Alternative Venues for Artists and Poets
When we poets and artists labor over our work,
we do so in a state of creative energy. We poke and prod the
stanzas or compositions and finally arrive at This is
done. Now what?
After finishing a poem, we may decide that the time is right
to test it in public. Poets sign up for open mics, arrange readings
at libraries, bookstores, and go anywhere a group might gather
to listen to poetry. We submit work to journals. After several
years, a critical mass of poetry grows and a manuscript might
seem realistic. So begins the work of revision and organization,
followed by publication and, you guessed it, finding venues
to read and sell books.
The Perfect Venue, a chapter from my book, The little
O, the earth: Travel Journals, Art & Poems, explores the
idea of traditional and alternative places to show artwork.
Artists need to exhibit work in many different locations:
my résumé lists group and solo shows in galleries,
museums, bookstores, colleges, libraries, cultural and community
centers, historical sites, store fronts, a television station,
restaurants, a delivery truck converted into an art gallery
on wheels, and on my webite www.PaletteAndPen.com.
Last month, I added a new alternative venue: a clothing boutique.
One of my favorite places to shop in Worcester is the French
Twist Boutique at 1098 Pleasant Street, Tatnuck Square in Worcester,
Massachusetts. It ranks high on my list because sisters Roberta
and Carolyn Boria know how to attract customers who want to
dress in a non-mass market style. The clothes they sell are
well-made, with unusual fabrics and stylish cuts that make a
statement. When I get out of my workday attire (sweats), I dont
want to look like everyone else.
As proof of Robertas expertise as a buyer, I was waiting
for my husband, John Gaumond, to line up a photograph in Place
de la Concorde in Paris. A group of people visiting the Musée
de lOrangerie walked by, and two women broke out of line,
pointed at my jacket/dress and said Formidable, madam!
I couldnt wait to get home and tell Roberta and Carolyn.
One day, when I was finishing my holiday shopping at French
Twist, Robertas face lit up: How would you like
to sell your artwork here? I returned with samples to
show her, and we discussed the details of our new relationship.
On December 20th John and I hung 24 pieces of my artwork in
the main room of my favorite clothing store!