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JoAnne Artman Gallery

My experience with exhibiting my photography has been full of ups and downs. I was first exhibited as part of the Photographer of the Year exhibition in London in December 2009 where my photo was incorrectly labeled and someone else got credit for my image. Not a great introduction to the exhibition world. Next I was invited to do a solo show at a gallery in San Pedro, which was a huge high for me. I got to create a new series, meet the most wonderful curators on the planet, make new friends and learn a LOT.

From there I went around showing at various smaller, start-up galleries. My experience there was mostly negative. I spent a lot of money on prints, a lot of time setting up and tearing down one-night shows, or very short shows, and got almost nothing in return. I made a decision in July that I would not be participating in those shows anymore. I’ve come to understand which shows/galleries are going to make an artist money and show work in an appropriate light. It seems showing work appropriately goes hand in hand with making money.

Shortly after making that vow, I found the JoAnne Artman Gallery. She (JoAnne) wanted to see my work in person, and so I traveled down to Laguna Beach and showed her my prints. I was hugely intimidated. First, if you aren’t familiar with Laguna Beach, it is an incredibly beautiful and notoriously wealthy place. I saw the gallery and my jaw dropped, because it felt like one of those places that I never thought I would show with, and even the sort of place I barely felt comfortable walking in (you guys know what I mean, right?).

I got some critique on my prints and we left things fairly open ended. I didn’t know where things would go. But then one evening I got the call that I would be in a show titled “Women on the Verge” featuring 3 women from 3 different generations. I was representing the youngest generation.

That show officially opened last night, and I’m having trouble finding the right words to describe the experience. I suppose that humbled is the right word. I feel a mixture of pride because my hard work was recognized, and also a bit of awe because I can’t believe I was lucky enough to show there. Here are some photos from the opening in which my model Katie turned photographer took. I didn’t much like the role reversal, but here they are!

I have a video projection room in the gallery as well where I was projecting 3 videos: an underwater video, an Ophelia video, and a behind the scenes video. It was well received!

Main question on this print: “What happened to the model after you snapped this?!”

Answer: “She did not fall to her death. No models were harmed in the making of this image.” ;-)

My Ophelia series was also exhibited, which I was very proud to see framed and up on the wall and lit oh-so-nicely. I had 5 large prints from the series as well as 2 smaller prints in the video projection room.

I got all sorts of questions, but there were a couple questions/comments that endured throughout the night. First, people still had no idea if they were painting or photography despite the frames for this show! Also, people were going on about my age, something that is not usually highlighted at my shows. Another comment that I got all night was that I looked like Alice in Wonderland :-P I loved that! The show will be up from now through November 30th, and it is well worth checking out for the other 2 artists as well. I will be there again on Saturday, October 16th from 1-3 for the reception if you can make it!

*Thank you to Katie Johnson for taking all these photos!

{ 12 } Comments

  1. amber | October 8, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    aw thats amazing well done! looks awesome!

  2. Carolyn | October 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic! Heartiest congrats!

  3. j-mapelle-nee | October 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    adore your work, Brooke’star!! One day. One day I will come see your show, just that I live across the other side of the world in Australia..& I do believe for most people, we ARE a whole ‘nutha world!! Hahaaha

  4. j-mapelle-nee | October 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    adore your work, Brooke’star!! One day. One day I will come see your show, just that I live across the other side of the world in Australia..& I do believe for most people, we ARE a whole ‘nutha world!! the lonley, great southern land.. Hahaaha

  5. Shane Robinson | October 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Brooke!! I have no doubt this will be the first in many many shows and exhibitions featuring your work. You and your work are truly inspiring.

  6. beth wales | October 9, 2010 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, Brooke! Your work deserves to be exhibited in a gallery such as this, which knows how to show it/ light it properly. The proprietors have foresight in recognising your great talent.

  7. Dracorubio | October 9, 2010 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Hmm, loved reading this. Congratulations on getting a great exposure and gallery night! You look radiant in the pics ;-) Your prints look stunning too in the frames. Once again congrats!

  8. Sarah | October 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Very cool! I’m so happy you had such a great experience :) Will you be posting that Ophelia video on Flickr? I’m excited to see it! Or will it be showing there during your whole run?

  9. Jenny Jacobsson | October 11, 2010 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Congratz Brooke! I’m so happy for you and I wish I was living a bit closer by (not 5467 miles away) so I could go see it. Greetings and good-luck’s from Sweden!

  10. Alexandra | October 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi Brooke, I just stumbled upon your work last night and have been sort of obsessing over it all day now. You’re photographs are amazing. A brooke shaden workshop is wanted over on the east coast! :) (and I love your dress lol)

  11. Glyn Davies | October 14, 2010 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    And ?????? :-) How many images have you sold so far from the show. It looked fabulous and the framed prints looked well worthy of purchases – How many people reached for their wallets ??

    I really hope you sold well, you should do, the new photographic pre-Raphelite :-)

    Best wishes

  12. Victoria | October 14, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I know exactly how you feel; my first exhibiting experience was just the same. Much of my work was mixed up in the names and got labelled incorrectly and it was never fixed. Someone I had never even heard of or knew of. Fortunately I did not exhibit at my expense, which I was grateful for.

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