Preparing for an exhibition by Jo Price

It’s not long to go now before Scratching the Surface opens at the Art Café in Winchester and we’re in the final stages of getting the show together. Sarah and eleven workshop members will be showing etchings and drypoints and we’re delighted to have guest printmaker Ali Yanya exhibiting with us. We’ve been preparing for the exhibition for a few months now; since last September in fact, when Sarah first approached the gallery about a show.

There’s so much to organise with an exhibition like this; even coming up with a name takes a lot of time and thought! Meetings with the gallery owner, discussions about framing and pricing (factoring in gallery commission is always fun!), wording for information boards, writing press releases, deciding how much wine to have for the private view – all these things have to be considered and agreed. There’s the publicity too. We’re very lucky to have Irene in the group who designed a really eye-catching poster and email invite for us. Exhibiting in a gallery is rarely free so email invites are a cost-effective way of publicising the event.


Etching on zinc by Ali Yanya

Requires Improvement

Etching and spit bite by Jo Price

When the deadline is several months away, it’s easy to feel like there’s plenty of time to get the work done. Those months go all too quickly though so it’s important to plan all the different stages so that everything happens in good time and there are no last minute crises.

It’s also crucial to keep the momentum going for producing work for the exhibition. As most of those involved in the show are also members of Cowprint, our monthly meetings were ideal for this as not only were we able to keep the group up to date with all the arrangements, but more importantly, we all regularly shared work in progress for advice and feedback. We had two particular check-in points. At the November meeting, we all brought along proofs and ideas, and at the March meeting, final (or very nearly final prints) which enabled us to select work and get an idea of what the show would look like. This was quite a milestone in the process as there was a real sense of it all coming together. Everyone has worked so hard and produced some lovely prints.

The gallery has just had a new hanging system installed so we paid a visit last week to check it out and finalise arrangements for hanging with the owner. It’s always good to double check exactly what’s needed so things go as smoothly as possible on the day. So, we’re all set to hang the show on Tuesday ready for the opening and private view on Thursday 7 May from 7 – 9pm. See you there!

Scratching the Surface is on at the Art Cafe, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SA until Tuesday 16 June. Open weekdays 8am – 4pm, Saturdays 10am – 4pm.

The Chicken Murderer