Watching paint dry.

Even worse. Watching someone painting a booth two aisles away via a photo posted on the gallery’s Facebook page. How distant can we make being this close?

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Saturday. Day 2.5 of SOFA. Brain dead. No time. Hoarse.

Here’s 16 quick pics to do the talking. Roughly split into five categories…..

#1. What it looks like when they open the doors to preview night, you’re the first booth in the hall and the earth is moving under your feet.

That’s pretty much all I see on Opening Night. The rest is equally blurred. Sorry.

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By the last day of COLLECT we’re running out of time. After years of working at Bullseye Gallery, Jamie announces she’s never seen glass blown (it is possible to take this gotta-be-Bullseye-gotta-be-kilnformed thing too far).

Adam Aronson takes pity and invites us for breakfast and a lesson at his hotshop in West Brompton. Charming neighborhood, good croissant, and Adam proves to be a brilliant teacher.

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Friday inside the Saatchi Galleries, it’s all business. Sales are stronger than we’ve seen in years.

Without a doubt the most satisfying clients are the ones who return a year later to say they deeply regret the purchase they didn’t make the year before and would like to make up for it immediately!

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It’s a portent. Gallery. Mess.

Walking into London’s Saatchi Gallery to set up for this year’s Crafts Council COLLECT fair, I notice the signage over the posh café that’s pimping itself at the entrance to Charles Saatchi’s refurbished military barracks, aka Duke of York Headquarters, aka chichi Chelsea’s chicest exhibition space. We’ve arrived. That’s me, Jamie, our gallery’s assistant director, and Jeff, formerly our gallery’s head preparator until he moved to England.

How cool is this? It’s our fourth time doing COLLECT. We must think this makes sense.

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As you may know, every two years Bullseye Glass mounts a competition/exhibition intended to identify un- or under-recognized art-makers working with its materials in the methods known collectively as “kiln-glass”.

Note that I did not say “best” when describing the art-makers selected for exhibition in e-merge. Nor did I say “young” or even “new”. Note that I did not say a lot of things about how e-merge is structured or what it is. Or who gets in. Or who doesn’t

I promise to discuss all that in later posts. For right now I want to start the conversation with a tour behind the scenes on the gallery side of Bullseye.

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I tend to blog during art fairs, but rarely in the immediate aftermath. That’s because I’m usually too busy catching up on all the work that piles up during time away.

It’s too bad, because some of the better stories come down once the fairs are over.

1.AMtakedownw

Take-down at Art Miami: Clark, Ryan, Brent and Remy struggle to remake a packing puzzle….

Like, what happens to all the art that we work so passionately to put before the public, talk about, blog about, share booth space with, and then part with in the bittersweet event of a sale?

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In short: it was a spectacular opening night. A larger crowd than I’ve seen in years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we were so busy talking, explaining,  and mostly reconnecting with old friends and clients that I didn’t get a chance to get out of the booth once.

But, at the end of it all, what everyone always wants to know is “What sold?” It’s the ultimate scorecard for so many. OK OK. So here’s where we are after Day one.

1.KMO

Placed with a good home in southern California, the small Moje that has traveled across Australia and to museum exhibitions on both US coasts finally finds a family.

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Somewhere back in Portland, Oregon,  Susan, Janet and a dozen other serious-minded staffers at the Bullseye Glass Company imagine that their leader, Jim – in Chicago for Bullseye Gallery’s showing at SOFA 2009 – is working hard to uphold the supremely professional reputation of the company and the many fine artists its gallery represents.

1.jjW

Wrong. Made irreparably giddy by the fumes of Sherwin-Williams #7048, the normally no-nonsense Mr Jones has been buzzing about the monkey bars all morning, drunkenly painting and repainting the endless corners and angles that make up the skeleton of Michael Rogers’ Beekeeper’s Staircase.

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It’s the last day of COLLECT. Can’t leave with a pic of us all in a heap on the floor (and what a grand floor it was! Thank you, Dinesen)….

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Out of his worker’s grubbies, Dan – and the rest of us – stepped into an opening evening like I’ve never experienced. For a few hours the Crafts Council let us pretend we lived in Charles Saatchi’s world. It was quite over-the-top.

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