After moving from Houston to Abilene I started looking for a way to connect with other photographers in the area and ended up joining the West Texas Photographic Society. This group has been around for decades and has monthly meetings that alternate between instruction and photography contests.
They also have an annual show at the Abilene Center for Contemporary Arts. This year that show started on October 11 and will hang until the end of November. I was lucky enough to join just in time to be part of this show. Any member’s work can be part of the show. Many of the photographer members didn’t think they had work worthy of it. Of those who did, it was their best work. Each member can display up to 6 images in the show.
It was an amazing experience to see my work hanging on the walls of a museum*.
I’m going to write a couple of posts on different ways to look at your work, but picking the 6 images you want to hang in an art show is an experience that really helps you think about your work.
For one thing, I didn’t put my six best images. Instead I tried to pick a theme for my images and selected my best work in that theme. Which meant some of the images I consider my best I didn’t use because they didn’t fit the theme.
I actually couldn’t pick six images in one theme and of sufficient quality. Instead I picked two sets of 3 in two different themes: “Girls with Guns” and “Fantasy”.
You give the gallery the images and they hang them. So you aren’t guaranteed to have them grouped like you expect. In my case they seem to have done it more by shape – grouping the verticals and the horizontals – than by content. Something to think about if you are in this situation.
I also learned how to stack my framed images so the hangers don’t scratch the frames, but not before I’d already done it. Good thing I picked black frames so I could fill in the scratches with a sharpie.
This just goes to show, when you get into photography you never know where you will end up.
* Is the ACCA a museum or art gallery? I’m not sure. I’ve always thought of it as a museum, but google maps says it is an art gallery, and if good says it is must be true right?