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THE NAKED BRUSH
ORIGINALLY A THRILLING RIDE IN WHICH THE ARTIST, TERRE RYBOVICH, GAMBLED HER OWN TIME, MONEY AND GOOD NAME TO VISIT DOZENS OF GALLERIES IN NORTH AMERICA WITH THE AIM OF EXHIBITING AND SELLING HER LARGE CHARCOAL DRAWINGS. NOW THE RIDE TAKES US EVEN DEEPER, INTO THE HEART OF THE ARTIST'S CREATIVE PROCESS, INCLUDING ART-MAKING, WINE AND MUSIC.

Earliest Posts At the Top
March 2009 Naked Brush Blog Posts

Tue, Mar 17th, 2009
LATEST WORKS ON VIEW NOW AT MARY WOERNER FINE ART

On February 28 a show of my four "Istanbul" bodyprint drawings opened at Mary Woerner Fine Art in West Palm Beach, alongside the paintings of Mary Segal. Seeing these four drawings together fills me with pride. And with ambition for the work to come. The show has been extended through the first week of April.

Tue, Mar 17th, 2009
NBT ARISES FOR THE VERNAL EQUINOX

A recap, now long overdue.

The Naked Brush Tour completed Phase 1 with aplomb, panache and grit, stopping just short of conclusive success. In six months I visited six cities—Montreal, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Scottsdale and Atlanta. The objective in each city: to go to at least six galleries whose work bears some affinity to my large charcoal drawings. The goal: to identify galleries that want to show and sell my work.

Six months, six cities, six galleries—pure happenstance.

I chose the cities in Phase 1 for two reasons, both subjective. First, to avoid the major, major gallery towns like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, until my work was in at least one gallery outside Palm Beach County (where I live). Second, to target cities that include a community of open-minded or esoteric folks who could appreciate the melding of the sensual and spiritual I strive for in my work.

The concept of a tour with a name reflected my determination to achieve recognition for the endeavor regardless of its outcome. The name The Naked Brush Tour was suggested after a local art critic bungled my description of my drawing method. Tour tee shirts are envisioned yet remain on the drawing board.

Selected galleries received two emails alerting them to my visit. Not seeking a portfolio review, I assured them, I simply wanted to see the galley, meet with the person on hand, and afterward decide whether to submit images for their consideration. Much forethought went into the protocol, informed by friends in the business. The protocol was the constant. The rest was flux.

Galleries often recommended others. I hesitated to walk into these galleries unannounced, to break the protocol and dispense with the shred of influence it granted. Yet some of the spontaneous visits proved warmly receptive.

Nearly everyone was impressed that I took the time and resources to travel to see them. Many thought I was doing exactly what artists should: to research galleries online and visit the likeliest prospects before submitting images. All of them could gesture to a leaning stack of portfolios at least 18 inches high, sent in by artists whose work did not belong in that gallery.

In every city, three or four galleries invited me to submit images. (I had traveled with prints of two large drawings, showing them only when asked.) Once home I emailed all the galleries a thank you. And to the receptive ones I submitted images, following each gallery’s criteria.

Aplomb, panache and grit—but not a practical or adult sense of timing. Six cities in six months. Or, more accurately, one initial foray followed by five cities in four months. Each visit preceded by hours of online research (essentially considering every established gallery in town). Plus all those emails.

And then there was the blog. A discipline if ever there was one. I still haven’t shared the details of my visits to Denver, Scottsdale and Atlanta. That’s next. Then there's Phase 2 of The Naked Brush Tour...

I’ve heard back from only a handful of the roughly fifty galleries I visited in Phase 1. Still anticipating the welcoming response that would make it all worthwhile. Will this economy grant me that?

Sat, Mar 21st, 2009
"DON'T MISS WORKS BY RYBOVICH"

From yesterday's Palm Beach Post: "Don't miss works by Rybovich."

Then Larry Aydlette goes on to say, "Now Showing at Mary Woerner Fine Arts: Four works by Palm Beach County artist Terre Rybovich are up through March 28. Rybovich uses impressions of her body and charcoal on paper to create gray, moody and mysterious pieces that have a floating quality, with hints of hieroglyphics and a strong sense of the ethereal. She's an artist whose work always intrigues and puzzles--in a good way. Mary Woerner Fine Arts, 6107 S. Dixie Highway No. 6, West Palm Beach. Information: (561) 493-4160 or www.marywoernerfinearts.com.

Sat, Mar 21st, 2009
WE RETURN TO THE NAKED BRUSH TOUR

Enough recapping, I’ve been told. Get on with the details of The Naked Brush Tour, Phase 1.

So it’s the middle of October and I’m in Denver. Past autumn’s peak but that’s okay: I’m headed to Vail tomorrow. So why is the temperature in the 70s? All I packed was microfleece.

Up to now my gallery visits have clustered at the cordial end of the spectrum. Only a few approached curt. Then there’s the first-ever response I got to my initial email: “Not interested. Not at all.” It made me question the whole tour. Until my sister said, “Terre, you’re going to Montreal to see these galleries first-hand. That’s the objective, isn’t it? You don’t need a warm welcome from anybody to accomplish that.” Indeed. I prefer cordial, but I don’t need it.

My first visit in Denver was more than cordial. I’ll even go so far as to identify the gallery—something I’ve refrained from doing because, first, I believe artists have to find their own likeliest prospects and, second, I didn’t tell galleries I was blogging about them. It was Jimmy Sellars at Sellars Project Space who not only loved my charcoal drawings but loved The Naked Brush Tour as well. We became friends that day. (And, as an agent to other artists, he’s now my fellow pioneer in navigating the new world of galleries in a time of global recession. Why focus all your creativity on art-making? New worlds await.)

After an hour or so of comparing notes on galleries in North America, Jimmy recommended I have lunch at a Mexican restaurant on Santa Fe Drive, the gallery hub that was my next stop. But I found a humbler green chili place nearby, took a seat at the counter and soon had my ankles embraced by an adoring toddler girl. The chili was equally good.

There were two galleries I planned to see on Santa Fe, and Jimmy had just crossed one off my list. “You need to focus on the three top selling galleries in Denver,” he urged me. So I continued on to one he suggested. A beautiful space though I wasn’t convinced about the art on the walls—exuberant in every sense. I wandered, waiting discretely for the staff person to finish chatting with a friend. They were comparing body workouts. When we finally spoke face-to-face we recognized each other from 13 years earlier, when he lived in South Florida. A mutual admiration rekindled.

He remembered me as the fabricator of steel sculpture I was thirteen years ago. When I shared images of my new drawings, he was enthusiastic. But the decision of which artists to exhibit was not his to make alone. He encouraged me to submit images, and to seek him out at the Art Basel satellite fairs in December. Warm encounter #2.

I walked past gallery #4 nearby and was reminded how misleading websites can be. Much “edgier” than its website, the gallery was clearly not my style. Protocol says to keep walking when a gallery looks questionable from the outside. And so I did. Straight to the espresso bar my old friend recommended. It was first-rate: a barista actually pulling shots. He and everyone else in the tiny café were amazed when I explained my mission. I think I like it in Denver.

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