In our first week of my art history class (less than two weeks ago, although it sure feels like more), we learned about the Salon exhibitions at what is now the Louvre, hosted by the new art association of the day called the French Academy. If you've been to the Louvre, you know it doesn't really look like this when they display their pictures now, but apparently back in the day, this is how it was, stacked to the ceiling:
The event was a result of what they called an 'open-hang' show. Between 12-4pm that very day, they invited any artist to come with hammer and nails to hang a piece. The one rule was that it had to be 6 inches from anyone else's. I got there at 12:45 and already, people were having to stack their pieces. By 7:00pm, when I arrived, this is how it looked. It was so so cool! The organizers did nothing to re-arrange or change how the artists themselves hung (or displayed) their own work.
Can you spot my tiny piece on this wall?
(Hint: don't look for a frame)
I'll take a better picture of it when I go again sometime in the next month, but here it is:
Here I am with Barbara Gilhooly, who is probably my favorite artist in Fort Collins. I visited her studio last year during the Studio Tour and have been inspired ever since--she is really something! Check out her work here. Last night she did me the great honor of buying my piece!!!!!
I actually want to put about a thousand exclamation marks right there.
I loved the magic of the way the show turned out, the collaboration and community, feeling like I was in some way connected to the French Academy's annual salon that happened for so many years, and connecting with the artists I admire. Of course, Barbara made the night complete with making me feel truly legitimate amongst my peers.