We did our best to do just that. Here's some befores and afters:
Earle and I returned to Boiz-wah, and Ric put the place back exactly the way we found it when we arrived at San Chez. Ric made sure the trees, castings and canopies were all taken down and packaged up - and he filled all the holes so not even a trace remained of "Immigrant Shadows." Remember, we had decided the work was not going home in that free BAM garage sale crate. We bought some sale tags, assigned all 70 pieces a number and we hung that number from every tree, casting and canopy. And then we made a drastic move. Someone once told me: "Desperate people do desperate things!" We decided to offer a screamin' deal on all those trees, canopies and castings so we wouldn't have to take out more loans to cover return shipping costs. And we decided to donate some pieces to a well-deserved non-profit we had contacted prior to our trip to Grand Rapids. But! What we didn't do was create any documents or contracts to negotiate the details of those transactions. Details! Didn't I mention them in an earlier post? Either God or the Devil is in the details! Well, we excluded both. Because our donations soon took on a life of their own and grew and grew and grew to outpace the sales. People began confusing us with wealthy philanthropists not starving artists. We even neglected to document what piece had what number and a number of other important facts. And then the burden was on the clueless in Boise or our Grand Rapids' pal, Ric.
Here's just a small example: One of the trees that sold attracted another buyer. But of course I had no way of knowing what No. 17 looked like because we had always treated the work as a complete exhibition and we had willy-nilly hung tags on each piece.. (There would be no way to perfectly reproduce an exact reproduction anyway because they are all hand cut and I don't keep a pattern of each tree.) So when customer X called to order No. 17 and wasn't able to send a digital photo, she offered to sketch the tree so I could have some frame of reference for making a similar panel. If her sketching is like mine, I'm in bucoo dodoo!
Live and Learn!
There is some good news coming, but I'll hold on to that until another post.
Meanwhile, here's a shot of the ArtPrize signage for the entry to San Chez. Imagine walking around Boise and spotting over 150 of these in a three mile radius? Makes your eyes tear up, doesn't it?