Greetings and happy Monday everyone!
Jen Perena here with big thanks for everyone who has supported my exhibit!
The show opened on Sat, Jan 12, and starting at 1 pm (an hour prior to the reception start time) we had visitors in the Gallery! I was in the process of folding the artist statement brochures and arranging food when the first person showed up to get a peek before the crowds. That started a steady stream and by 1:30 pm we already had a dozen people in the gallery!
Long-time friend, fellow volunteer and amazing, inspirational photographer and artist, Susan Andersen, brought the flowers for the exhibit and they were fantastic! Three displays that included flowers and vegetables – they were the PERFECT compliment to my work, especially the “Vegetation” series, matching the colors (greens, oranges and yellows) and specific vegetables (cabbages and artichokes!). Thank you so much for this thoughtful and really creative gift Susan!
We had a great buffet of food (savory bites, cheeses, fruit, veggies and lots of sweets), which no one seemed to get a photo of, along with a full bar featuring the usual wine and beer, plus hard cider, water, pop and kombucha from Katboocha. Thanks to all my friends at the Center (Janice Gouldthorpe, Kate Whorton, Audrey Shaughnessy) plus friends and family (my Mom, my sister, friends Jennifer, Kathy, Hope, Angie and Amber) for contributing to the spread and ensuring we had enough for the throngs!
And, I have to note, I was amazed that we seemed to guess right with the food and there were hardly any leftovers !!
Altogether I counted (by name!) 163 people I know and talked to, and in photos I can see numerous others who I didn’t know, who came with friends or just showed up, so I estimate we had maybe 175 people in the Sunken Room throughout the duration. At times the room felt totally packed, and it was loud, but so much fun!
It was great to see so many ‘old faces’ – former volunteers, people I have worked with, former Studio 678 graduates and teachers, former darkroom classmates, cousins, etc. We had several surprise visitors from Colorado (Erin!), North Carolina (Tammie!) and Costa Rica (Elizabeth!), plus folks who traveled in from Syracuse, Buffalo and Long Island. It was really awesome!
And we got lucky that the weather cooperated. It was cold but dry, and that combined with daylight hours on a Saturday afternoon was convenient too.
As you might imagine, I spent the whole 3+ hours (really it was more like 4 hours) talking, working the room, greeting so many friends and listening to feedback. I am overwhelmed by the super positive reception, and more so by the fact that we appear to have set a record with 8 photos sold during the opening! Thank you to everyone who has purchased work, for supporting me AND supporting the Photo Department, who also receives a portion of the sales!
And finally, thanks to the Photo Dept staff, Megan, Liz and Mark, for their help preparing the Sunken Room, for all the last minute tasks, and for help with the bar and with clean up; thanks also to fellow AIR Megan May for affixing corrected labels on all the pieces in my Vegetation series (literally minutes before the opening started), and for her positive energy and encouragement; and to my friend Adele for hanging the show and making it (me) look so good! I could not have done it without you guys!
The show will be up now thru Sat, Feb 16, so if you missed the opening, you still have plenty of time to get over and see it. Gallery hours are:
- Mon, Tues and Wed from 10 am to 5 pm
- Thursday from 10 am to 9:30 pm
- Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm to 5 pm
Let me know if you want a personal tour…I live close by and I have keys til my Residency ends (end of this month).
And don’t forget I’ll be doing an Artist Talk and Kallitype Process Demonstration on Sat, January 26, from 2 to 5! Hope to see you there!