The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Canadian Exhibition Autumn 2009

This October(ish) we’re planning to go to Nova Scotia, Canada to exhibit Maggie’s artwork.

I’ve not been there for 16 years, since I was an exchange student from Dundee University, although I still have a few friends I’m in contact with from that time.

One very good friend from my time in NS has decided to help us try and create an exhibition there.

I thought I’d better scribble out a rough list of things we need to investigate, plan and implement in order to make it happen:

- Make sales, open new markets, make more money than it costs to stage.
- Publicise Maggie’s name in Canada
- Boost credibility in Scotland
- Generate more signups for the online newsletter
- Create template for potential exhibitions in other countries
- Visit Canada and see old friends
- Photography opportunities for my own business?

- Existing gallery; or
- Space geared up for exhibitions, but not owned by a gallery; or
- Find own venue, like a hall, empty shop or large room

- Exhibition
- Workshops
- Talks

Taking payments
- Cheques
- Cash
- Credit cards via online systems such as Paypal

Getting there
- Flights
- Visas?
- Luggage weight restrictions
- Taking camera, laptop and mandolin

Shipping Artworks
- International shipping company
- Packing
- Costs
- Timing

- Exploring emotional constraints laid down by parents, teachers, peers, cultural and social pressures
- Scottish connection with Nova Scotia
- Use of textiles and the connection back to older textile industries

Narrative Explanations
- 5 second sound bite
- 30 second outline
- 1 minute interview
- 5 minute interview
- In-depth write-up

- Word of mouth
- Website & Newsletter
- Leaflets / posters
- Local radio interviews
- Local TV interviews
- Art organisations in Nova Scotia
- Nova Scotia tourist board
- Venue owner’s own publicity machine

- Exhibition dates
- Booking flights
- Shipping artworks
- Setting up online payment schemes

Paying for it
- Savings (hahahahahahaha)
- Any shipping, travelling or exporting grants available?
- Sponsorship

So, if you, or anyone you know might be interested in sponsoring this event, or buying/commissioning some of Maggie’s artwork to help us pay for this, or visiting or getting involved in the Canadian side of things, do be sure to get in contact.

My email address is on my profile and Maggie’s web address is:

Thoughts, suggestions or general nods of encouragement are welcome :)


Kanani said...

Wow, so many details to take care of. Does having this much stuff overwhelm you, or do you find your focus and feel energized?

LegalMist said...

I agree with Kanani -- lots of details! But I am sure you will do well with it.

I tagged you for a photo meme, because I know you to be a good photographer and was hoping you would enjoy posting a somewhat random photo and blogging about it.

However, you are welcome to "cheat" by posting a photo of Maggie's art and blogging about the artwork and about your Canadian exhibition instead, and perhaps linking to Maggie's site for some more works you are planning to take with you to show.

Anyway, as always when I tag you for something, it is really an attempt to let you know I like your blog, not an attempt to pile more work on... so take it or leave it, but if you want an "excuse" to blog about a photo of Maggie's artwork, the meme thing is here:

I'll look forward to hearing more about the art show and your travels.

If I can get some of my clients to pay their bills, I'll even consider buying some new art...

Eryl Shields said...

You have thought of more things to organise this one trip than I have to organise my entire life. By the time I got half way down your list I was beginning to feel sick, and now know I will never go anywhere again.

I don't suppose the Scottish Arts Council can help, do they award grants or can they put you in touch with people who do?

Good luck with it, it sounds great, if rather daunting.

savannah said...

wow, you are organized, sugar! xoxo

the broken down barman said...

try asking shug, you can find him at dark mutterings from drumsleet, the guy that borrowed photos of the burns light thingy. he might know where to get grants from.
sorry kim, yer list was too extensive for me. gave up half way through. im the kinda guy that goes on holiday and has to buy everything there cos i didnt write a list!!!!!!

debra said...

lots of detail with which to contend, Kim. I hope it's a successful venture; Maggie's work is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

That's definitely a lot to do! I'm not in Nova Scotia so I don't know what I could help you with but I'll see if I can find anything for you from Ontario. Any plans to visit any of the other provinces? :)

Kim Ayres said...

Kanani - it was a bit overwhelming while it was all buzzing in my head. But by breaking it down into bite-sized chunks, it becomes manageable

LegalMist - If you look towards the bottom of this post, or on my sidebar for that matter, you'll find a link to Maggie's website where there's a gallery, more info about her work and, if you're interested, a newsletter you can sign up for which comes out once every month (or 2).

I'll have a think about the photo thing :)

Eryl - 90% of it came out in a brainstorming session. Most of the time taken writing this list came from trying to decypher my scribbles afterwards

Savannah - actually I'm pretty horrifically unorganised, but the only way we can make this happen is if we do some planning

Barman - Don't worry, I wasn't expecting anyone to do more than briefly scan

Debra - thank you :)

Freakazojd - part of what we want to do with this is learn how to make International exhibitions work. We will learn a great deal from this experience, and if it works it opens up the possibility of doing this again elsewhere. Perhaps if the reception is good in Nova Scotia, other provinces become a good possibility for future exhibitions :)

Conan Drumm said...

You like lists, comprehensive lists.

As it happens there's an outpost of Drumms in NS, now spreading westward into Canada.

For reading a must is Alastair MacLeod's collection of stories, The Lost Salt Gift of Blood.

Any useful bloggers over there?

Anonymous said...

Alastair MacLeod rocks but generally not for the faint of heart!A general nod of encouragement sent your way Kim and Maggie. Sounds like a lot to do! Nova Scotia is one of my fav places especially Cape Breton- it's gorgeous, especially in the fall. Be sure to visit Meat Cove. Wish I had lots of money to spend on your beautiful art :(

Kim Ayres said...

Conan - nearer the time, I might ask you to spread the word via your family networks :) It seems all my Canadian blogger contacts are further west.

Starrlife - I'm sure we could work out a convenient payment plan :)

Restaurant Gal said...

You WILL come to see me in the Keys after that. YOU WILL! If you get to this side of the pond, YOU HAVE TO! I have plenty of room for the family.

Kim Ayres said...

RG - if this works, perhaps you can help organise an exhibition in Florida :)

Carole said...

October is only 9 months away. Scary. Even broken down into managable bits, it seems like you have quite a lot to do.

Brave Astronaut said...

I'm with RG, you come to our continent, you better come see us. We have room, too!

As to some assistance, I would contact The Council of Nova Scotia Archives, they may have some ideas on how to help. I also have a colleague who works at the Library and Archives of Canada (who used to work for CNSA and may be able to direct you to some help).

Hey, you never know.

PI said...

What a great planner you are. Are you all going? What an adventure.
Are you familiar with Netchick aka Tanya? She had a meet and greet every weekend and she and lots of them are Canadian. It could be a useful place to get known and get people reading your blog. I've got to try and find the usr thingy.
There it is.
I half expected to see a naked bearded photo:)

LegalMist said...

If you are thinking of planning your North American tour (rather than just a trip to Canada), you might pencil in Arizona. It is lovely in the winter months. Sedona is a particularly wonderful place -- one of the most beautiful places on Earth -- with lots of artists and art shops and festivals.

Just something to think about if you decide to plan subsequent trips and/or to extend this one.

El-Branden Brazil said...

PHEW!!! That's more detail than I have ever made for any of my trips... I like planning to be fuzzy. It leaves more room for unexpected variables.

Good luck, mate! There's no reason why you can't be in Canada.

the broken down barman said...

jsut been looking through some of the blogs i have missed. like the posts and the comments very much. do you get notifications through when people comment on older blogs as are little things i would like to comment on.

Mary Witzl said...

Eryl has already suggested the Scottish Arts Council, but what about Business Gateway, the business group that sponsors local artists and small businesses? If they can't help, they might know who can. I think they're in Dumfries.

And you're more organized than I am too. I've gotten dizzy just organizing kids' birthday parties.

Kim Ayres said...

Carole - yes there is a lot to do, but I'm not completely on my own. Maggie, and our friend Kate in Canada, will also be doing a lot (and anyone else I can mobilise) :)

Brave Astronaut - if this goes well, perhaps it will open up the possibility for a US tour at some point in the future :)

Thanks for the links - I'll check them out!

Pat - yes, the idea is we are all going. It will be a real adventure for the kids :)

Legalmist - part of the reason for this exhibition is to see how viable the idea of international exhibitions is. If it works, it opens up the possibility of doing it anywhere else

Branden - fuzzy unexpected variables are more fun when you're going off on an adventure. However, because I see this as a potential springboard, rather than just an end in itself, I need to understand as many of the variables as I can

Barman - yes, I do get notified of comments on older posts, so feel free to comment where you like. I should be able to find them and reply :)

Mary - for some reason I'd forgotten about Business gateway, so thanks for reminding me about that :)

And don't tell me you're not organised when you're recent blog post was all about the celebations and festivities you've been in charge of for the past 20 years...

heather said...

if you are ever interested in philadelphia, pa, there is a thriving arts community in the 'old city' neighborhood. will answer questions if you have 'em but here's a site with some info:

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