Prepping for the 8×8 Show

Every year at this time, Brownsville Art Association in Brownsville, Oregon holds an 8×8 Art Show. This small art gallery opens its doors to the community, giving us a chance to share our art. I took some pieces in last year for the first time, and I’m excited to participate again this year.

I didn’t have any 8×8 prints on hand, so I ordered some new prints from the lab. They have a new photo paper that has a lovely, rich depth and velvety sheen. The difficulty was choosing the three I wanted to put in the show.

I like to mount my photos on cradled panels. Because I’ve played with ordering prints on different types of papers, I don’t want to hide them behind glass. It’s also a more economical avenue than professional framing. These 8x8s will get this treatment.

I waited to prep my cradled panels until my photos arrived. It’s only after seeing my photos on the board that I decide what I want the base to look like. I bought a package of five panels. Three would go to Brownsville and two are going to my co-op gallery. I ended up painting one panel black, staining two walnut, giving one a weathered board treatment, and accidentally staining one pine. (Oops! I thought that was the wood conditioner.)

My least favorite part is affixing the photos. It’s messy, and a little stray glue can ruin a project. I seal the boards prior to mounting with clear gloss gel.

The final touches are adding some D-rings and picture wire, stamping or writing on the back, and spraying the art with a UV protectant spray. Once they’re dry, they’re ready to go.

The poppy, Larch Mt. Fog, and the barred owl were all submitted to the art show and will be hanging at the Brownsville Art Center through the month of February. While I was checking them in, I had a chance to meet photographer Jim Mulholland. We talked photography for a while, and he told me the story behind his viral shot of lightning at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. It’s amazing! You should check it out!

If you happen to be in the Mid-Willamette Valley in February, be sure to visit the Brownsville Art Center and check out the 8×8 show.

Thanks for stopping by.

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