Archive for March, 2012

Spring Flowers Came Early this Year But You Still Have Time for “Daffie Days” at Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove, NC – Mar. 30 – Apr. 1, 2012

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

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Don’t be caught “lion” around at the end of March or being an April “fool” by missing Daffie Days at Bulldog Pottery this weekend.

“Daffie Days,” Bulldog’s spring kiln opening, will be held March 30 through April 1, 2012, from 10am-5pm each day. Potters Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke created the annual event to welcome the beginning of spring and celebrate the flowers that come with it. Despite the early Spring, there should be plenty of flowers in bloom, and the Seagrove countryside should look great this weekend.

Bulldog Pottery is located just 5 miles south of Seagrove’s street light on Hwy 220. Look for the blue water-tower.

An array of Gholson and Henneke’s studio art pottery, including a variety of elegant vases will be available during the event. The potters will be on hand to discuss their most recent work and offer tasty treats to those who visit.

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A piece by Samantha Henneke

Ed and Gloria Henneke might be hanging around too. There’s no reason for Ed to hide anymore – I can’t make it this weekend and a new football season starts this fall and I doubt that Virginia Tech will have to play Michigan again this year. And, I’m not one to brag too much. Like they say – a win is a win.

Mad Max the wonder dog might be on hand. If you see a red ball roll up to your feet – run! Max is not so mad – he’s more disappointed that he’s not allowed to play with strangers.

I’m kidding of course. If you go to Bulldog Pottery this weekend you won’t even notice a dog or anything else – you’ll be so focused on the amazing pottery that after you get back in the car you’ll have to ask yourself, “This isn’t a dream is it? I did buy these from someone?” Hopefully with your purchases in the back seat or trunk of your car you’ll come back to reality before you hit the road to check out some other Seagrove pottery.

It’s happened to me – don’t think it can’t happen to you.

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A peice by Bruce Gholson

Bulldog Pottery specializes in flowing glazes, including their molybdenum crystalline glazes that feature diamond-shaped iridescent crystals. That’s pottery talk. Let me break it down for you – “pretty sparkles”.

To find out more about Gholson and Henneke, visit their blog, “Around and About with Bulldog Pottery” at (www.bulldogpottery.blogspot.com).

But just take my word for it – you should make plans to visit Bulldog Pottery this weekend – I’m not making any of this stuff up. It’s all true. And even thou Ed Henneke still thinks it’s all a dream – Michigan did beat Virginia Tech – just ask the referees.

I’m kidding – really.

My Second “Photofabulous” Exhibit at the Art Trail Gallery in Florence, SC

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

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Linda and I were lucky that we were not under a deadline, and she was off from the second job of taking 911 calls, to be able to attend the opening ofPhotofabulous 2012 at the Art Trail Gallery in Florence, SC, Friday, Mar. 16, 2012. The exhibit will be on view through Apr. 27, 2012.

We arrived about 45 minutes before the official opening and we were lucky that they let us in the door to have a first look before the crowd moved in and I would begin talking with folks. Look first – talk later is a good policy if you expect to make comments at some point. And, I usually would have posted these comments before now, but I was suffering from a weekend of yard work – not my favorite task in life.

Editor’s Note: I didn’t try to take any photos of the photos on display. That doesn’t work so good with my camera and the gallery’s lighting.

This is apparently the fourth photography exhibit the Art Trail Gallery has presented, but I’ve only seen the last two. My first impression comparing this show to last year’s show, was I felt there were less commercial photographers participating and less photos by children, but the exhibit was more organized by category. I think last year’s show held an edge on quality, but not by much. There are some knock-out images presented this year, but my impression is that last year was better.

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I learned later that one of the reasons for the difference was a loss of some of the display space which was used to present special exhibits within an exhibit last year. The number of entries were also limited and the show organizers didn’t beat the bushes as much as they did last year.

Also, a major factor in Art Trail Gallery exhibits – less photographers from the community stepped forward to help organize the exhibit. But the presentation of the exhibit and reception didn’t suffer with just a few folks doing all the work. Plus, nothing – nothing stops Jane Madden, the Queen of the Art Trail Gallery, from putting on a good show and reception. Great food was arriving from every direction – constantly.

The Art Trail Gallery is an all volunteer operation and each exhibit depends on the committee which comes together to pull it off. It’s one of the great things about this gallery and one of the problem areas.

Also, the Art Trail Gallery gives participants the responsibility to read and follow the instructions of participation or rules – which includes having works ready to hang for the length of the show and having works identified. Some folks had a few images I would have commented about in a very positive manner, but failed to identify themselves on their works. That’s too bad, but that’s what rules are for. That’s never a problem when it comes to a professional or a professionally acting person – they never miss an opportunity to take credit where credit is due and to promote for the future. Making people wonder or do an investigation to find out who made a photograph is never a good practice.

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Organizing the photos by categories was a great improvement. You got to see all the ribbon winners and could make your own judgements as to how you thought the official jurors did in their selections. I hardly ever agree with the judging of any exhibit, which I’m sure was the case with many of the photographers, and their relatives and friends. And, after all this is a free country we are all entitled to our own opinions. But, when it comes to judging a show of artworks I take my hat off to any judge for making the effort and I know the Professional Photographers of South Carolina have set rules for judging images. I also acknowledge that when giving awards they only have the images presented to work with. We can all say we’ve seen better or that we could have done better, but we or the others photographers we’re thinking of – didn’t enter. That’s a fact Jack – you can only make judgements from what is in front of you.

And I also know from my vast years of experience in the photography world in South Carolina – many photographers are the worst people at selecting their best images and many times people put images in the wrong categories, which was the case in this show. There were many images that didn’t win ribbons in the category entered, but would have maybe taken 1st or 2nd in another.

Take the Abstract Category, in my opinion there were only a few real abstracts entered and the best photographic abstract image in the building was a work by Ann Klein which wasn’t in Photofabulous 2012, but could be found in the Art Trail Gallery shop. And the best abstracts in the building are paintings by Jack Dowis in sculptor Alex Palkovich’s section of the building. But there were better abstracts in the exhibit – they just were not entered in the abstract category. My favorite out of the works in the category was Builder’s Choice by Amy Beane, who received a 2nd place ribbon.

I stood staring with a group of other folks at the entries in the Abstract category and we were all scratching our heads wondering how some of these images could be considered an abstract image. One participating photographer even said, “I know what category I’m going to enter next year.”

My history in photography might be considered “old school”. Linda and I ran a custom photo processing lab for 16 years and I grew up in Kodak’s heyday – long gone now, but I had to laugh when I came upon Jeff Smith’s photos in the Portrait category – which he claimed to be “un-retouched” images in an age of Photoshop, a useful method of enhancing images. Photoshopping is a dirty word to “old schoolers”.

Smith’s images were first class portraits. It was easy to see he was a professional, but I think his boast of offering images “un-retouched” diminished his images some and I bet the jurors thought so too, as he only received a 3rd place ribbon. Photographers who want to be considered artists need to get off that soapbox – the final result is all that matters. The final images most people saw by Ansel Adams were highly manipulated to get the final results – perhaps in the darkroom, but if Adams lived to use Photoshop, he would have gone to town with that program. Oh wow, did you hear that crack of lightening!

Speaking of black and white photography, my favorite B&W images were by Lee Benoy, who had five images in the Architecture category. He didn’t win a ribbon, but that’s OK – it’s all subjective. They were some pretty fine B&W’s in my opinion and pretty good architectural images too.

And, while we’re talking old school and Photoshop it’s worth mentioning that Susan Muldrow swept 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Digital category. She really has no competition when it comes to digitally manipulating photographs in the Pee Dee. Last year when I first saw her images I asked – “This is a photograph?” Muldrow takes color images and then uses, I guess Photoshop, to transform those images to look like paintings – loosely abstract paintings. These images can be stunning and last year I commented that they would probably win awards as straight photos, which makes some ask – why do the manipulation? It would take a lot to explain this and I’m not saying this is why Muldrow uses this technique, but painters get more respect than photographers do. And, it really sets your images apart from other photographs.

I think the most images were entered in the Floral category. At least as many as were in the Landscape and Wildlife categories – always the most popular. There were a lot of good floral images here and a few more in the Macro and Still Life categories. My favorite here was an image of a Japanese Magnolia pod by Donna Goodman.

In the Wildlife category the 1st place ribbon winner was a really nice image of a black swan in black water by Jeff McJunkin. It would have been a toss up for 1st for me with an image of a snowy egret by Susanne Sasser. But the surprise was the 2nd place winner, Really Dirty…Martini, by Patz Fowle – the whim of the Pee Dee. Linda and I couldn’t figure it out with out help from Ann Klein, but it was an image of a fish (with the face of a snake), and fish waste at the bottom of a very large Martini glass. You have to keep a close eye on that Patz Fowle – she’ll inject humor in just about every situation. And, we’re all lucky for it.

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The Landscape category produced the Best of Show winner by Anne Baldwin, but it also had some of the most questionable images. Usually good images find a way of standing out among not so good images, but in this case the not so good really muddied the waters for me. There was one image by Dubravka Perry which I would have given an award for Place You Might Want To Live (During The Summer) category.  It was titled,Neuschwanstein, which I guess was in Germany or Austria. A scene of snow capped mountains with a lake in the valley with lush green forest all around. You could almost see Heidi’s grandfather’s cabin there. The image wasn’t anything special, but you’d have to try hard to take a bad picture of such a place, but I know that’s not true. I’ve seen plenty of bad pictures of great places so Perry did a good job of capturing the scene.

That’s my impressions of Photofabulous 2012, but you should go see this show and form your own opinions.

Linda and I had a discussion about looking at photo exhibits and how much photography we have seen in our lives wondering if we could really get excited about seeing anything anymore. I have to admit it takes a lot to get me  really excited or to knock my socks off, but it is possible.  I saw some images which I wish I could say – I took that.

I had a short discussion with a few of the exhibit’s organizers and made a pitch that it might be time to have a truly juried exhibit where just getting into the exhibit would be an accomplishment and then give awards. Yes, this would cut some people out, but it also would give them something to shoot for. When everything that shows up is included, it can make for a show that can make lots of folks happy, but leave them with an empty feeling of what did it mean? When it’s juried for entry – that means something right away. It also may be a reason some better photographers from a year ago didn’t enter this year. But that could have just been a space problem.

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Changes are coming to the Art Trail Gallery. The building has been sold and I hear improvements to the building are being planned. Maybe it’s also time to change the policy of all who come can hang their works on the wall. Some gallery spaces around the Carolinas have a once a year community show where all who show up can hang on the wall – first come, first served. I know the Art Trail Gallery has been focused on building participation, but perhaps it’s time to step it up a notch and be a bit more selective. We all need goals and accomplishments to shoot for to make us better at things. Maybe that time has come for this space – as long as people are willing to come forward and volunteer to make it happen.

It may also be time for the participants of these shows to pay an entry fee – like most of these kinds of exhibits.  Entry fees can also be a good source for cash awards which will also draw the best.

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It’s hard to visit this gallery without viewing the works of Alex Palkovich, here is AHA Moment.

For further information call Jane Madden at 843/673-0729 or visit (www.art-trail-gallery.com).

Taking a Look at Marketing Techniques in the Carolinas The Press Release

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

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This year we’re taking a detailed look at how the visual art community in the Carolinas is marketing itself. This is based on a piece I first posted atCarolina Arts Unleashed on Jan. 12, 2012. I borrowed a technique from comedian Jeff Foxworthy who tells his audience – “You might be a redneck if….”. I used the phrase, “You might be pretty bad at marketing when…”. You can see this post at this link.

There’s a lot to read and absorb here, but I think there is something here from which anyone can learn and a lot for some folks to learn. We offer it so people can do a better job, which will make our paper better to read and hopefully leads to more visitors and customers for all.

Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about a press release:

“A press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks.”

I’ll go along with that with a few exceptions in this case. Don’t send us a fax (we unhooked it) and we’d rather receive info by e-mail than the regular mail. We are not accepting press releases through Facebook.

Without looking further at Wikipedia, I can tell you one thing a press release is not – it’s not a paid ad or paid advertising and the word ad has nothing to do with the words press release.

Also, I’m mostly interested in improving the press releases I receive, so we’re talking about a press release about a visual art exhibit or a visual art related event taking place in the Carolinas (North or South Carolina) for our monthly newspaper Carolina Arts or one of our other blogs, Carolina Arts News or Carolina Clay Resource Directory – each has their own area of focus. But this info should be good for other media outlets, but remember – they’re all different.

Which brings up one of the basic rules about press releases – know who you are sending them to. There is no reason to send a press release to someone who is not going to be interested in using it. A good example is the numerous press releases we get about exhibits taking place in California, New York or South Dakota. Those people could have saved their efforts by just looking at our name or our paper. Have you ever seen any articles in Carolina Arts about exhibits in South Dakota?

We also receive press releases from performing arts groups on a daily basis. They just don’t get it – we’re just visual arts unless the performing arts are involved with the visual arts.

So it’s well worth spending some time figuring out who is going to be receptive to your press release. That may involve reading the publication or calling to see if they would be interested in receiving your news. And, it won’t hurt finding out how and when they would like to receive it. It may only take a few minutes to find out when the deadline is, what format they would like to receive the press release in and where you should send it. You may even find out what they are really interested in – what gets them excited and what they are not interested in receiving.

Some people who think of themselves as “publicity” people like to just collect contacts – e-mail or mailing addresses. They don’t care where they come from or where they are going. They might even brag on the number they have on file, but for all they know 50 percent of them could be worthless and never see the light of day beyond a delete button or the trash can. It’s not a contest to see how many outlets you send your release to – it’s about how many outlets use the info you send.

And no matter what kind of list you have you should try to update it at least once a year. There has been a lot of turnover in the media in the last few years.

If you’re going to lose sleep at night worrying about whether your press release was received by the right person or at all, you can always ask for confirmation. If you sent it in the form of a letter – you can give your phone number or an e-mail address as a way for the receiver to get back in touch with you. If you sent it by e-mail – make sure you have a return e-mail address – one you read on a regular basis. Don’t worry if it’s a long distance call – the media should have that covered in one way or another.

If you don’t hear back about a confirmation request – give them a call to see if they got it after a few days. It doesn’t hurt and you’ll know if they got it or not – and make more personal contacts.

The Format

Speaking for Carolina Arts – don’t send your press release as a PDF or Tiff, which means you are just sending a picture of a press release that has to be further processed in order to use it. Just send it in plain text in the body of an e-mail so it can be easily copied and pasted into the files to be used. Why e-mail instead of a letter? What media outlet wants to spend time scanning or re-typing your letter?

Keep it simple. There is no need to send text in colors, fancy fonts, or in an eye-catching layout – we just want to copy and paste. Do not use all caps to make words or names seem more important. You don’t need to put words or sections in bold.

If you are sending photos do not imbed them in PDFs or in Tiffs of your press release. Send them as attachments and make sure you identify them. I hate nothing more than spending time requesting info about images sent in a return e-mail or phone call.

The W’s

You know about the who, what, where, when and why. At least I hope you do. They’re important in any good press release, but in some that I receive one or two is sometimes left out or overlooked. I’d add two more that are important, but not always possible – well written.

Including all the W’s are important but the why and well written may make the difference between having your press release just included or highlighted.

Your press release is competing with many more press release and space is always limited in some form or another. In our case, during any given month several hundred exhibits are being presented. That also means the public will have hundreds of exhibits to choose from – if they think going to an exhibit is worth their limited time. If you’re presenting your exhibit in a small community far from other urban centers you may have a captive audience, but who doesn’t need more visitors. And, I would think the number of visitors to an exhibit may have some relationship to the number of buyers or donors you will also attract.

To come up with your why, you might ask yourself a series of questions that the public might be asking themselves in deciding if they should go to your exhibit – if they see notice of it in the media.

What’s so special about this exhibit? Is it the annual exhibit by an artist who is a regular member of a gallery? Is it just the latest exhibit of new works by an artist’s owned gallery? Is it an exhibit of an artist who has not exhibited in ten years and shows a major new shift in direction by the artist? Is it an exhibit by a nationally known artist who has never been shown in your city? Or, is it an exhibit by a new group of emerging artists, which sometimes means ground floor prices? These are just a few examples of question people may ask themselves before deciding to go to an exhibit.

Remember, you or your group decided to give an artist or a group of artists an exhibition over many other artists – you must have had a reason. If your reason was that it was just their turn – coming up with the why may be very difficult.  But someone made the decision – they must have had a reason for their selection. Unfortunately, I read a lot of press release which offer no reason for why I should go see this exhibit.

Now just including the who, what, where, when and why, may not be enough to get your press release published or read by the public. Putting all those elements into a well written press release may also give you an advantage to reaching the top of the heap.

My expectations for receiving well written press releases has been lowered over the past 25 years, mostly because many of the folks sending these press releases: were just assigned the task, only send out a few in a year’s time, let the artist write the bulk of it, are unpaid and untrained, think “art speak” is the way to communicate to the public, perform the task at the last minute, don’t use spell-check, don’t let another person edit what they have written, don’t read back over what they have written, or any number of reasons.

We even deal with a few venues that think if they have to explain to you who the artist is, beyond providing their name – they’re not really interested in seeing you in their gallery. They may be some of the lucky few who deal with artists that are that important and have no problem selling the work they put on exhibition. If you’re one of those lucky people you wouldn’t have ever started reading this posting.

My question to those few would be – so, you’re not interested in educating or developing new customers? You’ve got them all in the palm of your hand?

To me, every press release is an opportunity to educate and inform the possible readers about your venue, the artist, the medium they work in, the works being presented in the exhibit, and why the reader should come see your exhibit over all others. Some people take advantage of that opportunity – many don’t.

One of the trends I’ve noticed over the last five to ten years is people using a charity as their why, by announcing that 5%, or 10% of proceeds from sales from an exhibit will go to a local charity. I really don’t care for this technique – mostly because of the lack of follow-up. We never seem to hear after the exhibit is over how much money was raised for the charity. I’m all for making donations to charities, but this seems to be a why open to all kinds of problems. And, now we have some galleries who don’t present exhibits without a charity announced as their partner – whether the charity knows it or not.

The use of the visual arts in raising money for charities is a subject too large to cover in this posting. There are good examples and just as many bad ones.

Let’s go over the other W’s in the who, what, where, when and why.

The who should include: who is sending the press release, who wrote it and can answer any questions about it, who is presenting the exhibit or event (gallery, organization, institution), and who the artist is or who the artists are. Make sure all names used are spelled the same each time they are used. Make sure you have a phone number (including area code), e-mail address, and a website address included.

Even if you have sent me a press release every month for the last 12 years, you shouldn’t make short cuts assuming I will always be here. Dark forces are amassing powers to take over any day – I might not always be here. And, if you’re sending your release out in bulk – other folks who were receiving your pr last month or even last week might not hold that job today. So, my point is don’t take things for granted that the people you are sending info to know certain details.

When it comes to the what – like an exhibit. An exhibit has a beginning and ending date and perhaps a reception date. If you just send a reception date, I don’t feel it’s an exhibit at all – it’s just a party for a few hours. I can’t use that in a monthly paper. If the event is a lecture – I want to know when it begins and when it is expected to end. I’m sure readers want to know how much time they will spent if they decide to attend the lecture. Just saying it starts at 7pm isn’t enough – especially if it will end at 7:30 or go on until 11pm.

It is also important for some folks to know if the artist will be at the reception or not.

The where should include the full address of the venue including any helpful locating factors. If your gallery or art center is across from the post office – that’s an important fact. It should be pointed out if you’re located on a second floor or where you are located if your venue is in a larger building shared by other businesses or offices. Also, for some folks it would be good to know if the venue is handicap accessible. And, don’t forget to say which state you are located – both NC and SC has their share of Beauforts, Greenvilles, Columbias, and Mt. Pleasants. Our readers come from all over the county and around the world. They shouldn’t have to do any detective work to find you.

The when, again, include dates and times your exhibit is open to the public. And, you better include the hours that you are there. It doesn’t take someone more than one time to show up during published hours and find the door locked to decide not to return. If you have an emergency – post it at the door and don’t expect people to forgive multiple emergencies. So, be very careful with the dates and times you provide in a press release. I don’t like people who state that their exhibit will be up until the middle of the next month – is that always the 15th? If I’m coming from the next city over 100 miles away I want to be sure before I leave the house and are you available to take my call to ask 24/7?

The why revisited. Here’s some whys that I don’t think hold water anymore if they ever did.

Artists who say they create because they have to. What artists don’t?

Artists who are recording the world often unseen or unnoticed in our fast paced life. Maybe there’s a reason we don’t notice certain things anymore.

Venues who guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you come see the exhibit. With that kind of challenge made I’m almost always disappointed.

Press releases that include how many pets live with the artist, their species and cute names. Do we really need to know that artists are people too? That they have spouses, children and pets – oh my!

I want to know why I should go see this exhibit. I’m sure readers do too. And, I want all the information I need to do that successfully. Is that too much to ask?

If someone was showing an exhibit of early watercolor landscapes painted by Jasper Johns when he was 19, never seen in public before – would you go? Would you go see it because it was works by Johns? Would you go because you wanted to see what kind of watercolor landscapes he would paint at age 19? Would you go to confirm to yourself that all artist may start out in a place far from where they end up? Or would the phrase – never seen in public before – be the determining factor for you.

One last point about press releases is when to send them. And first on my list is don’t send them to me until you have finished and checked everything in them at least twice and then let someone else read it.

I don’t have a lot of time to waste and I doubt other media outlets do either so I start processing a press release as soon as I get it so it can be ready to be put in the paper when I start to do the layout. Nothing gets my attention more than having to revise a piece I’ve already processed because someone discovered they got a name wrong, a date wrong, a time wrong or just left something out. By the third correction, you’re pr is slipping down the line to last place. And if you need to send a correction, don’t just make the correction and send your press release over again forcing me to re-process the whole thing again instead of making a simple correction.

As far as the Carolina Arts goes I hate to say it is ever too early to send a press release – unless changes and updates will have to be made. Get it to us by deadline, but there is no reason to wait for the exact day of the deadline if you can send it early. Sending it early gets you ahead of all those who take till the last minute to send theirs.

When it comes to the blogs like Carolina Arts News – sending a press release early can be a problem as we’ll only post it once and people tend to forget things that are posted months in advance. The exception to that rule is (Call for Entry) notices. For artists, these kinds of notices can never be too early.

Don’t send your same press release to the same media outlets once a week until the day of your event. We only need it once. If you’re worried about whether we received it, follow-up on it – don’t just keep sending it.

And, when it comes to organizations or groups – make sure only one person is sending press releases. I have received them from several different people – about the same exhibit – but you wouldn’t know it by reading them. This just causes more follow-up and delays in processing.

Over the years I have warned artists who are having exhibits at commercial galleries or non-profit institutions to not take it for granted that press releases about their exhibits will be sent out or received on time – even when people say they will take care of it.

There is nothing I hate more than getting that call after an issue has been published from an artist asking me if I received a press release about their exhibit and why I didn’t publish it. And, I have to explain – we didn’t get it or it would have been there. I warn them to call or e-mail well before our deadline to make sure everything is in place for them to get the publicity they are counting on.

I don’t like taking a press release from an artist directly – I feel the venue has that right and responsibility. There are some who don’t want to be included in our paper for one reason or another. (Another blog too big to get into here.) But, I would think it is your right as an artist to request a venue to send press releases where you would like.

And finally, one solid truth about Carolina Arts. If you’re one of our supporters, which would include advertisers or people who work hard at helping spread the paper around – you do get treated better than others. You may even get a call from us asking – don’t you have an exhibit coming up? We haven’t received a press release yet. I’ve even been known to help those folks out with their press releases to make sure they have all the right info in it. In a few rare cases I have even written press releases for supporters when they were short on time to make sure something got in on time. And, don’t tell anyone this, but there have been times when supporters lost track of time and sent us a press release after the deadline and it may have made it near the top of the list to go in the paper or on a blog.

Why such special treatment? If you haven’t figured it out yet – they make the paper and all we do possible. There is no money to be made by just having people send you press releases and publishing them. We’re not Facebook, WordPress, Twitter or Blogspot – who can sell your efforts to advertisers to make millions – we need direct advertisers to make it all work.

I hope reading this helps some folks. I know it made me feel better just writing it and getting it out there – in cyber space.

Finally a Trip to See Aggie Zed’s Exhibit at The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

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One of the cruelest things in life is that we don’t get to do everything we want and sometimes even when we do get to do something – it’s too late.

In this instance, I’m lucky I got a chance to see this exhibit at all, but it was too late to do so and encourage others to do so, as the exhibit ends on Saturday, Mar. 10, 2012. Of course we did feature this exhibit on our Jan. 2012 cover of Carolina Arts. I guess that’s something.

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But, if you can, I’d advise anyone who likes what they see here in this posting, to try and go to The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts in Charleston, SC, to see Aggie Zed: Keeper’s Keep, featuring new works by Virginia-based artist Aggie Zed. I’m sorry about the short notice, but I think this exhibit may be coming to a facility in North Carolina, but I have no details at this time.

Aggie Zed was born in Charleston and raised on Sullivan’s Island, SC. So, like Jasper Johns who was once from Edisto Beach, SC, we can claim her as one of ours. But, for anyone who has been a regular visitor to Nina Liu & Friends Gallery in Charleston, Zed’s paintings and sculptures are old familiar friends. Some of her human/animal creatures have been featured in one of the gallery’s windows for 20 years or more. Of course not the same figures – they never lasted that long before someone was taking them home and they would be replaced by others – stranger than the last.

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Once a Little Church, 2006

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Who Will Keep the Keepers Themselves?, 2009

I hate to admit it but I have never been a real fan of Zed’s paintings. That’s just me, but it’s why I’ve concentrated on the sculptures and installations of the sculptural figures I could photograph – some were under Plexiglas. I know there are tons of folks who love her paintings as much as her figures/creatures. Some probably love them even more than the sculptures. People have different likes. I fell for the creatures – the weirder the better. Again, that’s just me.

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Elephants Observer, (installation), 2009

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Elephants Observer, (detail)

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Elephants Observer, (detail)

I haven’t seen anything like Zed’s installations since the Sticks and Stonesexhibit offered at the Old Slave Mart building during a Piccolo Spoleto Festival – way back when, put on by LOCUS Contemporary Arts Center. If anyone remembers that exhibit, they’ll know what I’m talking about.

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Study for Debris Field, 2011

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Brainchild, 2009

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Feathers or ‘The Early Clone Gets the Contract’, 2005

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Red in Fashion, 2009

There’s no time to go on about Zed’s works at this point, so I’ll let the images do the talking. You can see more images and a video about Zed at this link (http://halsey.cofc.edu/exhibitions/aggie-zed-keepers-keep/).

The exhibit will be on view Friday, Mar, 9 and Saturday, Mar. 10, from 11am-4pm. There’s plenty of parking by the gallery as the College of Charleston is on Spring break.

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For further info call 843/953-4422 or visit (www.halsey.cofc.edu).

The March 2012 Issue of Carolina Arts is Now Ready to Download

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

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The March 2012 issue of Carolina Arts is up on our website at (www.carolinaarts.com) – all 72 pages of it. We had over 81,000 downloads of the February 2011 issue – 3,000 less than in January. Which is logical since we had a few less days in February.

We ask that you help us bring the news about the Carolina visual art community to others by spreading the link for the download around to your e-mail lists and posting it on your Facebook page. Once people see all that is going on in the visual art community they will spread it around to their lists and on their Facebook pages.

The link is: (http://www.carolinaarts.com/312/312carolinaarts.pdf).

If you are receiving this because you are on someone’s list, you can send us an e-mail to (info@carolinaarts.com) to be placed on our list, so you will get a notice of every new issue.

So download that PDF and dig in – it’s going to take a while to get through this issue. And, don’t forget to find a way to thank our advertisers – they make the paper possible.

Thanks – Tom and Linda Starland
Carolina Arts
843-825-3408
info@carolinaarts.com