if i've learned anything recently it is that thinking that anyone is immune to stress is foolish. we all feel it, we just manifest it in different ways.
the existence of a young gallery is fragile at best. it requires a great deal of love, dedication and a massive amount of time and energy. you deal with a lot of misconceptions. people tend to make assumptions about your success based on the aesthetic success of the space. unfortunately, a pretty exhibition space doesn't directly translate into paid bills. keeping a gallery space open entails an ouch-worthy amount of overhead, and in a market like eugene (small but growing) paying the bills with art sales alone requires a hustler of epic proportions. big daddy kane was NOT kidding: pimpin' ain't easy.
i consider myself one of the luckier girls in the world. i grew up in a creatively diverse community, surrounded by inspiring people, and have never been yolked or too tightly reigned those in my life. as a result i always had the feeling that if i wanted something it was within my reach. i've never been a "big" dreamer in the sense of wealth and possessions. i hate really big houses, and too much money makes me feel itchy and uncomfortable. if i've retained one long term wish it is simply to make my bills without sweating too much, working with people i admire, and remaining free. i graduated university of oregon in 2006 with an art history degree. i fought off four years of "you'll end up waiting tables the rest of your life" (while waiting tables) only to graduate.... still waiting tables. shortly after graduating i met my friend brent who owns fenario gallery and we arranged for me to work a couple days a week doing clerical work while i continued to tend bar.
a year and a half had passed and a couple weeks ago (with the help of some gentle nudging from our ol dog photographer Hank - the older brother i never had) my boss/captain/pal gave me the green light on quitting my restaurant job (just days before i stabbed someone to death with their own taco), and i came on board at fenario full time as gallery manager. being 24 and working in my field, actually applying my degree, has got me waking up singing oklahoma every morning (oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, i've got a bright golden feeling, everything's going my way...)
but along with all the creative liberties and sense of accomplishment that comes with my job there are daily challenges. getting out of the service industry does NOT insure safety from jerks. artists can be in a class of their own. but i've been really lucky so far. i've met a lot of immensely talented and genuine people. i've seen a lot of raw talent, and it continues to inspire me to keep looking and to believe in the process. i'm lucky in that i have the best crew of co-workers in the world. in many ways the newness of the gallery gives us all a blank slate to work with, and we're trying every day to craft the kind of open-minded, forward thinking, opposite-of-snobby exhibition space that we would all love to visit to see art.