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Through the Mess

One of the most challenging experiences I'm experiencing is with opening an art gallery and working on an exhibit. It's the mess that i create in-between the setup of one exhibit and the close of another. Coordinating help to put up the exhibit is a close second challenge.

Even through all the mess I create, something magical still happens. I find myself laughing a lot then almost breaking into tears. I experience a range of emotions almost back-to-back. Yet, I accept all of it! That's what makes it magical. Let me explain...

This new solo exhibit felt a little more intense because hanging the art and the new lighting was a solo job. My helper was unable to work with me on this exhibit. I thought, no biggie, it's only nine paintings on canvas that are a lot easier to hang than glass framed artwork.

I am compelled to share this craziness I created while hanging "Stillness, Beauty & Grace" that was anything but "no biggie". It started smoothly with measuring the long wall and lightly marking where to hang the each painting. It took me about 10 minutes and I thought, "Okay, this was easy!" After all was marked, I lined up my tools--the hammer, nails, ladder, and leveler. I was ready now to hang the four paintings for that wall.

Boom! First one hung! Boom! Second one hung! Boom! Third one hung!

WAIT! WHAT? What the heck? There's no space for the Fourth! Ughhh! What did I do wrong??? Down all three came, re-measured the wall thinking I must have started the first painting too far away from the left edge of wall probably cutting off some of the space for the fourth.

I remeasured the sides walls, re-hung them again! WHAT??? AGAIN? YES, I did it again! Only three paintings were fitting on the wall. A crazy as that sounds, I went through this ordeal about three times in a couple hours of labor. At some point, I felt I needed to just stop and leave the gallery. I ran errands and spent about 30 minutes away. When I came back, I look up at the wall and that's when it hit me. OMG! My poor "non-math" brain!

The whole time trying to hang the four paintings and only able to fit three, not once did it dawn on my that when I was doing the math for measuring the wall space I was configuring for THREE paintings. NOT four!!!

After taking the art down again, I reconfigured and remeasured the wall one more time after erasing all the marks and patching the holes. This time I measured and marked for FOUR paintings.

Boom! First one up! Boom! Second one up! Boom! Third one up! And yes, BOOM! Fourth one up!

All four went up smoothly and hanging the lights was effortless. I had someone else come check that the work in fact was hung evenly like I perceived (wasn't trusting myself after a long day of hanging them wrong). He said that one painting looked about 1/16" off! Heck! I'll take it! No biggie! Right?

So when you see the gallery exhibit in person or pics of it online, perhaps you'll appreciate the insanity I put myself through in hanging the solo exhibition of my newest body of works.

No biggie!

Genece Hamby

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