23 Nov

On Taking a Year Off From Exhibiting at Culture Crawl

Last year at the end of Culture Crawl weekend I made the decision to take 2015 as a year off from exhibiting. I’d been taking part for five years in a row, and with the extension of the event from three to four days, I felt it was time to take a step back and experience things from the perspective of a visitor.

I exhibit from our apartment for the Crawl, which means storing half of our furniture in a back room and transforming the living and dining room area into more of a gallery. It’s fine to live this way temporarily but the addition of the fourth day felt like an unbearable disruption to our lives. I worried about missing out on this opportunity to exhibit and sell a bit of work, but in all the years I’ve participated I have never made enough to cover the amount of time and work that goes into doing the Crawl.

Laser cut commission - detail

This past weekend it was exhilarating to wander the streets for four days visiting other artists’ studio during the Crawl. I went out every single day, and covered a whole lot of ground. I did not make it everywhere, but I did make it to all the locations I’d hoped to see, and visited with many friends. I had the experience a few times where an artist I was meeting for the first time knew who I was and gushed over my work. I had this feeling of wonder and excitement about getting to experience this event from the other side. It reminded me of going door-to-door trick or treating as a kid, but there was nothing but treats for the eyes and soul.

Over the past few months I’ve been struggling with focusing on creating new work and planning for future goals in my art career. After this weekend I feel recharged, inspired, and have a renewed sense of purpose. Thank goodness I took this time for me because it was absolutely the right decision.

My intension going forward with Culture Crawl is to no longer exhibit from our apartment, and there is a possibility I may not exhibit at all. I’m going to think about my options and let you know in time for next year.

© Rachael Ashe