It's install week! The Rock Show opens on Friday, so we're all scrambling to return the pieces from the last show to their owners (either artists or buyers) and get the new pieces up on the wall.
What I've learned, however, is that only 50% of install involves actual physical pieces of art. The other 50% involves transcribing the artist and artworks' information (artist's name, artist statement, social media handles, medium, size, price, photo...etc.) into our databases so that the specs are always available to us at a moment's notice.
Many for-profit galleries have a short list of artists that they regularly represent (showing as low as one or two artist at a time), so there's not as much information to keep track of. The Blue Line, however, has a lot of contests and open calls that involve many different artists and hundreds of pieces of art at a time.
Each artist fills out an online application that must be reviewed by our curator, Tony. The artists who are chosen to be in the show must submit a contract that says that they agree to the gallery's commission terms. Data from both the application and the contracts are entered into a program called Airtable, which acts as both a spreadsheet and database.
Right now, we're copying and pasting most of the data manually from the artist applications into the spreadsheet, which takes a ridiculous amount of time. My least favorite part is uploading the photos because the gallery's internet absolutely can't handle more than one person at a time working with images - which is a real problem when your whole business revolves around visuals.
(Please enjoy this actual footage of me after an hour of waiting for photos to load so I can update our website.)
Even though wrangling technology can be frustrating, I can't imagine running the gallery without it. This system allows us to easily update our online store, quickly write up in depth instagram posts about any work of art, print off all the artist statements at once... etc. We're even working on ways to use this data to make sure we're equally representing all types of artists. Good stuff!