When Rick and I started the Gallery we approached artists we knew, whose work we admired and people we had worked with over our own artistic careers. It was a great, and fairly easy, way to begin the Gallery. We were joined by colleagues from Night of Artists, Society of Western Canadian Artists, Alberta Society of Artists, Visual Arts Studio Association of Alberta and many more. We were very lucky to have their support and enthusiasm to help us through the first few months.
We knew though that there were some areas that we wanted to represent more - abstract, printmaking, sculpture and such, and so we decided to issue the call. I thought maybe we'd get 30 applications and maybe 10 of those would be worth keeping. Naively I anticipated that we would be able to narrow things down to 6 fairly easily. How wrong I was!
As a professional artist I have received my fair share of rejection. I like to think I've got pretty good at it, but being on the other end of the rejection process is a lot harder than I could have imagined. Some of the artists I have had to say "Not this time" to are friends, colleagues and artists I admire. Separating good business from personal relationships is difficult at the best of times, but it was a good and valuable experience for me and I hope that all the artists that we had to say no to feel understand that and don't take it too personally.
In the end we just couldn't get past 12, no matter how hard we tried. Perhaps some areas are still a little over-represented and some are still a little under-represented but Rick and I are both very happy with the second wave we'll be bringing in and we look forward to introducing them to you over the next few weeks. Keep your eye on our artist page, facebook and twitter accounts for announcements and stop by the Gallery for the Fall Gallery Walk when we hope to have most of the new artists on show.