Things I learned while prepping for an Art Show

Preparing eight panels for an art show is at least 40 hours of work. Attempting to cram it into two days means it will spill into a third day and there will be fast food for at least three meals.

During the process I alternate between loving what I am putting together and worrying about whether it is good enough. In the end I am so tired I no longer care either way.

Double sided tape is my new best friend. I especially like type which comes in an industrial sized spool suitable for large projects. I also like artist’s tape. Binder’s tape, which would have been useful, is apparently a specialty item and not available locally.

I need to think twice when I utter the words “I can fix it,” because this is how I find myself hand coloring tape with a sharpie marker to bind the edges of posters whose floppiness I attempted to solve by attaching them to foam core board, only I accidentally cut the boards too small and if I don’t bind the edges there will be tearing. I colored the tape because it was white, and black looked better. Yes I considered electrical tape, but it has the wrong texture and adhesive qualities. Next time I’ll eat the cost of the floppy posters and just pay Alphagraphics to print on something hard.

I am really glad Howard built that 4×6 gaming table. It is exactly the size of the art panels and was very helpful in getting things arranged.

When faced with a room where Mom has filled the table and all other available flat surfaces including several chairs and a couple of large cardboard boxes, the logical thing for a small child to do is build a fort. Forts are especially cool when you can use pieces of cardboard and foam core board that Mom is not using at exactly this moment.

Kids are drawn to big projects and will beg to help. This is particularly true if they think they might get paid for helping. Which they usually do when they help with business work. The help of kids makes the process of preparing items for the print shop go much more quickly.

I don’t know that we will ever have the chance to put together an art show this large again. But if we do, I am now prepared. I’ve got copies of all the panel layouts and lists of what I did.

It is useful to be a collector of shipping supplies. Several times I had exactly the sorts of poster board, plastic bags, pieces of cardboard, colored paper, and large envelopes that I needed.

No matter how complete I think my list is, I will come home and discover I need something else from the store.

We should be stocking small format color prints in the Schlock Mercenary store. They look good and I bet lots of people would love to have them.

It will be interesting to see how much of the art comes back to us. I tried to price things so that they would sell. I certainly hope some of the print shop stuff will. We have things there for as low as $2.