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All I Really Need to Know ...



There was a book published in the 1980s titled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I believe the basic principles underscored in this book apply to attending the annual Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE). Don't cut in line, look at the person who is speaking to you, be respectful --- all good ideas. But, perhaps the greatest lesson is to share.

Sharing is the basis of any convention. At PACE 2017, it's being done in spades. There's the sharing you'd expect: product samples, drawings for free workshops, even a happy hour or two. The degree to which the artists and vendors share their ideas has been the surprise for me. The dialogue has been free-flowing, insightful and heartfelt. The shape of a brush isn't the only information that's mentioned when talking about that tool, but the brand and why it's a favorite. During a lecture with renowned artist Jill Carver yesterday, she explained not only her process but both her past and current failures. Instead of diminishing the view of her expertise, it enhanced it and provided a platform for interaction. The engagement was beneficial for both the audience and Carver.

Over the years of being gallery director, I've found this quality to be common among artists. Perhaps there is something about being an artist that makes the sharing process intuitive, or maybe they were all very good listeners in kindergarten. If you attend the 2017 Door County Plein Air Festival, July 23 - 29, you'll see for yourself.




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