naked carly art local goodness

My Art & Wine walk sign at the Brick & Barley (August 2014)
My Art & Wine walk sign at the Brick & Barley (August 2014)
Brick & Barley (August 2014)
2014 Art & Wine Walk display at Brick & Barley

When my husband and I first moved to Grand Forks, I forced myself out of my comfort zone, and applied to any community art event/exhibition for which my work was suitable.  I donated several pieces to charity auctions.  I was also elated to take part in Grand Fork’s annual The Art of Giving charity art sale.  Any exposure is worthwhile, and if I am able to use my art to help contribute to a good cause–even better.

2014 Art & Wine Walk Display at Blue Moose
2014 Art & Wine Walk Display at Blue Moose

As a result, I am delighted to have had some art opportunities throughout 2014. During the beautiful summer months, I took part in the North Valley Arts Council’s (NoVAC) Annual Art and Wine Walks.  We arrived in Grand Forks with just enough time to be settled (and have received our shipment of household goods) for me to apply and be accepted into this fantastic community event.  Running from June-Oct, I took part in the walks for the months of July {Blue Moose}, August {Brick & Barley}, September {Living Sage} and October {Bonzers}.

The third Saturday of each month artists are paired with participating local businesses throughout downtown Grand Forks & East Grand Forks. People purchase wristbands (you know, to prove they are of legal drinking age) and follow a map, supplied by NoVAC, to taste various wines and enjoy the work of local artists.  I was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response I received for my work.  I didn’t sell a lot, but I loved chatting with the public, meeting new people, and sharing my love of art–and each new person to stop by, was one more person who now knew I existed.

My work on consignment at Living Sage.
My work on consignment at Living Sage. December 2014

My September slot at the gorgeous home boutique, Living Sage, also resulted in their taking several of my works on consignment.

This month I have also been included in a group art exhibition featuring a variety of local artists at the Urban Stampede coffee shop. This charming coffee shop quickly became one of my favorite places when we first arrived in Grand Forks.  I am excited to be included with other talented artists, including Dyan Rey, Adam Kemp, Sue Burke, Pirjo Berg, Charlie Confer, Sue Fine, Brittany Molmen, Phyllis Kalliokoski and others.  While the designated gallery space at Urban Stampede is small (the world’s smallest?), the coffee shop itself is striking, and creates a wonderful atmosphere for appreciating art.

My work on display with others at the Urban Stampede. January 2015
My work on display with others at the Urban Stampede. January 2015

I have found over nine years married to the military, through our four moves and three different countries–as an artist, the main difficulty associated with moving (other than, of course, unpacking all of my earthly belongings) is that I have to re-establish myself locally with each new location. While I have had works in group and solo exhibitions throughout the US and abroad, getting people to take notice of artwork (or any artistic endeavour for that matter) is always a struggle–and filled with rejection.

However, my love (or compulsion?) to create art means that I continue working despite countless rejections, because, well, I can’t imagine not making art.  That being said, I am pleased to mention, I do have several exhibition opportunities coming up in the next couple of months—

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