Sunday, July 12, 2020

Ocean Grove Show Ends

A few days ago I got a call from Jackie, who worked in the Studio for a few years and operates a small gallery up Main Street in Ocean Grove, one that occasionally carries some of Molly's products. Back in the spring she contacted me and invited me to show there, short notice, but a wall to fill with my prints and we were approaching the season where there's a lot of foot traffic on Main.  Seemed like a good situation for me- the work she wanted (supermarket prints) was available and not committed anywhere else, the show wouldn't cost me anything, and the location is just a short walk from my Studio. So on the chosen day, I walked there with an assortment of prints, we selected what would be part of the show and the price, and I left it in her hands. No official opening scheduled, so we would count on the standard foot traffic.  A few days later I stopped by to see how it was installed, and it looked fine to me.

Then a few days later, the governor ordered the shut down of all galleries (non essential business) and so I don't know how many people actually saw the show.  I was too busy to worry much about it, what with concerns over how to conduct my classes online, making new art (although programming in our building was shut down, we tenants were given permission to continue in our spaces and so I did), etc.  We didn't set firm dates, but figured the show would go through the end of April, which came and went without any communication. I just hoped the gallery owners were still alive.

Then a couple of days ago I got a call from Jackie telling me they were open again, and she was ready to take down my show and put up something else. She said she'd be ready to give me the work on Sunday and I said fine.  Her preference was for between 10 and 11 am, and I agreed to that as well.

Back when this jigsaw puzzle experiment began, I had hoped we could just license the images to a puzzle company and let them handle it, but Jenny's investigation showed more likely we would have to produce the puzzles and seek locations to sell them. In that case I thought of Jackie's gallery, which is convenient to where I am, located in a shore town where there might be demand for the product, and even has a "store at the shore" sign in front, but I had not discussed it with her, since everything had been closed down in March. In advance of today's visit, I sent an email this morning with the basic story of the project, and a photo of a puzzle in progress.

As usual, the weather today was hot and sunny,  very brutal, though at least I wouldn't have to worry about the work getting wet.  I got there in time, and decided to park in the Studio lot. Summer parking on Main in Ocean Grove on a weekend, especially in the downtown area, can be impossible.  Sure enough, as I got close I could see no available parking and was glad I took the spot I had and walked up the street.  Of the people on the street, about half were wearing masks, no one with gloves.

When I got there, Jackie had everything ready to go.  We talked briefly.  She apologized for not selling anything, but I told her I didn't blame her for that (and I don't) knowing that laws kept the place shut down much of that time. She said she was aware of one interested person, but she didn't want to pay the price.  (it's the standard price I get for these things, so no problem there)  Even with the rules changed, she said a lot of people seemed afraid to come in.  As for the puzzle thing, she hadn't seen the email yet, and while the store did carry some puzzles, that was all part of her partner's responsibility, and he wasn't in today.  I asked her to mention the idea to him, and they share one email account, so he will see what I sent today. When I learn more, I will contact him directly. Until then, there is no point.

I walked back to my car in the heat and went home.  I had grass to cut later.


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