Sunday, September 25, 2011

Art in Asbury and Finding Your Niche Bitch

Asbury Park was buzzing last night with two major openings. After dinner at the new restaurant, Ivan and Andy's, my husband Peter and I headed over to the Parlor Gallery and Art629 Gallery, both  had some fantastic openings. Parlor Gallery featured this incredible paper sculpture/weaving bJonpaul Smith, pop art inspired works by NIAGARA and octopus like chandeliers by Adam Wallacavage. Even in this economy, there were plenty of red dots on the walls. Art629 Gallery was a satellite gallery for SICA's 8th Juried Show. The Shore Institute of Contemporary Art is currently in the process of moving from Long Branch to Asbury Park. Everyone was buzzing about SICA's new arrival on the block. It is sure to be a big hit in town. The grand opening is Dec. 3 - mark your calendars now. Somewhere between the two galleries,  I happened to meet the curator of SICA's show - Ken Tyburski. (Asbury is just like!) What a great guy and he lives in town! In our conversation, he talked about his process of selecting the work for the juried show, how themes develop, and how great it is to see the work up and in the gallery. He gave me such a different perspective about juried shows. 
At the gallery, I asked Peter how does one stand out in a crowd of such individuals? He said "find your niche, bitch." I thought that was great and yes, so true. Find your voice, do the work and keep at it. Your true north will lead the way. As Justine Musk says your purpose/meaning/mojo/niche is " also the thing that sets you apart. Call it your brand, or your point of differentiation, except it goes deeper than either of those. It comes from the bones of your identity. It can’t be invented – it can only be discovered (or maybe recovered)." I spent the first month out of grad school applying to at least twelve shows/exhibits that I thought fit my vision. I was selected for two. The rejection  washed over my back like water on a duck. And like a duck, I just flutter my wings to clear the water and swim on. My niche suggests a destination and a course of action - I just keep going. I have to - it is my calling, my purpose. For those of you who are wondering how did I have a dozen or so opportunities to submit my artwork to - here are some resources-
Find what is right for you. Keep working and keep trying. Find you niche, bitch.


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