And so… if we are to start, I feel we should start at the beginning. March 2013, it was my third time showing my art, at a Craig Downs production entitled “Night Gallery.” Craig was kind enough to take me under his wing, and to let me help him install the art. I was eager to learn anything he had to share with me. Even though I had been selling my artwork to individual collectors for five years, I had just started showing my work publicly. At the time, I had no idea who Jenny Churchill was, or the doors she would open in my life. She told me about a monthly art show she ran, called “My St Louis Art" or "MySLArt", and so I thought I would give it a try. Months later, in August of 2013, I arrived on the Wednesday night prior to the opening reception, to help install my art at The Old Orchard Gallery in Webster Groves. There were people everywhere, and I loved the electricity in the room. It was then that I wanted to be a PART of MySLArt. I met Nick Dunne, and again, had no idea who he was, or what an amazing person he is. I became a volunteer in January 2013, and started showing up to help with art installations and shows, to do what I could behind the scenes to help things run smoothly. I felt that this space was where I could find a community, where I could put my energy to good use, helping other artists like me get their work OUT into the world.
This coming January, it will be two years that I have been volunteering with MySLArt. I truly enjoy the nights of art installations. Orchestrating all the art pieces, helping them to come together like a three dimensional puzzle on our walls of the gallery. Last month was my first time curating for MySLArt, and I’m so excited to see the way things are changing and coming together for our organization. John Blair was brought on last month as our new Executive Director, and I was so relieved to be working with someone who is also a good friend. Nick is our President of the Board, and Event Planner. Jenny still serves on our Board of Directors, and is helping us find our feet in this time of growth. I feel we are a well oiled machine, all the parts working together. It’s easy when everyone involved is so kind and communicative.
Thank you to John, Jenny and Nick, our volunteers, and our Board of Directors. Thank you to all the artists that have shown with us in the past. It gives me such JOY to meet new artists who have NEVER shown their work publicly before their first time with us at MySLart. I also love knowing that established artists, even those with gallery representation, come back to show with us. In the two years since I joined MySLArt, I’ve seen new artists go on to become incredibly successful, winning our Juror’s Choice Award (a $100 gift card from our sponsor, Artmart).
This month’s show is looking to be amazing. The art install will be another night of electricity, of hand shaking and introductions, of hammering and discussions to help the puzzle click into place again. The show will be another well attended opening, full of visitors voting for the favorite artist in the little red box on the table (Visitor’s Choice gets a $50 gift card from Shirt Kong). There will be conversations between collectors and artists… laughing friends catching up on the back patio, under the stars on a cool autumn evening. And I can’t wait to do it all again next month. See you there.