Chapter 14: Does size matter? by Judy Vienneau
When this emerging grant process began, I had to plan what new pieces I would create for the final exhibition. I had seen many emerging artists in the past take advantage of the gallery space at Creative Pinellas and create some large works. I opted for a somewhat middle of the road option and decided on doing three 30” x 40” independent pieces. These I plan to combine with some smaller, previously created works in the final presentation.
About 4 years ago I created an 11 ft. tall by 9 ft. wide wire assemblage relief entitled “Rise Above”. It was a very specific size for placement on a wall in a gallery show where there were 11 ft. ceilings. However, when the show was over, the piece was unruly to transport and store, and there was little hope of displaying it elsewhere because I found that 11 ft. high ceilings are few and far between. So, last year I reworked the piece, reducing the height to 10 ft., so it would fit on a wall with a 10 ft. ceiling. I also created a fabric background to mount it on. The fabric was also my attempt at tying together the various elements of the piece. While easier now to display at my studio, I have still yet to find another show to enter it in. And it would be a big expense to have to ship it anywhere!
Years ago, I also created some large three-dimensional metal/mixed media sculpture, ranging from 5 ft. to 7 ft. tall. And, I painted a mini-mural of a Florida panther on a 4’x8’ sheet of plywood. All of those pieces now reside in my back yard since once again, transporting and exhibiting them range from difficult to impossible.
I have sold a few larger pieces in the past, and was able to deliver them locally. However, in the last few years I have tried to stay away from creating big because of lack of places to sell the works. Plus, the price generally has to be higher because of the additional work and materials it takes to work large, which limits the customer base. So, is bigger really better? I think if the artist is advanced in their career and has opportunities to show at major galleries or museums, sure, bigger is better and more impressive. For the rest of us, I feel that the audience and opportunities to show the work need to be considered.