Preparing for a Solo Show
While Bucklin accepts corporate commissions, most of her work is sold at gallery shows or on consignment. The galleries take a percentage—anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent—of the cost of the artwork and ask to keep pieces on consignment. This arrangement has several merits: “It gets the work seen, is validation, and gives it credibility. Exposure is key,” she says.
From the BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the Bohemia Gallery in West Jefferson, North Carolina, her work has been displayed in more than 50 juried exhibitions and shows across the U.S. over the past three years.
To prepare for a solo exhibition, the gallery sends her a list of 30 to 50 works they would like. If they don’t specify, she decides which pieces to send. Some of her work is in juried shows, having been specifically selected by a judge. Usually in juried shows, the judge will select one to three pieces of each artist’s work. Each of her works is displayed double-matted, signed, titled, numbered, and framed under Plexiglas in black Bainbridge aluminum frames.
When a show is staged, the gallery typically provides marketing support, sending out promotional postcards to their clients. “If I have clients in the area, I will send them notice that I am having a show there,” says Bucklin. “For solo shows, I generally arrive at the reception, where I can meet with clients and answer their questions about my work.”
Usually, Bucklin will give a talk about her work. Many times, the reception is an informal wine and cheese gathering, where people can study the work and meet with her. “At these shows, I also provide a publicity book, which includes my work, my awards, client references, and press clippings I’ve collected over the years,” she adds.
Typically, the artist is responsible for shipping to and from the gallery. Bucklin’s work is sent UPS Ground, framed, bubble-wrapped individually, and ready to hang. The gallery usually hangs the work and provides insurance on the pieces while they’re in their possession.
Bucklin finds the galleries where she exhibits by researching places that accept photography and seem like a good fit.
“Avenues for researching include the Internet, photo books, bookstores, and alternate business news publications,” she says. Also, many magazines announce “calls” for artists. She sends the galleries special submission packets with a CD of her images, references, awards, her background, press clips, and marketing postcards. One out of every 10 packages she sends leads to an offer to exhibit.
Bucklin plans to start a blog and recently advertised her pieces in Workbook’s (www.workbook.com) alternate edition, Framed Art for Spaces, geared to people looking to buy art.
Her future plans include publishing a book of her images with accompanying poetry by her 16-year-old daughter, Stephanie.
Lately, Bucklin has been experimenting with hand-coloring her infrared images. The images, which are getting a “great response,” are printed on canvas before being tinted with special oils.
“Rather than just hand-color the landscapes, I paint people in this manner, which adds a softer, more luminous look to their portraits,” she adds.
“I shoot things that evoke emotions, have links to the past,” says Bucklin. “I have to feel that connection to be moved to shoot. And I have to be patient. I go through a lot of film to get a few great images.” For more Bucklin images, visit www.luciabucklin.com