Syd takes art lessons on Thursdays. To my unbiased eye, she's damn good at it, too. So it was with more than a little pride that I agreed when her art teacher, Malcolm Rae (who works in five styles, none of which is website design), asked if she wanted to include some pieces in an upcoming art show.
I showed up on the morning of the show with Syd's work and frames (not necessarily attached). The studio is actually her teacher's house but it's a beautiful setting for a show as it has a garden that has been meticulously groomed for over thirty years.
As I was attaching the work to the frames (with a staple gun; we'll talk injuries later), Malcolm comes over and says, "You may want to put a name and a price on each of those." To which I replied: "???" He countered that witty retort with: "And you should have an artist statement that people can take with them." My unspoken words at that point were, "Man, I wasn't even going to bring the artist."
So with an hour and a half to go, we put together an artist statement and the artist (who was still sleeping; sheesh, artists...), slap $20 price tags to each work, and return to the studio with an increasingly fragile grasp on the situation.
The show was a bus tour of about a dozen galleries throughout the island. There were four buses on day one and two on day two (who knew there was a day two?). Most of them were very appreciative of Syd's work although I didn't get many chuckles from Syd's statement which stated, accurately, that when she grows up, she wants to be a tourist.
Syd sold out on day one as did her friend and co-artist, Helena. She was eager to get home that night and paint more money...er...gut-wrenching representations of her very soul (i.e. puppies) but in the end we all crashed early. Day two was a little more relaxed with only two buses and all the prep work done. Plus Syd and Helena could lay off the sales pitch and focus more on finding inspiration in various forms of the game, tag.
We bought one piece ourselves and the rest went to various patrons including one elderly lady who I later learned made her fortune the old-fashioned Bahamian way, she laundered it. In the end, Syd came out $80 richer. Beats lemonade stands.
Final note of thanks who, despite my earlier veiled criticism of his website, is an astounding artist and teacher (for what it's worth from an uncultured hillbilly). I admitted to him afterward that I didn't take the event to seriously at first but I came away from it with a greater appreciation of both the art business and Sydney's apparent talent.
But still, fifteen percent studio fees?