WOW. That’s how I can sum up my photography exhibit reception on Sunday at Green Spring Gardens. My friend Martha says her favorite moment was when I came by her and simply said, “I am just soooooooooo happy.” I kept repeating it like a Stepford character. I’m just soooooooooo happy. Really, I am just soooooooooo deliriously happy! Sales and attendance were way beyond what I expected (or dared to hope for).
Remember, the show is up for two more weeks—you have until April 29 to see it if you haven’t already done so. For more details and directions, visit my show site: www.gardenmuseshow.com! FYI—I will have an etsy.com store up and running soon. I’ll be selling matted and framed images, greeting cards and jewelry (and any other crafty endeavor that strikes my fancy!). Stay tuned for more info on that venture. More photos to come from the reception…
Reception photos © Ed Fagan, Columbia Photography
Martha, my friend who came up for the weekend from San Antonio, Texas, confidently pitches the “buy all eight greeting cards for $20 and get a nifty floral gift bag” deal to a potential customer.
Above, from left: dear friends Holly and Tom, yours truly (with my trusty Coolpix) and lovely Sue-in-blue, who flew up from Huntsville, Alabama
With a lot of help from family and friends (Karen B., her daughter Margot, my sister Debbie, sister-in-law Nancy, Karen W. and Martha), the table decor—inspired by spring and all things gardening—became the perfect backdrop to showcase Barbara‘s wonderful sweet and savory appetizers! The only downside—putting all those decorations back in their place in our townhouse.
Above, left: The view of the banquet tables from the “savory” side. Right: Barbara Kelley, caterer extraordinaire, displays her Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes, topped off with homemade fondant butterflies made by Karen B., daughter Hannah and me.
Above: The photo pendants were a hit, much to our delight! My friend Paula and I made about 30 of them and we sold more than half of them. I’ll be preparing more to sell in my etsy.com store, which I’ll be working on next month. We hung them on satin cords (longer length), vinyl cording and silver-plated chains and sold them sans chains as well.
Barbara and Hollace made open-faced tea sandwiches and adorned them with edible flowers—which required some cajoling to get attendees to eat. I heard several times, “are you sure we can eat these?” Michael proved they were edible by devouring a complete pink rose (photo to come). Another guest poked at the mozzarella balls (!) and asked if they were real (!) Thank you to Sue for helping me festoon the cupcake stand with garden-inspired fabric and ribbon. We went through a lot of hot glue on that project!
Above: getting the store set up before the crowd comes through the doors. Thanks to everyone who set up the shop—Michael, Karen B., Karen and Joe W., Pete and Nancy, Martha and Debbie. We filled up 3.5 cars with matted/framed prints, greeting cards and buffet decor elements. From left: Holly and her friend Helen examine the necklaces on display; center: Michael explains how to use his credit card machine to Karen B. and her daughter Margot; far right: me explaining something (?) to my friend Leda
Above: seven of the eight 5.5 x 8.5 greeting cards available for sale. Not shown, my “Unfurled” image with a ‘Negrita’ Tulip
Above: another shot of the buffet—tea sandwiches, fruit skewers and pesto pinwheels
Above, left: the jewelry display with my brother-in-law Pete in the background. Peter and his wife Nancy (Michael’s sister) drove up from the Columbus, Ohio area. Right: one of my favorite people—friend and neighbor Michael P. —deciding with “hairy legged” insect photo to purchase (thanks for giving Vault and Whirly Girl a good home, Michael!) Below: lines began to form—how cool is that?
Above: It was so great to see my former roommate (from way back circa 1998 or so) Wendy and her husband Mark—I last saw Wendy at Potomac Mills mall when her son Eli (now 17) was still in a stroller! We reunited on Facebook (but of course) and they truly surprised me by driving down from West Virginia just for the reception! She has asked me to do a presentation to her second grade class on “how to learn how to see” things in nature. Now that I can do!
During this entire process, I have had such a tremendous show of support from family and friends. Since the show went up, I have had guests coming from Florida, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama and Maryland. I am so blessed to have these people in my circle!
In preparation for the show and reception, I’d like to thank a slew of great people:
• A very special thanks to Jeff E.—thank you for the kick in the pants to get “exposure for my exposures!”
• Dorothy Norpel, F.R.O.G.S. (Friends of Green Spring Gardens) show coordinator, for giving me the opportunity to exhibit
• Mary Olien and Janet Hammes of Green Spring Gardens for their support of my work and Janet in particular for letting us in early on Sunday so we would have ample time to prepare for the reception (and also for purchasing several images!)
• All the employees and volunteers of Green Spring Gardens who answered questions, fetched a ladder, made a sale, answered my myriad questions and honored my requests
• The Green Spring Gardens horticulture staff who are masters (and artists) at what they do—for always having something new and beautiful for me to photograph (not many people know that more than 75% of the images in the show were shot at Green Spring Gardens)
• Dad for his financial input, patient framing guidance and being the best cheerleader/dad/patron of the arts a girl could have
• My sister Kelley for helping me select all the images for the show and being the genius behind the idea to name the images
• Tom and Holly for loading up 98% of the framed images in their van and transporting and unloading it all—you just don’t know how much I appreciated that!
• Dear Camilla for flying up to help me hang up the show and her invaluable creative direction (not to mention her long-time friendship)
• Karen W. and Michael for helping hang the show from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (thanks also to Karen for constantly promoting my work, whether it’s jewelry making or the exhibit—there’s a reason you’re a key component of the K.I.T.A. club, ya know!)
• Carmen and her sister-in-law Ester for driving eight hours from Greer, South Carolina just to attend the exhibit
• Mary Ellen for flying from Wisconsin
• My sister-in-law Ronnie and her husband Ed for coming to see us and the exhibit en route from Florida back to their home in Cleveland
• My sister Debbie and our friend Martha for hopping planes from San Antonio to share in the big weekend
• Karen B. for helping design the buffet tables, create the table covers and decorations, making fondant butterflies for the cupcakes, sleeving greeting cards and for every single creative project she is willing to tackle alongside me (I enjoy all our creative time together, KareBear) and for her patience in heading up the store
• Mo Sherman for spreading the word to his Virginia and Maryland friends and for being so supportive of my work
• Sue for flying here from Huntsville, AL, helping me make the three-tiered tea sandwich stand and putting matted prints in sleeves (and for her never-ending cheerleading!)
• Hannah for help with creating the butterflies and manning the store with her mom
• Margot for her flower arranging skills, buffet decorating and helping in the store
• Paula for helping me make those pretty photo pendants that were such a hit (and for her and Ken spreading the word of the exhibit to their friends and colleagues)
• Nancy, Pete and Martha for helping frame (assembly-line style) some last-minute pieces
• Karen W. and Joe for preparing and bringing a great breakfast spread to the house Sunday morning so we wouldn’t pass out during the day
• All the help transporting to and fro in four separate cars from Michael, Pete, Joe, Nancy, Karen W., Martha and Debbie
• Barbara and Hollace for the amazing reception food—it was colorful, tasty, imaginative, filled with love, and I couldn’t imagine a catered event going more smoothly than this one did—you are a pro, Barbara!
• Karen B., Margot, Hannah and Martha for minding the store and taking care of sales, wrapping, etc. (I know it was a crazy, unexpected time and I thank them profusely for all their efforts; nothing I can do can repay their generosity of time!);
• Michael for running errands to get more change, to the house for more supplies and bringing fans to cool off the place (we learned that they turn off the air at the Horticulture Center on weekends!)
• Karen W., Debbie, Martha, Karen B., Margot and Nancy for all their help decorating the buffet tables and setting up the store
• Jeff S.D. for his constant support and helping me determine pricing (why is this always so hard for an artist?)
• Brian for his mentoring and valuable input, always
• Kudos and thanks to my hard-working friend Ed for so thoroughly and beautifully documenting that wonderful day with nearly 700 images (shot from above, below, from the side, on a ladder, on the floor and from the ceiling)!
If I have left out anyone in the never-ending gratitude list above, it is not intentional. Finally, thank you to all my local friends, faraway friends, Facebook friends, WordPress fellow bloggers and design clients for being a constant source of support and enthusiasm for this pet project of mine. Thank you to all my local friends who were able to make the reception and for your purchases as well. I thank you profusely and Green Spring Gardens thanks you, too!