about what they’ve made, so asking a question is fine. Should their explanation take longer than you’re comfortable with, feel free to fake a phone call and stride quickly away. Feel free to ad lib here.

Keep an open mind, you may actually find something that would make you happy every time you see it in your home. If you’re not sure,  consider coming back in a few days when the crowd has thinned and visit with a knowledgeable salesperson. They will answer any questions or concerns you  may have. By then a discriminating collector may have already claimed your favorite art piece though so be prepared to live with crushing disappointment.

There you have it. Practice makes perfect, so let's start you on a regimen of opening receptions beginning with Transitions at The Burkholder Project on Friday July 3rd.