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  • Writer's pictureKristen Kabrin

Was It a Good Show? Exploring the True Measure of Success

A man and woman discuss the photography in the exhibit.
Photography on exhibit.

Reflecting on the art show season I have just finished in Arizona, one question consistently floats my way from other artists and patrons alike: "Has this been a good show for you?" It's a question that resonates beyond the surface, delving into the heart of what it means to be an artist navigating the landscape of exhibitions and showcases.

For many, the measure of a "good show" hinges on financial success, a validation of one's craft through monetary gain. And while the support of patrons is undeniably appreciated, I've come to view the concept of a "good show" through a different lens—one that transcends the realm of profits and delves into the realm of personal growth and artistic enrichment.

The journey begins long before the curtains rise on opening day, as I meticulously sift through potential shows, searching for the perfect venue to exhibit my work. The application process itself is a testament to patience and perseverance, often commencing months in advance, each submission a hopeful step towards showcasing my vision to the world.

Once accepted, the real work begins—curating my collection, selecting the pieces that resonate most deeply with the locale and audience, pondering over the nuances of size, medium, and presentation. It's a delicate dance between artistic expression and practicality, each decision shaping the narrative of my exhibition.

And then, in the middle of the flurry of preparations, the inevitable chaos ensues—last-minute adjustments, unforeseen challenges, the unpredictable whims of weather. Yet, in the craziness of it all, there's a sense of camaraderie that binds artists together, a shared understanding that in all the chaos, there lies opportunity for growth and connection.

As I greet my fellow artists, old friends and new acquaintances alike, I'm reminded of the richness of collective wisdom that surrounds me. In every conversation and shared anecdote, a wealth of knowledge is waiting to be gleaned—a new technique, a helpful tool, a fresh perspective that enriches my artistic journey.

And then, the really beyond good stuff happens. Meeting the public, and engaging with fellow art enthusiasts, each interaction is an opportunity to share the stories behind my images, to forge connections that transcend the confines of a gallery space.

Not every passerby may be captivated by my photography, and that's perfectly okay. For me, the true essence of a "good show" lies not in universal acclaim, but in the moments of genuine connection, in the shared appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us.

So, as I reflect on the whirlwind of emotions and experiences that define an art show, I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery. Whether you're an artist, an art lover, or simply a curious soul, there's a world of inspiration waiting to be explored—a world where chaos and creativity converge to form something truly extraordinary.

Together, let's embrace the beauty amidst the chaos and celebrate the transformative power of art. Join me, won't you?

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