- View from boat house at Taidekeskus Salmela (Note: Huge swarms of mosquitoes hang around in damp, dark boathouses in Finland.)
There was a surprise mini heatwave last weekend, and it luckily coincided with the opening ceremonies (PARTY!) for Taidekeskus Salmela's grand summer exhibition. The gorgeous weather brought with it a huge crowd and a general good mood (unless you sat in the direct sunshine for too long, or in the shadows near the water where the mosquitoes lurked).
I went to the party with husband and baby girl in tow. (I left the rest of the teeming horde of children at home with grandma.) I'm always a bit timid at these sort of public functions, and I hid behind the prettily dressed baby most of the time. Unfortunately for me, the baby-as-social-manager only really works at family/friends sort of dos, helping avoid small-talk awkwardness (who doesn't have something to say about a baby, cute or not). At large art events, people are sizing up each other, their networking angle and the art (in that order), so babies are more like messy accessories that need to be avoided (and kept away from the art and hors d'oeuvres).
Of course I enjoyed bumping into a few familiar colleagues and friends. I really should get out to these events more often, for the news and gossip, not to mention potential exhibition opportunities I've missed out on. My spoken Finnish is still halting and limited, so I (pathetically) relied on the English proficiency of everyone else.
I did dash out in front of the cameras once (though it could have ended badly with me embarrassing myself, or maybe I did anyway), at the closing-ceremony/speeches, when all the exhibition artists stood for a photo-op and flowers. There wasn't any artist roll call, and I didn't shout an introduction for myself, so maybe that little sprint was all for naught.
From what I was told, my paintings, hanging in the bar-corner section of the Kesäheinä restaurant are in a 'cash'n'carry' type of area, meaning that if they were sold and the buyers decide to leave with them then and there, no one else will see them later in the exhibition. I can't decide how I feel about that; on the one hand it would be fantastic to sell everything, and on the other, a drag that they wouldn't be on view the entire summer.
While we were there a red mark had been put next to one painting, so I quickly took pictures of the set-up, just in case, for posterity. Here's what they looked like as of 11.6.2011:
(If anyone visits the show later in the summer and could give me an update, that would be fantastic!)