A few weeks ago I was invited to lunch with Gregory Crewdson, a visiting photography, with the faculty from UTD. I didn't make the meeting he had had with the grad students earlier in the day, so I was happy to make the lunch. We had a good time, and he talked about his work, some. I had researched him on the web the night before so had a good idea of what he did. The best part of the lunch was interacting with the professors and deans.
That evening Crewdson spoke at the Dallas Museum of Art as part of the Creativity Series organized by UTD. He traced his work from graduate school to the present, noting connections, and making the point that he is telling his story. That was his most important piece of advice: find your story and tell it. Hearing him really clarified my own art trajectory for me, as I was confused about how to bring together rather disparate projects. I was able to identify my common theme- which is quite literally my story: Cynthia's life today. That works in my images of my children, the echoes of my past that appear, and my interest in what I see around me. As someone not native to Texas, or the US, I notice things in a different way than someone who sees them all the time.
After the lecture some fellow students invited me to join their class on a tour of the Dallas Art Fair, being set up next door. That was amazing. The class is about curating and exhibiting, and we talked to an art gallery owner that was setting up a show there. I wanted to go back to the fair when it opened on the weekend, but wasn't able to. When I wrote a thank you email to the professor- Greg Metz- he invited me to some other class outings, too. The first was canceled, but last week I sat in on a talk by several gallery assistent directors that gave a lot of insight into the workings of that world- important, I think, for an artists to know. The top tip? The best time to contact a gallery is Tuesday after a show opens. They aren't rushing to prepare, and they haven't quite started the next show.