Early in the year I had attended a grant writing seminar at Pikto and learned that gallery showings look really good on applications. Knowing how badly I want to get a grant for some epic photo project I decided to begin the process of planning my first gallery showing.
After a few months of brainstorming I realized that I definitely did not want to take on the project alone and it didn't take much time after that to realize that the perfect person to team up with would be Maria Jose Govea. Me and Maria photograph very similar subjects and I knew that our photos would look great together - both of our photos result in vibrant colors, moody contrast, and come out with a somewhat 'urban' edge. Perfect.
Next was choosing the location - I had began contacting many galleries around the city and started to get discouraged hearing the costs of hosting a one night showing and being turned down because our subjects were not typically photos people wanted to hang on their walls. After contacting for a few weeks I heard back from Steam Whistle and that's when everything truly began to gain steam.
The conversation with Steam Whistle began by finding out the cost of a one night event in their main room - WAY out of my budget - BUT to my surprise he had already seen both me and Marias work and offered a one month showing in the other room with a supported opening... for free. After me continuously asking "what's the catch?" it had been set - our showing was going to be at Steam Whistle Brewery in December. It turns out that Steam Whistle, as awesome as they are, host showings for local artists every month for free - simply to support the local arts. I dig.
The next few months flew by while we planned every detail that went into the showing - the graphics, our goals, print sizes, where to print, how to print, how many prints, where to put the prints, what to print, layouts of prints, where to request press, who to invite, flyers, music, "fun extras", funds, etc. etc. etc. This got pretty overwhelming at points - I give a lot of kudos to full time event planners. There's SO many things to consider.
Anyways, the few days before the show were insane. Of coarse we came across a few problems (at one point we didn't have enough of the specialized screws to actually hang the prints) and it took basically 10 hours to get the photos onto the wall. I was exhausted and stressed out but once 7pm rolled around and the event began it all seemed worth it - the room looks amazing and people showed up.
The room was packed and people stayed for almost the whole thing. The DJ's, Skratch Bastid and The Killabits, were amazing as usual, the food was good, the vibes were amazing and everyone there was extremely supportive. I don't think i've ever said "thank you" so many times in one night! The support was overwhelming. I love everyone who came out.
Here's some photos from the night:
Also, I owe SO many thanks to...
Maria Jose Govea for trecking through the whole project with me and staying positive when I was stressing out.
Headshots Rentals for the amazing support.
Steam Whistle for providing the amazing space and help. Your support for the community will never go unappreciated.
SML for dealing with our last minute deadlines and demands. The prints look amazing.
Modo Visual for the design work and dealing with our tight deadlines.
Brendy for letting me use his ride (as per usual)
Zen C for photographing the night.
All the publications that provided media support and advertisements.
And of coarse everyone that came out and showed their support, the people that sent me messages of support, and the people that encouraged me all the way through. Particular thanks to everyone who drove up from Brockville to support me for the night!
To anyone I may have missed - I love you.
You guys all rock.
The showing will be up all month so if you're in Toronto during December I recommend you head down and check out all of our hard work! It's pretty awesome.
Now that it's behind me expect a lot of interesting projects in the near future - including my first film! Crazy!
THANKS EVERYONE! Dylan