“Party Like it’s…2008?”

"Adaptation" by Amy Guidry; From the New Realm series. Copyright Amy Guidry 2008

I’m really not a party person, although I’m learning to get over that if I plan on furthering my art career. So tomorrow evening, I’m putting on my party dress and marching on over to the Art Melt Preview Party. The show doesn’t open until Friday, July 11th, so you’re welcome to join us then. The Art Melt is held at the Brunner Gallery in the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge, LA. (Yes, our capital, for all you geography nerds.) The show is a mixed media exhibit juried by Sean Ulmer, curator of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Awards will be announced at the Preview Party.

The show consists of work by all Louisiana artists. Some are from my residence- Lafayette, most are from Baton Rouge, a couple from New Orleans, and a few from cities I’ve never heard of. (For the record, Acadiana consists of so many small cities that if you blink, you’ll miss them. Not to mention, I’m not originally from here, so cut me some slack.) I did have my own preview, minus the party, when I dropped off my painting, “Adaptation,” (it’s about time I mentioned the title) and observed some of the other works that were awaiting installation. There were some strong contenders there, I will say that. It would be nice to see more Lafayette artists in the show. This is the first time I have exhibited in the Art Melt, myself, so maybe it has yet to catch on over here.

So if you’re looking for a huge opening reception to attend, Friday night from 6:30 to 10, come to the Art Melt. And if you can’t see my work in person, you can always see it online at www.AmyGuidry.com.

Are You Up For “The Challenge?”

"Choices" by Amy Guidry; Copyright Amy Guidry 2008

I received some great news today- I was selected for inclusion in the George E. Ohr National Arts Challenge at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art! Two of my paintings were chosen, “Choices,” and “Food or Pet? How Do You Decide?” The juror for the show is artist Ron Pokrasso. The show will run from September 19th through November 10th at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, MS.

So who knows? Maybe my work will receive an award while it’s there. We won’t know until the awards ceremony at 7 pm on September 19th. I am hoping to attend the reception even though I will be at the opening of my New Realm exhibit in Vegas the week before. Whew. Yes, that’s a lot of traveling. But I’m up for it.

"Food or Pet? How Do You Decide?" by Amy Guidry; SOLD; Copyright Amy Guidry 2008

Check out more of my Beneath the Surface series at www.AmyGuidry.com While you are there, sign up for my monthly newsletter for updates on shows (there’s a lot more where this came from…) and invitations to shows in your area.

Viva Las Vegas!

"Beginning" by Amy Guidry; From the New Realm series. Copyright Amy Guidry 2008

For those of you who do not get my newsletter (Sign up at www.AmyGuidry.com), I thought I should mention my next solo exhibit. Yes, I have lots of shows coming up and in progress, actually, but this is the next solo. It will be in Las Vegas at the newly christened Henri & Odette. Originally the show was going to be at Jennifer Marie Gallery, but they are moving to a larger location and have changed their name in the process. The opening will be September 12th from 6-8pm. And yes, I will be there.

So if you’d like to take a trip out to Vegas, what better reason than to see my new show. And feel free to invite anyone you know in the area. I’ll be showing my New Realm series, so some of those you may have seen before, but there will also be new work in that series on display. And yes, I will have more of the smaller pieces that everyone loves because they’re so cute and collectible. Hee hee.

I’ll be posting more details about the show as they arise. Keep your eyes out for more information on shows in my newsletters.

Cedric

Amy\'s New Realm series was recently on display at the Zigler.For those of you who read the newspaper, perhaps you saw the article in yesterday’s Daily Advertiser about my painting at the Zigler Museum.  Herman Fuselier interviewed me last week about my “Cedric” painting which is now in the permanent collection of the Zigler Art Museum in Jennings, LA.  Even if you didn’t catch the article, you can still read it in the virtual world at http://www.theadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080624/LIFESTYLE/806240306

As mentioned in a previous blog, my painting is now part of the Louisiana collection of the Zigler.  It is among other Louisiana artists, such as heavy-hitters Clementine Hunter and William Tolliver.  The intention is for this expanding collection to travel to other museums and art institutions in the near future. 

Given the fact that my painting is of Cedric Watson, a Grammy-nominated musician and a favorite of the locals in Acadiana, I thought it was the perfect fit for the Zigler’s collection.  Not to mention the museum was pretty keen on it as well.  In addition, Cedric and the rest of his group, The Pine Leaf Boys, are scheduled to play at a museum event later this fall. 

Check out my painting on my website www.AmyGuidry.com.  While you are there, you can see the rest of my portrait series in addition to the new work that I’ve been up to lately.

 

 

Read All About It! Upcoming Shows, Publications, and more…

"Wisdom" by Amy Guidry; From my New Realm series. Copyright 2008 Amy Guidry.

New Work:

I have completed my newest painting “Wisdom” from my New Realm series. You can view the piece at http://www.amyguidry.com/wisdom.html.

Shows:

I have been invited to exhibit my work in “Ameri-Dreaming: Art & American Culture.” The show is scheduled for October 8- 31, 2008 in the Claypool-Young Art Gallery at Morehead State University in Morehead, KY.

I will also participate in “Circus Show and Other Atrocities” this coming September. My work will be featured among 60 other invited artists from the US, UK, and Canada. The show will be held at A Bitchin’ Space in Sacramento, CA.

My painting “Cedric” is now in the permanent collection of the Zigler Art Museum in Jennings, LA. “Cedric” is part of the Louisiana artists collection, which will be a traveling collection, and includes work by renowned artists Clementine Hunter and William Tolliver. The piece is from my portrait series and features local Grammy-nominated musician Cedric Watson.

I was also selected for inclusion in the Art Melt 2008. The juror is Sean Ulmer, curator of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. The show will be held from July 11- July 22nd at the Brunner Gallery in the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA. The opening reception will be held Friday, July 11th from 6:30 to 10pm.

Be sure to check out my piece in the Southern Open Juried Exhibit at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in downtown Lafayette, LA. “Anti-Aging” was selected by juror Peter Frank, an art critic and art historian, who frequently writes for LA Weekly. My work was one of 105 selected from over 770 entries across five Gulf states. You can view photos from the opening reception at http://AmyGuidry.com/slideshow.htm

My New Realm series will be featured at the Jennifer Marie Gallery in Las Vegas, NV. The solo exhibition will be on display this coming September. The opening reception will be Friday, September 12th, from 6-8pm.

Publications:

My work is featured in Volume I of the premier issue of Studio Visit Magazine. Photos of my selected paintings and information about the publication can be seen under the Press section of the Amy’s website.

In addition, my work was selected for the fall edition of Studio Visit Magazine to be published this year as well. The juror was Carl Belz, Director Emeritus of The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University.

I have recently been selected for inclusion in Marquis Who’s Who of American Women. My biographical information has also been updated in Marquis Whos’ Who in the World for the upcoming 26th edition.

Issue 8 of Indie Arts- The DVD Magazine features me as one of their four gallery artists. You can see more at http://www.IndieArtsDVD.com.

Television:

If you’ve been watching MTV’s Real World Season 20 Hollywood, you’ve probably noticed my work in the background. My painting “United Isolation” can be seen outside the “telephone room” where the houseguests make their scandalous calls. And take a look at the bathroom mirror reflection because you’ll see it in there as well. You can view new photos from the show at http://www.AmyGuidry.com/press.htm

Death of an Artistic Salesman

"Awakening" by Amy Guidry; From my New Realm series. View more at www.AmyGuidry.com

One of the trickiest parts of being an artist is sales.  Most artists fail because of their lack of business skills.  Business skills are made up of many components, and one of those is your sales ability.  No, it’s not easy, and there really isn’t any one answer when it comes to sales.  Except diligence.  That’s the one common denominator I can think of in the sales equation.  Other than that, your sales approach can vary depending on who you’re dealing with.  Of course time and lots of practice will help you crack that code.

One specific helpful hint I can give you is to check out the Sales Gravy podcast.  I love this thing.  Show.  Whatever they are… podcasts are great because you can subscribe to them and listen to them repeatedly until they become your mantra.  Anyway, I love the Sales Gravy Power Principles podcast.  I am currently waiting to see when the next one will be out (usually on a weekly basis, but the newest one is mysteriously late).  Oh Jeb Blount, where art thou?  Much of the information on there is common sense, but sometimes we all have tunnel vision and miss out on the no-brainer actions we could and should be doing.  So that’s where Sales Gravy comes in.  Plus, it’s a motivational show, so you should just listen for the good confidence boost.

So if you are an artist, you should check out Sales Gravy.  Maybe you’ll learn something new.  Or maybe you’re already implementing these tactics in your life, but you should still give it a listen just to serve as proof you’re moving in the right direction.

www.AmyGuidry.com

Where Everybody Knows Your Name, and They’re Always Glad You Came

"Was It a Dream?" by Amy Guidry; Visit www.AmyGuidry.com

I wanted to take a moment to write a review of sorts of a local gallery in Lafayette, LA. I’m always interested to see what others are up to, especially when they do their own thing as opposed to just following the mainstream. So when your gallery has its own artwalk and is situated away from the “usual suspects” (i.e. downtown gallery circuit), then it must be Visions Art Gallery.

There is a variety of artwork on the walls at any given time. Some of the artists are well-known in the community, while some are just starting out. There is pretty much something for everyone since the work ranges in style and medium. I recently purchased a Tom Ladousa ceramic piece from there (on sale) and have been eyeballing some de Kooning-esque pieces by Dutch Kepler.

Another quality about the gallery worth noting is the overall atmosphere. This is not a stuffy gallery. If you are in the witness protection program, you may not want to go here because these ladies will know your name before you leave. Bonnie Camos (the director) knows everyone and freely introduces everyone as well. Put it this way- if Bonnie has a myspace page (I have yet to look) then she must have a billion friends. And she genuinely takes an interest in them.

Visions hosts its own artwalk every third Saturday of the month. This falls after the usual 2nd Saturday Artwalk held downtown in Lafayette, and also allows Visions to spotlight its own exhibits. Having only one exhibit to attend makes it easier to take your time and meet the artists as opposed to rushing through to make it to the next gallery before closing. (Although I do love the downtown artwalk as well.) But even if you can’t make it to an opening reception, you can always go during the day, enjoy the art, enjoy the coffee, and make plenty of friends. And maybe add them to your myspace page…

www.AmyGuidry.com

Beautiful Art for Free?

Amy Guidry with her work at the Acadiana Center for the Arts

I thought I should address this issue even though it seems like common sense to me, but maybe others fall prey to this.  I’ve seen an alarming number of art opportunities that ask artists to give up their work for free in exchange for publicity, a percentage of the royalties, etc.  These are typically illustration jobs or graphic design jobs which promise to “provide you with good portfolio pieces.”  Or they expect their book to get published, thereby making the artist “famous” and they will receive “royalties.”  If you are an artist, no matter how desperate you may be for money or exposure, please don’t go for these “opportunities.” 

First, you should already have a portfolio, which means that you already have 8 or more of your best pieces to show.  So when a job promises that all you get in the end is a great sample for your portfolio, well, you’ve already filled that void.  You can find a paying gig that will do the same.  You should be keeping copies of your work for your portfolio, personal records, etc. anyway.

Next, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the overwhelming majority of potential authors looking for an artist do not have a publisher lined up.  So when they ask you to do free illustrations, you are probably doing this work so it will end up lining their cat’s litterbox.  More than likely these are half-baked ideas that these people *may* intend to follow through with, but won’t.  In the end, there will be no book, screenplay, collection of poetry, etc. therefore your artwork will never be seen. 

I know there are exceptions to every rule, but more than likely requests for free artwork are nothing more than that- free work.  Time is money, so please keep that in mind before you consider forking over your valuable work to strangers (or even family members!).  Unless someone has already shopped around for a publisher and their deal is a “sure thing,” then you can discuss your payment and get it in writing.  And unless you know that your work will be heavily marketed (and this is still debatable), don’t even consider hoping for publicity from the use of your free illustrations, etc. 

Don’t get me wrong, pro-bono work is great, but the jobs I’m talking about are not for a good cause.  They are simply a means to an end for someone else looking to line their pockets with your free work.  Before you give away your comic book art, maybe you should just write your own comic.  Or get a gig doing graphic design for an actual design company that pays you with money and not empty promises.  There are plenty of paying opportunities for artists, you just have to look for them.  Let’s put an end to the starving artist concept.  You’re a paid professional, and should be treated as such.

Let me know if you come across any other questionable opportunities.  Comments?  I love comments.  Questions?  I love questions. 

www.AmyGuidry.com

 

Been Caught Stealin’ (And not in the Jane’s Addiction way)

Grrrr.  I just found one of my paintings posted on the internet by someone.  Without my permission.  And not even a credit to my name!  What’s worse is, it was posted amongst a slew of stolen images of cute kittens and whatnot.  Just randomly pasted onto a page, as you often see this phenomenon.  You know the ones… pictures of cats making weird expressions or those god-awful sparkly, animated fairies in goth outfits that barely cover them.  And now my work of art, art being the operative word here, is now being associated with these lame images.  And they didn’t even mention the artist behind the work.  Yes, that’s right- me!

You know, I’m never super happy to see my work stolen- yes, it is stealing, folks.  Remember Napster?  But if the theives at least have the common sense to put my name there with the image or better yet, put a link to my website, then I feel a little better.  At least then people are aware that I own the image.  I created it.  You get the picture.  But to find my image(s) blindly posted without my name attached, just allows more fools to take it and do the same.  It will spread like a virus then.  Think about it- no one knows who created those kitten photos or goth fairies (although I’d want to remain anonymous for that last one…) and no one cares.  They think those images are just there for them to use.  No worries.  Wrong.

So let this be a lesson to you.  If you think you can post my work without my permission, you are sorely mistaken.  And if you think I won’t find out about it, again, you are sorely mistaken.  I’ve found people halfway across the globe that I’ve never met.  And this applies to my work and that of other artists as well.  We work hard to create these pieces.  So give us our due.  And stop stealing! 

www.AmyGuidry.com

Southern Open 2008 Juried Exhibition

Just a "few" of the guests that arrived when we first got there.

Well, if you weren’t there, you must have been the only person NOT in attendance at the Southern Open this year. The Southern Open 2008 is the second juried exhibition held at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in downtown Lafayette. Last year it had a good crowd and a good number of entries, but this year was overwhelming. Perhaps word has started to spread. Who knows. Regardless, the place was packed, you had to practically yell to be heard, and there were nearly 800 entries (and that’s from only the 5 states allowed to participate). Yowza.

Amy Guidry with juror Peter Frank, art critic and art historian and my painting "Anti-Aging"

As stated in my last post, the juror was Peter Frank, art critic, art historian, and writer for LA Weekly. I had the opportunity to meet him and get my picture taken. The show was very diverse, and as he stated, juried shows allow him to choose a wide range of work as opposed to a typical curated show with more of a direct focus. Makes sense. I appreciate that his taste is eclectic. Sometimes juried shows will favor a particular style, depending on the juror, but this one had variety. Maybe it’s the secret ADD person in me, but I often prefer shows with diverse works. It keeps me interested. I love to see how they all fit together even though they were created by different people.

Amy Guidry, Ralph Bourque and Troy Dugas with his work

Alas, my work did not win any awards, but it was chosen. I’m more than happy to say that. And it was amongst some great work, so I was happy to be in their company. I did think it was placed a little low on the wall, which Peter Frank agreed, so you may notice this in the photos. I guess they had space issues because a lot of pieces were grouped together one above the other.

If you’d like to view all of the photos from the exhibit, you can check them out at www.AmyGuidry.com/slideshow.htm

Comments and Discussion from artist Amy Guidry