The time has come for me to announce that I am no longer going to be an artist-member of Grove Gallery and Studios starting February 2014. It has been a long run, as I have pointed out, I have been with Grove for longer than I have been married. :) Grove has come such a long way in the past 6 years and I feel confident that it will be just fine without me.
I came to this conclusion through the bustle of holiday this year. I've been feeling like I have 4 jobs, which makes me feel schizophrenic. I am first and foremost an artist which is 2 huge jobs: creating (the fun part) and then the office-stuff (marketing, applying to exhibits, grants, residencies, meetings, etc).
Second is my part-time job at Speaker Law Firm. I love this job because, well, Liisa is super-supportive of my artwork. She is flexible when I am out of town or busy with art-related things and also, this job keeps me on a "normal" schedule and work stays at work. I very rarely have to worry about it my other 5 days a week.
Third has been my commitment to Grove Gallery. It's more than just 6 hours a week, it's running a small retail business, helping keep it open, meetings and opening receptions. As much as I have been trying to back out of as many responsibilities as I could, there was still this looming sense of guilt of not making it to all the receptions and needing to stay on top of general tasks as the Gallery.
Fourth is, well, being married. Zack and I have such busy schedules that sometimes it doesn't feel like we see each other week to week. So I have been trying to keep more of my weekends somewhat flexible to work on the house (currently an overhaul of the master bedroom), or just spend time with him. Being an artist is not a "normal" M-F, 9-6 job. Teaching, helping run a gallery and trying to stay up on others in the art world with going to receptions and meeting with colleagues often makes it hard to keep weekends open as it is.
As sad as I am to be leaving Grove Gallery (and as I have told them, for now, I might be back), my art career is changing a lot and I am going in some different directions. All extremely positive changes. I am teaching many more workshops. I have galleries asking me to give them my work to carry, and I am having the "problem" that I am getting into almost all of the juried exhibitions that I apply to and therefore am very low on fine art to continue exhibiting. I want to be making more fine art, I have so many pieces in mind that will take me months (years?) to create that I'm feeling behind. I am setting my jewelry-making on the back-burner. I'll still have 3 galleries carrying my jewelry, but I won't be in full-production mode to make stock. Exhibiting and building my resume have become a current passion of mine.
Zack has been encouraging me through all of this: fine art is about the creating work, bodies of work, new work. It takes time not just because of my medium, but because not every one of my larger works is going to go over amazingly well. It's about the creative process on a lot of levels.
So January is my last month at Grove
and I will be attending the Gallery opening on the 2nd because the latest show is so cool
and I want to meet the artists. So I hope to see you all there.