Last Wednesday my parents and I left Wellesley, MA and drove the 4.5 hours or so to NYC for my reception in Brookly, NY. This reception was one of the more humbling experiences. It mirrored the experience I felt when I exhibited my work in Provincetown, MA for the first time. NYC, has had a prominent place in my childhood. I started to come to NYC as a scout and continued throughout high school and ended up going to a college that placed an emphasis on going into NYC. By the time I had graduated college I had been to NYC 8 times. As an art major I had always admired the artists I saw exhibiting their work in Soho or Chelsea and kind of dreamed that that would happen to me!
In October, I received notification that my artwork, Bluebells will be making a trip to NYC to be exhibited at the 11th Biennial Exhibition at A.I.R Gallery. A.I.R Gallery is pretty cool as their mission is to support under appreciated women artists and has been in operation since the ’70s! The gallery ended up featuring my artwork as one of the two the were the ‘face’ of the exhibition. This biennial was centered around the theme of making and taking photos and reconsidering what the definition of photography is. Sometimes galleries submit calls for work centered around an already chosen theme, but sometimes that can be tricky to work with especially if your submissions may or may not always be centered around that theme and the exhibition can seem forced. This biennial just so happened to have many artists submit works of art centered around the photographic medium whether it may be painting or mix-media, or in my case traditional processing.
Wednesday we arrived at our hotel in Brooklyn and I knew Brooklyn was mostly of color, but I never expected to feel like I was in a minority and after a day of being there or so, the feeling went away. There were no altercations of our presence on the subways or walking around the neighborhood which was nice, because you never know these days… I was catcalled a few times, but after that catcalling video that was kinda expected. For dinner on Wednesday we went to Cent’Anni’s for dinner and had yummy spinach, pesto raviolis and chocolate cake for desert.
Thursday, we walked around the botanical garden in Brooklyn just to see a bit more of the neighborhood, and walked back to the hotel for to get ready for the reception. I had to really make sure to pace myself in terms of what I could do energetically so I wouldn’t be wiped for the reception. The reception itself was great! I got to meet the juror and see my work. I really had a feeling of, “I made it!” As exhibiting in a NYC gallery had been something I wanted to do for a LONG time. It helped me put my artwork into perspective.
Friday, I met up with my friend Jackie whom I met through the Biophillia residency in September. We had coffee and a pastry at Caffe Reggio. It was good to see her and we talked about future Ayatana opportunities and travel opportunities and caught up on life… then my parents and I walked to the 9/11 memorial to see the reflection pools and we ended up having lunch at Stage Door Pizza. After lunch, we walked a bit further and saw the Christmas tree at Rockefellar center. The following morning, Saturday, we drove home – exhausted and sore. Overall the experience was better than I imagined and I’m really glad I got to see my artwork in NYC!