art collection

Inside a private art studio visit

When was the last meeting you had that made you this happy?

An art collector savoring his new purchase after a studio visit

An art collector savoring his new purchase after a studio visit

When you visit an artist’s studio, you get to see whichever artworks you like, not just the one or two I’ve submitted to an art exhibit. It took a year to arrange this private meeting: not because it’s a complicated process, but because we all have lives outside of receptions and art fairs. (I know — art world blasphemy.)

Seattle Art Fair 2019

Seattle Art Fair 2019

Luckily, we ran into each other again at this year’s Seattle Art Fair. That gave us a chance to coordinate our calendars. I’m not able to do open studio hours, so I emailed him three openings in my schedule.

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This collector didn’t ask to see a specific artwork, or go down a studio visit checklist. What he asked about were the backstories: he got to know each piece. So the visit was more about recognizing the pieces he loved.

In-situ photo of “Safe/ Not Safe (Semiahmoo).” Photo credit: Diane Venti.

In-situ photo of “Safe/ Not Safe (Semiahmoo).” Photo credit: Diane Venti.

And that’s the thing: this art is going to become part of your life. So I get that it may take more than one visit for someone to find the piece that’s going to move in with you, so to speak. You can get my undivided attention via text or email. And then it’s a date… well, not a date date, but an appointment with your artwork destiny.

Artwork purchase: and the new owner is...

I can give my crossed fingers a rest now: “Relatively Progressive” now belongs to the city of Shoreline!

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The city will add my collage to its permanent art collection! In addition to my work centering the civil rights leader Edwin Pratt, Shoreline acquired two other pieces from the “Living the Dream” exhibit: Kemba Opio’s “Sunday Living”…

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… and “A Brighter Tomorrow” by Vincent Keele.

Vincent Keele with Sarah Haycox, who helped name a Shoreline early education center after Edwin Pratt

Vincent Keele with Sarah Haycox, who helped name a Shoreline early education center after Edwin Pratt

I’m so thrilled to have created a collage that speaks to the African American presence in Shoreline, as well as the city’s present-day reckoning with its past. Public art coordinator and curator David Francis and I have had some illuminating conversations in that regard. And I’m grateful to the Black Heritage Society of Washington, which holds the original image of Edwin Pratt I used in “Relatively Progressive.”

"Living the Dream" exhibit: Fingers crossed...

“Living the Dream, Dreaming the Life” closes today, but I’m not sad. I’m like 99% sure I don’t have to bring home “Relatively Progressive”…

“Relatively Progressive,” 2019, by Lisa Myers Bulmash.

“Relatively Progressive,” 2019, by Lisa Myers Bulmash.

… because someone’s very interested in adding it to their collection!

As I said earlier, I felt almost compelled to create a piece for this exhibit: I use family photos in my work as often as I can, most recently in the Liberty Bank Building portraits. So it was a treat to use images from the Pratt Family Legacy Collection.

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There’s a possibility someone else is interested in “Rare & Exquisite (CA)” as well.

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Let’s hope both go to new homes, yeah? Fingers crossed.