Monday, October 4, 2010

Setting Up the Show

Today was drop off day(again!) for the stuff that got selected to be in the Hawaii Craftsmen show.
The gallery space is in the Linekona Center, which is right across the street from and part of the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
The building was actually a school, way back in the good ole days and is registered as a historic building:

Linekona is not just gallery space. The Academy uses it to host a whole bunch of art programs for children as well as adults.
Down in the basement is a ceramics studio and out back is the kiln area. There is a separate structure that houses the kiln, but it was closed.
The basement also houses a "lending library" for art. Teachers can go in there, browse around and take stuff for their classrooms. Most of the stuff is donated and there are some really cool things there. I could spend hours just poking around.
So anyways, I get there and I'm immediately identified as the "teapot man." I guess that's a good thing, folks remembering my stuff.
The gallery space was still under construction:

All the boxes in the back I believe were the outer islands entries.
Now a lot work goes into setting up a show like this. For one thing, every thing is 3D. There are no two dimensional works. There are things like fibre and prints, but no paintings.
You just can't go in and start hanging stuff on the wall.
If you look at the images above, you can see all the pedestals and stuff. They were still painting some of them when I got there.
Then you have to figure out where to put everything. A woman there was working with a scale model of the space, arranging stuff around.
We had to do this for our graduation show. We meaning the students, were given control over the university gallery, and we had to design pretty much everything in the show.
Let me tell you, it ain't easy.
The variety of work alone makes this a daunting task. For one thing, you don't actually know what you got until everything is in. Then you start planning the floor, which I bet they're still doing right now.
Since the space is sort of small and the works many, I think part of the goal is to create a balance so that even when placed side by side, each work occupies it's own space.
It's about seeing space and I'm not talking about the outer kine.
A good example would be the two Flying Teapots. Because of the color alone, they tend to sort of stand out an attract the eyeball.
Do you put them together? Apart?
If apart, how far and do you position them so that both appear in your field of vision or do you separate them by a partition?
Should they be illuminated by natural or artificial light?
Position them at eye level or below?
You get the idea.
It's like four days until the opening reception and trust me, they'll be working on the space up until the doors open.
Setting up a show is a huge challenge that if all goes well, often goes unnoticed.


Steve A said...

I never really noticed setups, but I will henceforth.

limom said...

When I do my sitting, we'll get a chance to see how this show turned out.
On a side note, I had a strange dream last night where the Flying Teapot got damaged during the show.
Very strange.