One of the random chores on my To-Do List is to regularly check for Calls for Artists. After all, what’s the point of making all this art if no one besides my ten Instagram followers (and all you lovely blog subscribers) is going to see it?


Most of the calls sound interesting until I click on “More Info” and have a good laugh at the staggering entry fee before hitting the Back button. Some calls are way out of my league (determined by their use of super pretentious wording and art school cliches that leave me wondering if I’m reading a call for art or an intro to someone’s poetry thesis).

But a rare few are right up my alley. One was a call to exhibit at a local library and it had a pretty extensive application to fill out. Unfortunately, since my work doesn’t exactly center around a theme (unless you call “I though it was pretty/intriguing so I drew it” a theme), I didn’t make the grade.

colored pencil art, tammie painter
Theme? Not so much.

Another was a call to exhibit in at a local college. After a brief paragraph describing their need for local artists to show off their work, there was no other application, just an email contact for more information. Mail program opened, information request politely worded, email sent.

A couple days later I received an email back from the Events Coordinator asking me to call her. Ugh, really? I HATE calling people. Oh well, if I can be brave enough to speak self-taught French to real French people, I can make a simple phone call.

The woman, Joyce, was super nice. She’d looked over my website and loved my work (I was instantly liking this woman!) and basically said I could have the gallery space for the duration of the college’s spring term.

austin powers, yeah baby

Wait. What? It can’t be that easy. No application? No fee? No effort? Okay, well a tad bit of an effort because she wanted me to come view the space to see if I would want to exhibit in it (as if I’m picky!). Luckily her appointment calendar coordinated nicely with my having to collect my work on the final day of my solo show with the Clackamas Arts Alliance, allowing me to combine trips since I hate driving.

After a brain frazzling journey through a nightmare of a traffic jam, I arrived at the college. The moment I stepped in I had to remind myself to not jump for joy with excitement. The space is amazing. Wonderful light, nice and big, and lots of space for people to hang out. Here, take a look….

Ooh, ahh!
Ooh, ahh!

Joyce was great. She explained what they needed, what they couldn’t display (basically, no porn), and what they would do for me. The college offers loads of media exposure and she said I could host a reception if I like. Par-tay!!

All the time I kept expecting to have to fill out some sort of application or to be told that I’d have to share this space with ten other artists. But no, it’s mine all mine all for simply sending an email. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

The only downside is that this is a huge space – the photo above shows only a single wall. There’s another one on the other side of the lobby to fill as well which means I’ll need at least twenty pieces to fill the walls. That’s a lot of art work…and a lot of framing (ugh).


But the show doesn’t start until next April giving me plenty of time to crank out some more show-worthy art (or to die trying!).

Anything happen to make you feel lucky this week? Go ahead and share in a comment below!

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Tammie Painter is the author of The Trials of Hercules and an artist who dedicates herself to the tedium of creating Images with colored pencil. Don’t forget to stock up on your summer reading. All my books are only a dollar each as part of Smashwords’ Summer Sale. Full details here, or just start shopping by following this link.


12 thoughts on “Claiming My Space (Gallery Space, That Is)

      1. Oh, those tyrannical To-Do Lists! I’ve been trying to keep on top of mine, but there’s probably a limit to the number times I can shunt “do taxes” to the following week’s list…

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