For about a year now, I have dreamed of having my own art exhibit. I dreamed of a time and place to show my photos to my community and organize them into a cohesive story. But as a completely self-taught photographer with no knowledge of the art world (let alone the art world here in Switzerland), it seemed I was defeated before I even began. Compounding this was the limited time I have lived in my community, in a new country, on a new continent without a command of the local language. With all these cards stacked against me, I felt completely out of my league. Then one day a few months ago, I was at my kid’s football (soccer) practice when I overheard two men having this exchange:
Man 1: “So, I talked to my guy at Company X and he’s ready to meet with you and your partner on Tuesday.”
Man 2: “Thank you so much. We are really looking forward to this opportunity”
What I know about these two guys is that they are acquaintances but I wouldn’t call them friends. Their kids both play soccer, but not on the same team. It turns out (I found out later) that geeky and incredibly introverted scientist Man 2 simply ASKED the very well connected business guy Man 1 for help turning his unique scientific discovery into a business and Man 1 generously opened his network to him. To say that I was flabbergasted by this exchange is an understatement. And, well, it got me thinking.
What would happen if *I* asked someone in *my* network for a connection into the art world?
Could I maybe possibly get my very own art exhibition?
And, honestly….(quietly to myself)
Geez, what took you so long to come to this realization? Why do you think you have to do *everything* for yourself?
So later that night, I made not just a list, but a map of all my resources (people, money, other assets, knowledge, formal and informal groups) and I connected these resources to my photography goals. From that map I identified two people who were connected either directly or indirectly to my local art scene and then I did something radical –
I asked them for their help making the connections necessary to have an exhibition.
First and most importantly, not only did these resource people agree to help me, they did so with enthusiasm and kindness. And, as a result of me asking for help, I not only have one, but TWO secured solo exhibitions in 2019 and a third group show in the works.
Here’s what a dream realized looks like:
In the coming weeks I’ll be showcasing some of the images that will be featured in my first exhibition as well as other special items available exclusively through my show and online store. You can check in with me here, on Facebook and on Instagram where I will also be sharing behind the scenes pictures from the installation and from the gatherings I will have throughout the four months of my show. As always, you can shop my online store or let me know if you would like a custom order. I look forward to sharing more good news with you in the near future. In the spirit of adventure and connection, Kate.