My show last Friday went fine. Hundreds of people passed through. At times you couldn’t move along the main hallway or get up the stairs (it sprawled over two levels, four rooms, and two hallways). I’d like to show you pictures of the mobs, but, um… well my two friends who took pictures thought I exclusively wanted pictures of my pictures set up, and so they left for dinner during the actual times that most people came to see the exhibit. So the result of all of the setup and marketing and hoping… that is the genuine crowds of people who came… well those are stored not on hard drives or flash cards… but in my rapidly dimming memory. Heck.
It was a nice evening. A lot of friends came by along with scores of people I’d never met. People seemed to crash through in waves. There’d be a quieter period when only a dozen or so wandered around, then… WhOOOMP! the doors would open and scores seemed to pile in. There was a free wine/beer/soft-drink bar on the second floor, elegantly matched with a range of finger food including a big bowl of cold shrimp.
How to gauge success? People said nice things. Some prints were sold. Some gallery people stopped by, but most were pinned down in their own shops along gallery row catering to the large crowds. There was a rock band across the street from us with people who spilled out into the street (which was not closed – Lancaster is a working city). Sometime I shall do a photo essay on a First Friday in the city. It attracts people who live way outside along with visitors from Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City.
How to gauge success? We were tired afterward. My wife, her sister Cathy, my friends Steve (particularly Steve - the enthusastic support from he and my wife, Rita, made this happen), Maria, Chris, Beth, and my partner Steve – all helped lug, tug, and set up. Tim Smedick along with the staff and volunteers at the Historic Preservation Trust were astonishingly supportive. I’m thinking they all had a good time.
I put out about six hundred cards re. my website. There were about two hundred left when we took things down. The Historic Trust people said that they’d never had as many people pass through.
How to gauge success? It was satisfying. But, I shall never, I think, put in that kind of work again. If someone else wants to show my work, I’ll supply it. But actually printing, framing, moving, hanging, and then schlepping it all out the same night… Whoa….
How to gauge success?
I’m smiling. And really appreciative of my family and friends – more than ever. Which is, after all, the very definition of success, eh?
But as for something to show you… Some images to display… You’ll have to take my word for the turnout… As for pictures to show you of the visitors….well... there weren't many. However my photographic team of Steve Cornibert & Maria Caridad did get a feeling for how the thing looked. Here... let me post a collage and I'll explain starting clockwise from the left hand corner which shows the view from the front door down the first floor hallway.
<- Click here You can see the stairs people took to get to the second floor. There are two rooms off of this hallway, the first to the right is the next picture w/ my Fulton image in the center. Note the small white thing to the left of that print? It's a paragraph of description.
The next room down the entry hall is the pictured next with the Cylo-Baseball series to the right and another display swept around to the left.
Farther down the first floor hallway is a small breakfast nook with large doors leading out to a veranda, which is where my large image of the twin spires was shown. to the lef of this were a number of smaller prints.
At the top of the stairs is another hallway... immediately to the left is a room, and at the end, you can see me entering the next pictured room, where the food and drink were served. See on the back wall behind the food table? That's my very large print of A.S. Groff's Hopes.
And finally if you'd gone immediately left at the top of the stairs, you'd have entered this room (in the very center of the collate) where I'd displayed largely images of Lancaster County. However, as the evening went on, people casually moved images from room to room - mixing the all up. Odd, but interesting.
Something else you can see ... is that I am NOT a graphic designer and the collage is pretty primitive, but it gives you a feeling for the intent of the night. Thank goodness for the air conditioning. The night was moon-struck and humidity struck. It was a tropical evening in South Central Pennsylvania. There was no need for any of the fireplaces which are built into each of the Trust's rooms.