As you may have already heard through social media, four of my pieces are currently shown in Germany for my first ever international exhibition! I am super excited and honored to be included as a part of McKinney artists representing American art for the gallery exchange exhibition in Freya-Frahm Haus in Laboe, Germany which opened on August 3. The exhibition then continues at Heard-Craig Center for the Arts in McKinney, TX for the month of September. Here are my selected pieces for the exhibition, Schön Everywhere: An International Pop Gallery.
How this opportunity came about and what led me to jump on this opportunity are truly prime examples of how art connects people. Here is my story on how it all happened.
This amazing opportunity came seemingly out of nowhere. It all started with a simple email I received on one Monday afternoon. The subject line said “The Heard-Craig would like to know if you’d like to exhibit some pieces in Germany?” followed by their phone number. No body text. I receive scam emails that sound very much like that too often, so my finger quickly moved towards the delete button, thinking that it is just too good to be true. Then my eyes caught the name Heard-Craig. The Heard-Craig Center for the Arts is a historic art museum in downtown McKinney, just a block away from my studio. They host various art events year-around and have done so many wonderful things for the community. Realizing that both their email address and phone number are indeed theirs, I called and left a voicemail, seeking more information.
The next day I called and spoke to Linda Bonner from the Heard-Craig Center. She gave me detailed information about the exhibition, and patiently listened to and answered all my questions if not during the call, via email. I was excited but still a little nervous about sending my original work to a place I knew very little about. I contacted one of my students who happens to be from Germany, Holger Raeder, hoping to get a little more information about the city of Laboe and Freya-Frahm Haus. Luckily, he has been to Laboe and told me how it is a nice coastal town. He generously did some research on Freya-Frahm Haus through various German websites which gave me some interesting insights into the venue.
I was ready to commit. I visited Linda at the Heard-Craig Center during my lunch breaks to finalize my application to the show. When I dropped off my artwork, I had an inspiring conversation with Karen Zupanic, the executive director at the Heard-Craig, about how this international pop-up gallery exchange idea came from her friend in Germany who had some contacts with the Freya-Frahm Haus. Hearing about all the behind-the-scenes meetings and organization it took to make this happen, I gained more appreciation for being part of this art exchange program.
Meanwhile Holger, who was in Germany for his family vacation, asked his Mom, Frau Hilda Raeder, if she would visit Laboe in August to see the art show at Freya-Frahm Haus. She graciously decided to take an out-of-town weekend trip to visit Laboe and take photos of the art exhibition on my behalf. Below are the photos of the exhibition taken by Frau Raeder at Freya-Frahm Haus in Laboe, Germany. My deepest gratitude to Frau Raeder for taking these photos below!
My Artwork at the Art Exhibition at Freya-Frahm Haus
All Photos courtesy of Frau Hilda Raeder.
The Art Exhibition at Freya-Frahm Haus
All Photos courtesy of Frau Hilda Raeder.
While being part of an international exhibition is an amazing experience of its own, I am more touched by the people I connected and re-connected with through this show. By posting about this art show, I learned that one of my Facebook friends is from near Laboe, and she kindly shared my post on her page, helping to spread the word about the show. This show certainly gave me a great opportunity to get to know Linda and Karen at the Heard-Craig whom I truly enjoy working with. And now through Holger, I have a new friend in Germany, Frau Raeder. I look forward to sharing coffee with her the next time she visits Texas to see Holger and his family.
Schön Everywhere: An International Pop-up Gallery show will be open at Freya-Frahm Haus in Laboe, Germany until 8/24/18, and the exhibition then moves to Heard-Craig House in McKinney, TX from 9/4/18 to 10/1/18.
(This blog was originally published on 8/12/2018)