What a wild ride.
It’s such a strange feeling to walk into the Distillery and see bare walls that just a few days ago were covered with the lovely work of 17 local artists.
Normally when prepping for a show, I like to have 10 solid months to plan.
For Elsewhere I had 3.
The exhibit was loads of hard work and hustle for everyone involved, but it ended up better than I could have ever imagined.
So very proud.
(L: A Tree’s Ghost III, Kat Ely, R: Unnatural Qualities I+II, Juan Travieso)
On a personal development level, I have learned more from this experience than from any other FLUX. project.
Top 3 Elsewhere Takeaways:
(Sorting through the work of Molly Segal)
1. Keep your head down
With projects like Elsewhere that are only a few short months in the making, I quickly realized how important it was to stay centered and on task.
Thanks in part to the internet, it’s a little too easy for me to get distracted.
These distractions come in the form of “what ifs”, general noise, counterproductive thoughts, external influences, Facebook lurkings, situations outside my control, and this:
Well, a little Daily Mail-ing never hurt anyone..
2. Let Go
(Chatting with Elsewhere artist Stephanie Cardon. Sharing gifs.)
3. It’s Personal (And that’s OK)
(pre-reception dance party with @ohstroh)
It’s more than just hanging pictures on the wall. I have come to realize that there is something very personal about the curatorial process if you let yourself go there. Somewhere along the way you let people in on your inner workings, open yourself up to vulnerabilities, and allow a little piece of yourself to live within the end result.
(The work of Matt Brackett)
As I’m sure you know by now, my 9-5 is in finance, FLUX. is my
all the inbetween time undertaking for the past 5 years, and since inception– I’ve been learning on the job. For me, gallery shows help to humanize this second life that for the majority of the year is resigned to text on a computer screen. And in the case of Elsewhere, some artists happen to be mentors, neighbors, one-time glassblowing teachers, people I’ve written about for years in Wrap-Ups, or chatted with at Open Studios. Even on recent weekends when I’ve stopped by the gallery on a whim, I’ve met artists’ families, spouses, children(two legged and four legged) and have been overwhelmed by the positivity.
So it’s not only personal for me, but it’s personal for the artists as well.
(Sadie, #1 intern)
(Ready for the Deep Cuts?)
I have always believed that the best work an artist can create is that which is derived from personal experiences. And I’ve recently realized that this same logic/mantra also forms the foundation of my curatorial “aesthetic”. It was a relieving discovery because there was a time when I felt distracted (see lesson 1) hearing about shows which attempted to express these heavy geo-political/call-to-action/fierce ideological stances and I wondered how my humble undertakings, that were clearly coming from a different place, would fit within the context of a larger art ecosystem.
Conclusion: it fits. The goal of my work and the sentiment I aim to achieve through thoughtful and accessible curation is neatly summarized by something Mark Ryden once said:
“You have to bring to life the part of your brain that finds mystical wonder in life and nature. There is a part of your soul that can spend hours admiring the subtle colors and shapes in an old raccoon skull. You have to find the particular things that bring out your spirit. It may be to get up at the crack of dawn to explore the flea market in search of treasure. Perhaps light incense and listen to music that would embarrass you if anyone knew about, and wonder about alchemy, astrology and the secrets of the universe. It is the part of your spirit that still feels like a kid, and is awe-inspired and fascinated by the world”
I have finally gotten to a point where I can stand proudly behind my “different place” and embrace it. Those heavy macro-environment tales are another curator’s story to tell, not mine.
(Shoots and Ladders(Detail) by Liz Alexander)
The response from press was overwhelming. ∞ thank you to:
- Boston Globe(x2)
- Boston Metro
- Boston Phoenix
- Dig Boston(x2)
- Improper Bostonian
- Timeout Boston
(Foreground: Evan Voelbel, Background: Juan Travieso)
- Xo to design maven Jessica Sutton of JSGD who swooped in to help make Elsewhere palmcards a reality and for being a longtime supporter/designer/spiritual advisor/friend of FLUX.
- Thanks to Uber for providing free black car service rides to the opening reception. Over 30+ people took advantage of the deal and arrived in style. Success!
- Thank you to all of the artists who participated in Elsewhere and kept me smiling..
(B-Sides courtesy of the !ND!V!DUALS Collective and Aimee Belanger)
- Big thank you to Distillery Gallery Directors, Pat Falco and Scott Chasse who wore many hats (coordinators, installation experts, managers, bartenders)
- Huge thank you to Ross for keeping me sane and for always waving the proverbial pom-poms even when I’m a complete stress mess.
(rigging up Brenda Star’s Arctic Break piece)
And last but not least..
- Thank YOU, for being you and for reading/sharing/supporting FLUX.
(peek inside the grey gallery)
Until next time-Best. ♥