Friday Dec 9th was the Artist Reception for Aurelia Gallery's Holiday Show "Tedocchio: Art for Children and Adults Alike". Two of my paintings ("Better Together" and "Mental Health" pictured below) were included thanks to my friendship with encaustic artist Ellen Koment (above left) who was heavily featured in the show. Above to my right is fellow emerging artist and good friend, Alex Allington, who specializes in wood sculptures and functional wood art finished with epoxy.
If you don't know about Canyon Road it is an art district in Santa Fe with over a hundred art galleries and studios exhibiting a wide range of art, ranging from Native American art and antiquities to historical and contemporary Latino art, regional art, international folk art, and contemporary art. Artists started living and displaying their work along this winding and picturesque road in the 1920s and over time it has become a major destination for art collectors.
To have my paintings on display on Canyon Road felt monumental and I had a grand time hamming it up at the reception (below).
However, along the way to the opening I learned a lot about what is important to me when it comes to displaying my art in a gallery.
Contrary to typical gallery protocol, the Aurelia gallery owner encourages artists to participate in hanging their artwork for a show. So I drove to Santa Fe and spent an afternoon at the gallery discussing where to put my paintings.
Pastel paintings are somewhat fragile in that direct sunlight, moisture, and temperature swings can damage them. That meant that the paintings couldn't be displayed in a window or above a heater which really limited options in the gallery.
At first it seemed like my artwork would either be propped up on small table-top easel placed on a short pedestal or on a decorative fireplace mantel (below). But the more I thought about that the less I liked it. I create my art upright as if it was on a wall and to see it leaning back made it look out of proportion. And, if by some accident one of my paintings got knocked over, some of the pastel would be shaken loose and if the glass broke shards of glass could cut the paper or become embedded in the pastel damaging it beyond repair.
So the next day I contacted the gallery owner and his assistant to explain my concerns. Thankfully they listened and hung the paintings on a wall in one of the front rooms. Yay!
The show is up until Jan 22, 2023. If you find yourself in Santa Fe I encourage you to stop by Aurelia Gallery, 414 Canyon Road.
There is a lot of variety in the show and if I had to pick a painting that wasn't my own I'd probably choose something by Karine Swenson who did a series of oil paintings based on pencil topper animals. In fact, her painting of a super cute rhino titled "Oh Goody" (below) makes me smile every time I see it.