Saturday, December 8, 2012

Leaping into the not so certain future...

Photographs by Laura Brent
Last night's closing reception of SKY HIGH was a successful ending to an enjoyable exhibition, although a tad bittersweet. The three month exhibition netted me my best sales period in the history of the gallery. The cloud photographing continues, however, as I plan to continue this documentary project for an entire year, capturing all seasons of skies, to complete the project of cataloging these transient objects. The future form the work may take is undetermined, but will offer opportunities for a reappearance in the future.

So what is next for Valhall Arts? This is a question that is a bit up in the air. The past status quo changed a few months ago with the sale of the historic Post Office building to a new owner. Luckily this means that many of the 'ten year past their useful life' mechanical HVAC units in the building are going to be replaced. A much need upgrade of the building will occur, and I hope this creates a new liveliness. How these changes will affect the spirit of the building remains to be seen.

There has been lighthearted talk of 'ghosts' in the building, and the entire Oak Street plaza area was once a graveyard, home to civil war casualties and honored soldiers. (although the bodies were probably moved...more research needed.*) Could it be the tainted soil which is beneath us that causes the lackluster energy? or is it the stagnant art community that pervades the area? Of the several artists that rent spaces in the building, some have decided to use this change as an impetus to move on to new adventures. Others are still debating what to do, considering possible studio trades, and/or re-locations within the building. The trouble of finding a concrete solution is compounded by the lack of information coming from the new landlords. There is gossip about other non-art tenants coming in, (possibly a restaurant), rent raises, and proposed remodeling.  It is hard to make a decision without all the facts, so I am in a 'wait and see' period of stagnation.

All this instability in the structure of my work space has distracted me from really creating any quality substantial work. I have been playing in the darkroom a bit, making photo-grams, and printing some older shots, but it has been far too long since I have used my pinhole cameras and I am lacking a clear direction of where I want my work to go. In the forefront, at this time, must be the marketing of my recent projects to other galleries in major art cities.(Santa Fe, NYC, Chicago, LA) Although I am grateful for the 2% of my local audience that appreciates my work,  I must expand my audience to reach more of those who it is intended for, the 'literati' of contemporary art, as it may be. As such, Valhall Arts, the gallery, will take a back seat. What the new year holds will be determined when it gets here.

*planning a trip to the new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery historic archive!