Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Creative Expressions Art Gallery
This will be my most unique Outdoor Wednesday post yet!
September and October have been a fascinating time for me. My friend Minnie Bhupathi is opening "Creative Expressions", an art studio and gallery in Mequon, Wisconsin. The Grand Opening reception is Thursday, October 22, 2009. For the last months I got to have the unbelievable opportunity to watch, experience, and be the sounding board as a gallery and art instruction space got created "from scratch".
The amount of steps in starting a gallery is incredible. Ideas float in the mind - but footwork is involved in reviewing rental locations. I only got to hear highlights of rental contracts and negotiations (I can't say I really missed the many meetings with lawyers, accountants, and landlords that had to be done.) Permits and paperwork were handled. When Minnie showed me the space she had rented I was wowed - These ideas were concrete! (and asphalt! This rental space has plenty of parking...)
Then work on the space began. Scott Kostuch is a contractor extraordinaire. His job was to transform the space - floors, walls, ceiling, lighting, plumbing and more. He tackled the job with great skill. (Of course Scott didn't do all the work by himself. Scott even had his son help him when more power was needed.)
The ideas became more defining and refined. The space evolved.
Minnie got to shop, and shop, and shop. I got to tease Minnie - she had 187 cartons delivered from one store alone. Not 187 items, 187 boxes. I got to unpack a couple, but Scott got to unpack many more! Paint colors - even white can be so time consuming. [Question: How many white paints are there?] Costco and other stores had four hour shopping trips. Opening this gallery should be great for both the local and national economy.
I got to be the "fly on the wall" while she met with artists to teach the art classes and display in the first gallery show. (I hope I was never a bug, I know I wasn't always invisible). Scott came in one Saturday to install a portion of the floor for Minnie. She was meeting artists at the gallery and wanted them to see the space - but to see it with a sample of the floor installed, not the concrete.
Minnie created fliers and postcards, contracts and more. She had hundreds of e-mails and phone calls to artists and other contacts. I got to help edit a contract or two, but Minnie had to research, write, find and create every document needed (or direct it's creation). She directed the creation of not one but two web sites that were started, changed, and evolved. She had to set up phone lines, Internet, fax machines, copiers, (OK, her husband helped, a lot, but still.) She researched inventory systems and computer systems for sales, got them installed, set up, and running.
Minnie and her husband have an expression something like 'We don't want any paralysis by analysis.' But it seems more like a magic tornado blew through and got things done. There were many details that each took more steps then there are hours in a day. (ex. signage for outside, gallery hanging systems, publicity)
Then the art streamed in (via individual meetings with each artist, and deliveries). I got to hang one of my pieces as the first artwork on the wall. (Thank You Minnie!) Minnie (and her husband) tackled the task of hanging, labeling, and inventorying each piece of artwork. She found a retired museum curator to help her determine ideas for hanging the art. I know the amount of angst I have in hanging artwork on my walls at home, imagine hanging more than 50 pieces.
The last several months I got to see the behind the scenes of a dream fantasy of many artsy types. And now I get to share it with you. Those in Wisconsin can attend the opening. Those farther away - I'll be sure to have photos.
The Grand Opening is on :
Thursday night, October 22, 2009.
11412 N. Port Washington Road
(One stoplight North of the Mequon and Port Washington Road intersection)
After the opening, the gallery will be open Tuesdays - Saturdays, 11 AM to 6 PM.
Please stop in.
For those who would like to see some of the art and artists that will be featured in the gallery, visit http://creativeexpressionsart.com and Click on artists. All art displayed will be available for purchase through the website.
For those who would like to take an art class at Creative Expressions, visit http://creativeexpressionsart.com Click on Events, Classes.
More classes will be listed soon, check back!
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