Branching Out

My painting "Morning Shades" will be exhibiting
in the national show---For Pastels Only on Cape Cod
in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts this coming summer.
To grow, you must explore. Take new challenges and broaden your horizons. Participation is key.

One of the things I advise artists to do in their careers, is to branch out. Get your artwork out in other communities other than your own. Even if it's the next town over. If you want to grow as an artist and take your work to a new level, be willing to take the next steps. Explore the art world, see what is available out there. Participate. Challenge yourself and build self-confidence. Create your own spotlight. Most local art scenes are not able to support your goals in the long run and can become very limited. You never know, one exhibit might get you another. Just like that, it has worked for me in the past---more than once.

I've learned something over the years from other artists. When you exhibit artwork in a new community, you are exotic. People love the exotic because it's something new, it's fresh, and it's different. Local art scenes tend to become bland when they exhibit the same 6 artists over and over again. It becomes a rerun, and the public becomes less and less interested. 

I am honored to say as of now, my work has exhibited in 14 cities. Two more will be included in the next couple of months with upcoming national exhibitions. The MVIS 7th Annual Juried Art Show will be held at Gallery 1516 in Omaha, NE---May 11 - June 30.  The other, For Pastels Only on Cape Cod, will be held at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth, MA. That show will run June 20 - July 15.

This painting "Snow Geese Assemble" will be on display at Gallery 1516
in Omaha, NE for the MVIS 7th Annual Juried Art Show.
While most of my exhibiting activity is in the KC metro, I was happy to branch out further by participating in exhibits in Pratt, KS and Baton Rouge, LA last year. The Pratt, KS show was a national invitational show at the Vernon Filley Art Museum, and I'm quite sure I would not have been invited if I hadn't participated in Stems Plein Air and won First and Second Place ribbons. I think there was a little bit of a link between the two events. Sometimes that's how things work.

There are quite a few other upcoming juried events across the country that are on my list right now. Some of them are through organizations I have membership with such as the Pastel Society of America Enduring Brilliance, Plein Air Artists Colorado National Exhibit, and Degas Pastel Society's 17th Biennial Exhibit. Let's not forget some of the plein air competitions in the Kansas City metro. Stems Plein Air Paint is coming up, and Brush Creek Art Walk is later in the year.

Active artists explore different communities. If communities do well for the artists, they are more likely to return. We tend to go where the opportunities are. As a note---don't be afraid to be picky and choose events/venues that will be most rewarding. That's a good way to build your art career and resume. If you are looking for opportunities, you have to go after them. Very few times will they land in your lap.

MVIS 7th Annual Juried Art Show
@ Gallery 1516 (1516 Leavenworth St., Omaha, NE)
May 11 - June 30
Reception May 11th


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