Here I am at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs. It’s Thursday night, and three of my artworks – my first printed infrared piece, a five-year-old Kodachrome shot, and a picture I took two years ago and completely forgot about – are all on display, along with the artworks of nearly eighty other talented Capital Region artists, at the 2015 Saratoga Springs Preservation Society TRASK Art Show and Auction. Nice.
This is my second year participating in this event, and I’m really hoping that these artworks bring some nice prices and find new homes – and, in return, help contribute some funds for the preservation of buildings and monuments in Saratoga Springs.
I arrived at the Casino, and of course the first thing I need to do is find my artworks. They’re here among all the paintings and sculptures and photos and mixed media projects.
And at that moment, I run into one of the organizers of the show. “I’m really happy to be here,” I said to her. “And now I have to find my three artworks and see if anybody’s bid on them yet.”
“Well,” she said, “I know at least one of them was sold.”
Huh? Sold? As in bought right off the wall? Mine?
“Yes. We had a pre-show and some of the pieces sold. Including a photo I believe you took of a barn or something.”
I know exactly which photo she means. Barn Versus Weeds. And In an instant, I find the artwork –
Holy Kodachrome Capture, Batman – that says “SOLD!” right next to it!
“You took this picture?” a voice asked behind me.
“Yes I did,” I beamed.
“I wanted this picture so very badly, I couldn’t let anybody else get it.”
And a few moments later, the winning buyer paid for the artwork and loaded it in her vehicle. Wowie. TRASK 2015 is off to a much better start than last year.
So now I have to find my other two pieces – Adirondack Canopy and Parabola.
Well, here’s the Canopy –
You know, when I dropped the artwork off at the framers, I had a last-minute change-of-mind and oriented the photo into a portrait alignment. I think it looks better this way. Now let’s hope someone bids on it. And then there’s Canopy, my infrared shot of the Hadley Parabolic “Bow” Bridge. That’s somewhere else in the gallery –
People are asking questions about my artworks. I proudly explain how I took the pictures, what film I used for Parabola – a film student from Rochester joked with me about how the water in the Genesee River was so polluted with Kodak chemicals, one could develop film in it. I explained how I shot straight up with my Vivitar lens on my old Nikon D700 for Adirondack Canopy, and that received a few oohs and aahs.
I also take some time to check out everybody else’s artwork – a brilliant oil painting of the Canfield Casino took best in show; I was amazed by some of the full-sized drawings of horses and ballerinas that were housed in the grand ballroom; I kept an eye on my artworks. And I resolved.
If my artworks do not receive bids, and if I have to take these pieces home tonight, then I already have two artworks ready-framed for Altamont this year. I can deal with this. No probbies. I can deal with this and there isn’t any question as to what I can achieve –
And then I notice. Adirondack Canopy has a bid!
Okay, now if Parabola can just get some love…
A woman is eyeing the photo. I walk over. She asks how I took the picture. I explained that I used infrared film and climbed down the side of the embankment to get that shot. She said that she used to walk across that bridge as a teenager. “I’m going to go find my husband and show him this,” she said, walking away.
Of course I’m thinking, “Yeah, she’s politely telling me she’s not interested in the artwork. That’s like me going to an antiques show and looking at something, and then telling the seller that I’m ‘going to walk around the show’ when I know well I’m not coming back to buy it.'”
So I chat with one of the TRASK volunteers about how much I’m enjoying the event. I glance back at the Parabola artwork –
And the woman has returned. With her husband. And the pencil is in her hand. And she wrote on the bid sheet.
Three for three! Three for three!
And as the evening ended, I knew that my artworks would find new homes. I also made a few connections with some buyers and bidders for possible photography locations and commissions; and I came up with ideas and submissions for next year’s TRASK event. It was a great evening all around.
Damn this feels good.
And with competition season coming up quickly –
Oh, beans. I just realized that I now have two open entries for submissions for Altamont. I could re-print these pieces and reframe them and resubmit them…
Or I could come up with new ideas for Altamont…
Of course, it is nice to have options like these, isn’t it?