Sunday, July 5, 2015

Stepping Out

Thanks much to all you fans and patrons, friends and acquaintances who took a pause from their 4th of July festivities and toured The Burkholder Project last Friday evening for our opening reception. Sharon Ohmberger and I shared the Main Gallery. Other artists featured were Tom Quest, Susan Hart, Mary Masur and Chris Taylor.

Photo op for Sharon and I
After perusing the halls of The Burkholder and enjoying the variety of creative endeavors on display, a dear friend asked me this question: How do you get all this ready? 

It’s fairly simple, really. Get yourself some good shoes.

I mentioned in a FB post that I put on 3500 steps while hanging my paintings.  That equates to about 1-1/2 miles. That’s a lotta walking when one considers that the room the paintings hang in is maybe 20 x 50 (ish).  How can that be?

Speaking for myself, it starts with loading the vehicle, and of course, unloading the vehicle. I had incredible luck parking right in front of the door of The Burkholder Project. (That hasn’t always been the case. One year I was about a block away. That was a 3-mile day for sure.) 

Moving the artwork to its perfect home takes a few more steps. As luck would have it, Anne Burkholder herself was available for consulting on placement, thereby saving a mile or two of shuffling paintings from one spot to another.

I have learned from past experience that bringing my own equipment can save at least a mile of walking. Hammer, nails, tape, scissors, pens – all the accoutrements of hanging a show are bagged and put in safe place. Which is always at least 15 feet away from where it really needs to be. Add a dozen steps every time an item is needed from the bag. Add another 40 steps to go look for the thing that you took out from the bag and laid down someplace else.

Even the actual hanging of a painting requires steppage.  Mark the spot on the wall where the nail will go. Drop the nail. Step back, locate said nail and try again. Drape the hanging wire over the nail, step back and eyeball.  Undrape hanging wire, pull nail, drop again…re-hammer one inch to the right…repeat 3 times per painting.  Add 250 steps.  A certain number of dance steps get counted if the thumb gets whacked while re-hammering.

Sharon putting up a ceramic wall piece. Measure twice, hammer once.
There are steps to the bathroom, steps out to the parking meter, and steps over to Indigo Bridge for a delicious sandwich. It’s all part of the deal.

Count steps for yourself. Check out the fine artwork at TheBurkholder Project, 719 P St in Lincoln. Sharon Ohmberger and I share the beautiful main gallery space the month of July. In the Outback Gallery Tom Quest and Susan Hart show off some thoughtful, beautiful pieces. Mary Masur offers her gorgeously rendered charcoal work in the Special Exhibition Gallery downstairs, and upstairs? Yowza. Chris Taylor shares art quilts that will amaze.  

And then?   Kick off your shoes.Enough is enough.

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