I thought I should share with you what’s recently occurred in my shop as a direct and in-direct result of blogging with this site. It’s all good, and this article is meant as a thank you to Bruce and the other bloggers & participants at the Bookshop Blog.
It all started with the day when a fellow came into my shop, introduced himself over a handshake (let’s call him Mark) and mentioned that another bookseller in Melbourne (with whom I’ve had a conversation with on this site) suggested my shop to him. He had some photographic prints he wanted to show me, so that I might possibly hang them in my gallery. He also added that if his artworks weren’t quite what I was looking for, then he had another relative who is an artist living not too far from our town, and who is looking to get his work out in the public arena. Whilst Mark’s photographic work is quite beautiful in a classical sense, it’s not really what we are looking to display in our gallery. We are looking for work that has more of an edge to it, a little less conservative.
Mark’s visit was very fortuitously followed up by a visit from his local relative (let’s call him Justin Perkins because that’s his name!), whose artworks are vibrant, contemporary and unusual, and we loved his work instantly. We were very keen to stage a solo exhibition of his work, and pulled it together by mid-February when we opened with a launch. It’s been a terrific success, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. He’s doing an advanced art course at a local tertiary school, and as a result of his time spent studying has many artistic friends and colleagues.
This month we launched our 2nd annual Biblio-Art Competition (a number of old books are selected and placed in a wheelbarrow for artists to select from, and they then produce artwork inspired by the book of their choice) and it slowly came to my attention that a large number of people entering the competition were coming from this local uni. On asking one of the students, I find out that the course co-ordinator has actually made our art competition one of their assignments! This is fantastic for us, because it’s giving us a lot of exposure, and hopefully generating some interest amongst people who might not otherwise have known we even existed. As well, it is exactly the kind of artists we are seeking for display in our gallery. We want to be able to provide some level of support and another avenue for emerging artists, and this is certainly one way of doing it. All this, as a result of blogging here! It’s a strange world we’re living in these days…
My husband’s been hard at work on our website, and there’s a lot of new stuff there to look at, including Justin and his works, so do please visit and see what you think (one image attached, Justin’s work titled “Two Flies” – and the name of his solo exhibition).
As an adjunct to this article, I wonder if the bookselling man behind the man at the beginning of the chain would be interested in hiring a very good employee I’ve had in my shop and who unfortunately leaves me now to attend a university in Melbourne (studying writing & research)… He’s a talented & knowledgeable young man indeed, and would make a worthy employee in any bookshop!!!