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Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

shauna lee lange arts advisory set to join eisenhower partnership

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory is set to join Alexandria’s Eisenhower Partnership in September 2008. The partnership, comprised of corporations, professional firms, and local business people, promotes economic growth and quality of life in the Eisenhower Valley of Alexandria, Virginia. The coalition of partners looks to proposed transportation improvements, development proposals, and community forums to effectively represent the community‚Äôs needs. The Eisenhower Valley is strategically located and offers fine retail/shopping, recreation, work, residential living, and citizen convenience services. The arts advisory founder, Shauna Lee Lange, has happily lived in the area since 2003 and her arts advisory firm will be the first art specific entity, full-service art advisory, and art consultancy to join the group to date.

business & professional women of the corcoran celebrate richard avedon

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 2:12 pm

The Business and Professional Women of the Corcoran recently commemorated the launch of Richard Avedon’s photography exhibit by hosting a networking/business meeting luncheon. The event was very far removed in style and time from many of the 60’s and 70’s era works on show by the esteemed late photographer. Having seen the success of the Leibovitz past opening, I expected the same curatorship with Avedon and was not disappointed. Historically, socially, commercially, culturally – it’s a fascinating look at the personalities that exist(ed) on our little blue marble.

Attendees from Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory were moved to tears with two photographs in particular, both taken in 1963. The first features a woman standing on the sidewalk holding the newspaper headlines on November 22nd and is completely striking in its shock and show-stopping tone. The second (above), with heartbreaking honesty, was taken March 24, 1963 in Algiers, Louisiana of William Casby, born in slavery and was not printed as gelatin silver print until nearly three decades later. Several photographs of black leaders underscore their importance, rise to power, and mark on humanity. See the show whether you’re a history, music, or arts buff to take a walk down memory lane – it’ll make you think about our future.

collaborating with a painting master

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 12:48 pm

We are so pleased to announce our loosely defined and still developing relationship with master painter, Rob Vander Zee. Rob is a consummate oil painter who also sits at the head of the Vander Zee Gallery, the Vander Zee School of Painting, and the Vander Zee Foundation. His painting students have formed a close and strong allegiance and show an exceptional group promise for the future.

Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory will serve over the next three months, as a volunteer service provider, a professional art advisor, and an innocent observing by-stander. Make no mistake, Rob has an impressive list of accomplishments and an aggressive list of goals. Jointly, all the entities that contribute are busy from dawn to dusk. Watch this site for future announcements of happenings.

Image Credit: Rob Vander Zee, Yellow Earth 1-Z008, oil on panel, 42″ x 36″, 2006

your local chamber: get involved!

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 12:17 pm

We try to regularly attend our local Chamber of Commerce meetings, business after-hours, and other events to meet and greet fine business professionals in our community. Not only is the Chamber an excellent way to get the skinny on upcoming happenings, but it is also a great learning tool, an important networking tool, and a fine relationship building tool. Join Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory at one of the many October Alexandria Chamber of Commerce events scheduled in and around the Old Town district. It is entirely possible that your business line is under-represented and that means you get to shine! Hone your speaking, presenting, and listening skills by visiting an event soon.

client case study: leaving volunteer work

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 10:06 am

Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory was contacted in September by a woman artist client who was faced with a difficult decision that many artists face. She had been dedicating part of her time to a prestigious institution by volunteering her ideas, energy, enthusiasm, and management skills and over the course of volunteering, had happily seen the organization stabilize and solidify.

Problem is, she wasn’t getting paid for the volunteering and her own works weren’t selling. She was feeling that her own interests were suffering and she was seeing that others who were more centrally dedicated and focused were achieving the “success” that she aspired to. She battled a “Type A” personality trait to “do it all” and worried that in giving up this activity, she would be falling short of all she could give.

I grew up on the east coast, near the water. One of my first childhood memories is walking the beach in the middle of winter, so cute with my little artificial fur coat on. I’ve lived on a few islands. I drink water even when I’m not thirsty. When you are a water sign, you live near the water, you long for island life, you might even collect shells and you develop a somewhat watery personality – always looking for the ground to next flow. When you’re not near the water, you look at all the travel magazines to see where else in the world people are living happier than you and near the coast. Well – water’s in your blood and there’s no escaping it.

We who are water people have a saying. And our saying goes that when it comes to personalities, there are two kinds in the world. There are surface swimmers and then you have your divers. All my life I wanted to be a diver. Divers know what they want and they go after it with a single mind. They’re the people who knew in second grade that they’d end up a car mechanic. They’re the ones who order hamburgers just so, because they know exactly what they like. Or the ones you see walking down the street with a Phillies baseball shirt on, because Phillies are the bomb, and there will never be another team like the Phillies, and when we go to a game, you betcha’ the Phillies will be a’playin, and oh yes they can name every Phillies baseball player since the inception of the team. Divers. They know what they want, they know who they are. They know where they’ve been, where they’re at, and where they’re going AND how they’re going to get there.

A surface swimmer sort of floats around. He or she is a fantastic generalist. They try every little thing and they’ve been around every little block. They’re amazing problem solvers because they have a WIDE range of options to chose. Sometimes, every little wave tosses them to and fro and this gives others the mistaken impression that what is in fact intellect manifests as flaky. Today I’m interested in wind energy and tomorrow I’m writing the President another letter about the homeless. A surface swimmer is reading three books all at once – all of them mid-stream. They stare at a menu for thirty minutes never having read item one. They’re the kind that refuse to take one phone call at a time. They’ll toggle the flash button on the phone to switch from call waiting conversations all the live-long day.

Being a surface swimmer has its benefits, but one of the greatest detractions is you can never really decide. You won’t believe this, but in a period of three months once, I exchanged a new car. I then went on to purchase three separate and completely different makes and models in immediate succession (and I STILL to this day wish I had gotten the convertible model of the car I ended up with.) A surface swimmer is always looking for the next wave. They’re trend setters, they’re futurists, they’re market indicators. They cover an awful lot of ground and they’re great at cocktail parties because they can talk to anyone, but let’s face it, they’re surface swimmers.

For example, I love the tattoo culture. I love the idea of being able to express your experience on living flesh. I love the idea of marking your road map. Saying this is who I am, this is where my life turned, this is what I want to remember, and this is what I want to forget. If you can commit to that, my friend, commit to permanently marking your body, then you’re a diver and I envy you. You plunged the depths. You braved the dark and the cold.

And I? Well I was the one floating up on top, soaking in the sun rays, calling out to the lifeguard to throw me a rope when I went in past my chin. I’m the one you’ll see at all the conventions, in all the upcoming articles, in all the shops interviewing people and getting their stories, oh yes. I’m the one, the water girl, the blank canvas, the surface swimmer who won’t quite be able to look you in the eye. We both know the truth. What an existence. (I am getting better!)

But you, if you’re a working artist who has self-sacrificed for others for more than three or five or ten years, it is time to dive. And for this client, mid-life and trying to balance multiple tasks at once, it was time to (temporarily?) say good-bye to this fine institution. Choreographer Twyla Tharp wrote that the experience of single-mindedness is somewhat akin to being monastic. To giving yourself the gift of one-focus. Giving yourself the gift of the dive, the gift of seeing where dedicated studio work propels you as a person, the gift of stopping the giving to everyone else. Financial guru Suze Orman said she was always amazed when she was involved in the financial markets and would be attending seminars and when the topic of volunteer work came up, the men in the room sat still. Men generally have a different culture. They don’t give away what brings home the bacon. Why should the women?

Yes, there’s something to be said about community service, philanthropic idealism, nuturing and the magic generated back when you give to others. But if we’re talking about a life’s work, if we’re talking about self-actualization, if we’re talking about FINALLY doing something you always wanted to do, then it’s time. You’ve prepared. You’re ready. You’ve got your spare oxygen tank over in the corner. NOW DIVE.

meeting mike weber

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 9:50 am

Mike Weber of Weber Fine Art graciously invited Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory to his working studio and home in Northwest DC to talk about the state of the arts in the mid-Atlantic region, the goals of each art advisory firm, the challenges in being an art consultant, and the possibilities for future collaborative efforts.

Weber consults, installs, frames, rents, and collects a host of local artists’ works. He has a casual, hands-on and stress-free consulting process whereby collectors can immediately see and understand their personal vision for their residential or commercial properties. Weber’s well connected in the DC arts scene and he’s growing his firm to be able to form a quasi artists-design-studio-school-workshop. And he’s a regularly featured entity in many fine magazines.

Weber & Lange are considering possible joint ventures for cutting edge, never-before-done, risky exhibition venues with a focus on the Maryland and Virginia markets. The two are hoping to be able to bring excellent works forward by virtue of controversial or thought provoking thematic displays. They are also considering how they can incorporate gallerists, younger aspiring artists, and art enthusiasts to the mix. Watch both these firms as they continue to make a mark in DC’s art scene.

Image above: Brooke Fitts (featured photographer available through Weber Fine Art), Capturing the Fair.

self-improvement in communications

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 9:33 am

Self-improvement is not a selfish activity. For artists, it is a necessity. For businesses, it is a critical element for growth. Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory is proud to have completed a 12-week communications seminar sponsored by the United States Health & Human Services. The seminar focused on the different styles of communication between men and women, the expectations we hold, the backgrounds we bring to any interaction, and the value in speaking from both the heart and mind.
In our Washington, DC based firm, we are founded by a woman who’s made her career as an analyst and co-founded by a man who has made his as a commercial architect. Both completely different human beings, yet married to each other. Shauna was born and raised in the States – Alex overseas. Alex travels most days within corporate businesses where creative ideas in architecture are valued – Shauna spends hers largely within rigid hierarchal institutions where ideas can be slow moving. She reads art books – he reads biographies. She drives carefully – he not so much (ha).
The value of our differences is what they create as a whole. Our communications challenges need to embrace more diversity, more acceptance, more space and time and forgiveness. When you work with our advisory firm, you get so much more than nuts and bolts and big bills. You get real live people who are growing, and learning, changing and communicating! Stay active in your goals. Reach out and stretch yourselves. Keep yourselves open and try new things. And remember always to give yourself self-care.

channeling susan abbott

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 8:30 am

It is important for art advisors and consultants to keep abreast of developments and changes within their own field. Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory attended a one-day seminar which was designed to teach the amateur artist tools on becoming professional. And although we feel that as an established national advisory firm, we have an excellent command of the paths artists can take to work with galleries, or to self-market, or to make a lifelong commitment to their craft – we also feel that it’s important to hear how others are accomplishing the same goals.

It is more critical perhaps, that a qualified art advisor or consultancy firm also BE a working artist. One cannot understand the struggles, obstacles, and challenges of the art world unless one is in it (and I don’t care how great a business person you may be) – you’ve got to live, breathe, eat, and drink art to grow in your understanding of it. And you have to continuously ask questions.

Is there a resource, a trick, a tool, or a contact the successful artist uses that we don’t know about? So it was in that spirit that we went with the best of intentions and expectations to work under the tutelage of a highly accomplished water colorist, Susan Abbott. Ms. Abbott has at least two decades of exhibitions, consignments, gallery horror stories, and independent vision under her belt and with a seminar of about 25 mid-life attendees, she gave us everything she had on paperwork, taxes, books, psychological inspiration, and all that her experience has shown it takes to be both a working artist and a business.

The materials and information collected will only help our firm be of more assistance to those seeking professional advice. Ms. Abbott herself has left the Washington rat-race and now lives in rural Vermont where she talks about the trade offs between being able to stumble into one of DC’s over 150 museums and the isolation (but frugality) of living remotely. Abbott stresses travel, work, and communication among artists – she encourages joining small artist groups and she believes in the power of the group as a cohesive element within the macro. And it was that thought, the power of the group, that led this artist to the inspiration to create a piece of collage work based on Abbott’s “Dream Tables” series.

I took a small exhibition catalogue of Ms. Abbott’s large thematic watercolor collections and separated individual works from the booklet. I then spent a block of time (hours) really looking at the pieces to understand the medium, message, and method. I continued by meticulously cutting one inch squares from the completed reproduced images and semi-randomly mixed the squares according to overall color, style, and content. I had been seeing exhibition notices on quilting and textiles pop up in the news and the idea of quilts, stitching, and assemblage was still floating around.

The square tiles were then painstakingly re-assembled by hand into a larger quilt square with a small windowing margin separating the tiles. The beauty of this re-interpretation of Ms. Abbott’s work is not only that we’ve taken watercolor and re-presented it as collage, but also that one really sees the independent detail Abbott accomplishes in her overall theme. And focally, whether the eye zooms in or out, the result is quite stunning, original, and communicative. If that’s not “becoming professional” then I guess more workshops might be in store!

Image Above: Shauna Lee Lange, Channeling Susan Abbott, 15″ x 18″, collage on paper, 2008.

linked-in networking blitz

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 8:17 am

There’s a host of social networking sites available, and the one Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory recommends for professional networking is Linked In. Linked In is resource where one can capture, record, and organize colleague e-mail contact information. The system is simple and easy to use and is based on degrees of separation. I know John, John knows Mary, I want to work with Mary and John is my connector link.

September 2008 has traditionally been a month of re-energizing, re-organizing, and re-focus for the Washington DC based arts advisory. Over 250 contacts were added to our networking circle through Linked In, and believe it or not, well over 1,000 invitations are still awaiting responses.

The arts world is well-known for its word-of-mouth referencing and resourcing. The times, well they are a-changing, and with all this information overload, one simply must get it down in writing somewhere. We encourage artists to consider moving from Facebook or MySpace or any other the other top networking sites and join a social network that’s a bit more professional and a bit less social.

postcard marketing blitz

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2008 at 8:05 am

To reach arts entities within the mid-Atlantic region, Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory mailed out over 5,000 artists postcards to designers, interior decorators, galleries, museums, arts organizations, developers, residents, arts personalities, press and media, art suppliers, art critics, art consultants and many more.

It is a daunting task to develop a comprehensive marketing database, and let no one fool you, it takes considerable time. But with each name added and each contact reached, this art consultant is learning, growing, and becoming more savvy as to the interconnectedness of it all.

Many low-cost, self-publishing companies are available for artists, gallerists, and museum curators looking to make a visual statement about the work they do or upcoming events they may be involved with. There is a bit of trial and error in getting your statement to say the right thing in the right way, and we’re still learning. Make no mistake about it, while we transition to electronic newsletters and emailed notices, the artist’s postcard is still a standard staple for exhibitions and events.

We’re very excited about the new friends we’ve made and if art ever dies, there’s always graphic design, printing, and publishing to think about!