This past Thursday, my solo show, Cultivated, opened at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (and it was awesome.)
I normally have a lot of anxiety when it comes to showing my work. There is a vulnerability in displaying your artwork- all of the emotion, time, energy, etc. that goes into the work is just out there on display. And it's not that it's just "out there," as an artist you are actively inviting people into your personal space to comment, critique, and ultimately judge your work. (Anyone else always think about Jerry Seinfeld describing Elaine's new boyfriend, Aaron, as a close talker, when you think about personal space? No? Well now you will. You're welcome.)
Anyhow, back to the point. So normally, I'm nervous about openings, but this time I was really surprised at just how calm I was about the whole thing. I was (am still am) really proud of my work, how it all looked/came together, and was actually even kind of excited to share everything. (Awe, look at me growing up haha) But seriously, it was such a great experience. Even the opening itself was amazingly laid back.
Seeing that this was my first solo show (I'm still amazed and humbled and kind of in shock that my first solo show is at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, but that's a whole other conversation,) most people probably would have thought I'd would have made a really huge deal about the opening. And it's not that I was opposed to that, but my main goal was to be able to be fully present and experience the moment. So I didn't really stress about it. I sent out a Facebook invite to some close friends who lived in town, posted about it on Instagram, and called it a day. (Side note- I did have the luxury of knowing that the show would be up for 5 months so that helped keep the stress level low and kept me from feeling like I had to do everything RIGHT NOW or I'd miss my chance. I may have done things differently if that was the case.)
And you know what? It was the best of times. Not even a hint of the worst of times. (Tale of Two Cities, anyone?) Not everyone could make it (some got sick, some were out of town, some had other obligations they couldn't get out of) but even so, I was surrounded by people who are a constant source of love, support, and inspiration. There was one moment I remember looking around and seeing old friends and new friends all surrounded by my work and just feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude.
I didn't get to talk to every person as long as I may have wanted (I talk a lot though so this really isn't new for me ;)) but everything just felt so... perfect. And the cherry on top of it all was that after the show, a group of us just wandered around the Garden, drinking, chatting, and looking at all of the exhibits that were lit up for Cocktails in the Garden (which was also that night!) So it was just art on top of art.
All this rambling aside, thank you all for your support. It means so much to me and I'm honored to create pieces that bring you joy.
As for the show- it will be on display until October 31st so you have plenty of time to catch it! (All of the work is also for sale in case you've been looking to purchase a piece.) And if you do go, I'd love for you to take photos and share them with me!