‘Open Studio Tours’ – or – ‘How I decided to hold my first Art and Mask Salon.’
No, no. Not this kind of salon —
Beauty salon, where people receive haircuts, manicures, and facials
— but this kind of salon:
Salon (gathering), private and public, of intellectuals to meet, discuss ideas and watch artistic performances; Salon (art), a major recurring art competition and exhibitions, especially the Paris Salon, an officially-sanctioned exhibit of recent works of —
You get the idea.
When I first learned of the Portland Open Studios tour I got excited. Just think!, I told myself, I’ll get to hobnob in my work spaces with people who appreciate art, people who might even become patrons of my work, and — !, et cetera.
It filled my head with all kinds of sappy visions. And then I learned of POS’s geographic restrictions. The bubble burst.
I really wanted to take part in the POS tour. I really did. But I’m not on POS’s map. Hillsboro is on their map, despite being much farther from Portland proper than my in-home studio in Gresham. Nothing against Hillsboro, but seriously, what gives?
It’s like high school all over again. I’m not allowed to sit at that table and take my lunch with those kids because I have the wrong zip code. The sense of déjà vu is strong. Ominous. Once more I’m excluded — not because of jurors’ tastes or ideologies, but because of geography. It makes me wonder what they have against my very nice neighborhood.
All that aside, I was friendly with POS on Facebook and I thought they were friendly with me — until I received this e-mail from them [edited for brevity and privacy] on May 14:
Portland Open Studios has both a Group and a Fan Page here on Facebook. If you are receiving this message it is because you are part of our Group page. We are going to be making this a private Group for past and present Portland Open Studios’ artists.
For those of you who are not Portland Open Studios Artist Members or alumni, we welcome you join our Fan Page.
There you can receive updates about the Tour in October and about all the 2010 participating artists.
Portland Open Studios
If you are a past or present artist alumni — you are welcome stay a member of this group and join our Fan Page too.
Cordial enough. But it’s still a dismissal.
By the time that e-mail was sent out and received, I and who knows how many other artists had already been shoved out of the now ‘private’ group and into the cold. But even though we’d been kicked out of their Facebook group — without any warning — we can still be “fans”.
Well, don’t I feel special. And the high school social model has a new medium.
In the apparent Forbidden Zone of eastern Multnomah County, several independently working artists have, like the Salon des Refusés, formed their own group: the Mount Hood Art Guild. However, unlike the POS, they’re not demanding tour fees from potential patrons. Their studio tour spans the weekend of May 22 and May 23, offering free admission to all. Go and see — these folks have some amazing talents.
Already committed for the bulk of that weekend when their call for artists reached me, I’m unable to take an active part this year. However, I plan to carve out some time to visit some of these artists’ studios to show my support and get on the roster for their studio tour in 2011.
Now, guess when the POS group’s holding its shindig –> the 2nd and 3rd weekends of October.
OCTOBER, boys and girls. OC–freakin’–TOBER.
[“Hanging Lanterns”, by Maxfield Parrish]
OCTOBER means — yep, you guessed it — HALLOWEEN.
Halloween. My favorite holiday, and I never outgrew it. As a mask maker, October is my month. Argh. Just dammit. Maybe I should design and hold my own Salon d’Automne / Private Reception in the conjoined studios in my home:
If I ran the circus, I’d hold my salon on the FIRST SATURDAY of OCTOBER — October 2nd — for my friends, friends of friends and patrons, and I’d call it Ryl’s Autumn Salon — ooh! Yes! Sounds like a plan!
My leather masks — both Open Editions and One-of-a-Kind’s — and mirrors would be available:
My fine art — both drawn and/or painted, some loose and some framed — would be out on display, or waiting in the flat files for their chance to be seen:
There’d be pumpkins and lighted jack o’ lanterns, grazing stations with some of the delicious nibbles that Ben is so good at creating, and drinkies, and music — likely jazzmenco, because I heart it so — playing in the background,…
… yes, it sounds like a plan. I can do this.
The second of October.
Mark your calendars and stay tuned for progress reports!