Today was the install day at the Shoshana Wayne Gallery located in the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA.
The "selected" artists were invited via a chain email letter based on admiration. I borrowed some wheels and drove down to LA today and witnessed some of the craziness that spewed across the former train station. The street where the gallery is located was closed by the time I arrived, due to the high volume of traffic that had entered the limited parking lot. By the time I found parking and walked out to the gallery, there was a long line of artists that started from the doors of Shoshana Wayne that wrapped all the way around the station of galleries. Wow.
I was lucky to have spoken to one of my long time friends and fellow artists, A'misa, who had gotten in line about an hour before me and had warned me along my way down about the long wait. I was even more fortunate to meet up with her and her husband Alex, and enjoyed their company while we stood in line.
Another hour or so later we got to the front doors of Shoshana Wayne, turned in our paperwork, received a numbered sticker for our work and were directed to different spaces along the Bergamot Station. As soon as I entered one of the annex rooms I was overwhelmed with so many artists and so much artwork! There was hardly much space for walking with so many artists in the gallery space, plus all the artwork had either leaned against the walls or stood on a b.y.o. pedestal. There were also ledges that were used for art works to "sit" ontop.
I finally found a spot along the floor and placed my work between other works. The piece(s) I submitted was a collection of hand-written letters to the 10 people I invited and whose work I admire. Each sheet of paper was rolled up and bound with a vintage button and friendship jewelry cord.
Once the exhibition is over and I will have "de-installed" my work, I'll be mailing these letters to my admirees. Hopefully I can get updated mailing addresses from all of them before the exhibition retires. They know who they are.
Needless to say, It was quite impressive to see so many artists come out for one day, and to see a myriad of artwork. Everyone seemed pretty mellow and the line had a little bit of movement. Here's a sneak peek of what's inside of one of the some gallery spaces:
With the opening reception tomorrow, I wonder how crowded it will be in the space.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dxxxxxx <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Jun 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM
Subject: Chain Letter Exhibition Invitation to Participate
To: Exxxxx <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I’ve been asked to be in a group show Shoshana Wayne Gallery opening July 23 called Chain Letter. As per the concept of this show, I must invite 10 artists whom I admire to also participate. You are one of my 10.
Below are details from the curators. Please let me know if you can participate. If yes, go ahead and forward this invite to 10 artists whom you admire.
"Chain Letter" is a group show wherein 10 artists have been invited to participate. Those 10 then invite 10 artists whom they admire. Those 10 invite 10 more and so on. This cycle continues for 30 days.
The result is an exponentially massive, artist-curated group show based entirely on admiration.
Van (rhymes with "fun") C. Tran