right approach: Brent Wear found walls for hanging at Portland's
Clinton Corner Café.
out there and find a venue
an interesting yet logical progression. Independent coffeehouses
everywhere have developed a taste for local art.
Now when you go get your "cuppa joe," you're also often
treated to a mini-showing of local artists. It's not something most
chains have chosen to do and that gives those independent cafés
a chance to shine as well as establish their own identity.
The art runs the gamut from good ol' standbys landscapes,
for example to the disturbingly bizarre, such as photos of
one-eyed kitties or, yes, paintings on black velvet.
For the artist, this is good thing. Patrons out to relax and have
a cup of coffee anyhow are naturally going to let their eyes stray
to the artwork. The artist gains exposure, if not increased sales.
Brent Wear, recently showcased at the Clinton Corner Café
in Portland, said the owner approached him and asked him to display
his art. Wear works in mixed media and paints brightly colored pictures
of whimsical birds in imaginative situations. (Look for the "corn
dog" wrapper in his pictures.)
Carolyn LeVee, owner/operator of Wilsonville Coffee Co., keeps
works of a family friend on the walls of her shop. These are of
the landscape variety.
Violet's Café owner Lisa Carkner works with a curator and
takes submissions from artists. While the eastside Portland establishment
has some requirements an artist might want to know about, they do
display a wide variety of work. A recent Violet's showing consisted
of Halloween-themed art.
So, if you're an artist, how might you go about getting your artwork
displayed in such a setting?
Locate the coffeehouses in your area that do rotational
showcases. Get out and visit several before you take the next
Approach the owner/manager at a convenient time (i.e.
not during the morning rush!).
Consider setting up an appointment if no time seems
to be good.
Bring a portfolio of your work to share and be ready
to discuss it.
Convert your work to jpeg or gif in case the owner
would prefer to see electronic samples.
Talk to other artists for tips, suggestions and ideas.
Whatever your style of art, there's a showcase somewhere
that is appropriate, so be persistent in your search.
Now, go do your research, get out there, and find a venue for your