Taking on the job as curator of an art show is more than just tacking up paintings and putting on price tags. Theres a whole batch of responsibilities, starting with promoting the event, as Sarah Pearson continues to find out her second time around as curator of the Tribute to all Things Magical: The Light and the Dark, in Del Ray.
Theres an art to curating, you cant just slap it up on the wall, Pearson said, standing among the variety of beings, beasts and mysticism at this months show. In the weeks leading up to the show, Pearson signed up artists, created announcement cards, wrote a preview for the Del Ray Artisans newsletter, The Well Crafted Word, and linked everything to the theme, which is loosely in line with Halloween. She called it a magical time of the year.
When all the pieces came together, she ended up with a room full of art and spent three days to make a plan leading visitors around the room. Her final layout went from an area of magical beasts to a moon area, magical symbols, a green man and mermaid section to a dark side. It came to her through time. You cant force it, she said. Her plan worked and they sold 13 pieces on the first day of the show, Oct. 12.
In addition to art, Pearson incorporated several performing artists on opening night, including poets Mary McElveen, Marty Jenkins and Jay Krasnow, and musician Koshari. Integrating live performances is not uncommon, said Del Ray Artisan board member Ron Blank, who has worked with Pearson in the past. Blank attended the opening night. I saw a definite mix, he said.
Pearson describes herself as tuned in with nature and the seasons, with a metaphysical twist, in touch with things a little more tied to the earth, she said. When shes not involved with the Del Ray art scene, shes involved with youth advocacy, particularly focusing on the Native Americans. Pearson has written several publications on education, and spends much of her time bringing diverse national organizations together.
On one trip to Kodiak Island in Alaska, she carved a mask she calls The Whistling God, which is part of the show. The magical part of masks is it changes your identity, she said.
Pearson manages to juggle the two careers. I had this little block of time to devote to this [art show], she said.
Through the years with the Artisans, Pearson is credited with being one of the early supporters of incorporating the internet with the Del Ray Artisans. Shes the first person, said Blank. Pearson has also taught faux painting techniques, and put together displays for the Artisan Art in City Hall exhibit.