Welcome to the Clay & Glass blog of Meagan Chaney Gumpert! We hope you enjoy your time here!
Saturday, August 23, 2014

Where to find me

Hi. My name is Meagan and I am a terrible blogger. 

Let's face it. I have an (almost) 2 year old and an (almost) 4 year old. Most days I feel accomplished if I've brushed my teach and we all manage to get our shoes on the right feet. 

I'm still slowly making art. And like many, many other people out there, striving for that work-life balance. It will continue to be an lifelong, ongoing effort. Changing, altering, juggling as we go through the transitions from toddler, preschooler, kinder-gardener, school age, teenager, and beyond...

So, at this point, I'm finding that the quick, short blurbs and easily posted photos of Facebook and Instagram fit better into our life. I make it over to Pinterest for source inspiration and reference information every now and then too. If you're interested (or even a bit curious) you can follow me over there.

Cheers! Thanks for following along on this crazy ride!


Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
Tamara Dillon commented on 23-Aug-2014 02:50 PM
Keep up the beautiful work!
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 01-Sep-2014 01:16 PM
Thanks Tamara!
Cathy commented on 12-Nov-2014 01:31 PM
I love the rhythm and movement in your work. It is an inspiration to me as I too try to balance work and art.
Can you tell me how you hang the pieces of your wall sculpture?
Meagan Chaney Gumpert commented on 17-Nov-2014 02:34 PM
Hi Cathy,

Thanks for your comment.

Most of my wall pieces are hollow, slab build forms. The back of the piece has holes in the slab to accommodate a screw/nail that is in the wall. Nothing fancy, really. Hope that helps!

Best of luck to you on your work-life balance adventure!
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Promoting your Art - Part 2 of 2: Writing a Press Release

Writing a Press Release – A Short Story

In the last post I shared a few of my favorite promotional tips and how a series of recent marketing efforts led to my Upcoming Exhibition at the Appleton Museum of Art.

Today, I’m going to continue with that story, talk about writing a Press Release, and list a few resources for technical information.

Here goes…

I knew that the opening of my exhibit at the Ocala Civic Theater was only 2 weeks away, and that it was really considered “too late” to send a Press Release. I could have used this as a legitimate excuse to say “oh well, I’ll write one next time”, “Next time, I’ll be more on top of my promotion and marketing,” “Next time, next time…”

Oh, how many times have I told myself this already!?! For years I’ve been collecting sample press releases, notes on the proper format, websites, etc. But, until a few weeks ago I had never actually written one. Why? Because I'd Rather Be in the Studio!*

But, this time I decided to write one. I figured at the very least it would be good practice. You know, get me over the hump of having never been through the motions of writing one. And maybe, just maybe I’d get a listing in one of the local publication’s Calendar of Events. That’s it. No more. No less.

After it was written and proof read by a couple others, I made a few phone calls. I’ve been told over and over again that writing a great press release can be a waste of time if you send it to the wrong person So, I called the main phone line for the publications and news agencies I was interested in, and simply asked to whom I should email a Press Release regarding and upcoming art exhibition. It was that simple. I had all the contact info within 15 minutes.

I also sent this same Press Release to a woman at the Appleton Museum I had met at several networking events. She called me the following day explaining that the Museum is starting a series of exhibits featuring Florida artists, and asked if I would be interested in participating.

Lesson Learned: Had I taken the easier way, happily working along in the studio instead of spending time promoting my work, I never would have received this call. Instead, I put time into my marketing and will have my first museum show this summer -
Urban Bloom: Ceramic Sculpture by Meagan Chaney
June 5 – July 5, 2009.

  • Resources – look to other well written Press Releases and use them as samples. Create a folder for these samples and other helpful information of formatting, templates, etc. (see the list of links below)
  • Plan Ahead – Schedule in time for writing and sending your Press Release well in advance! (The earlier the better. But better late than never!)
  • Write – use the samples as guides and follow the format!
  • Phone Calls and Contacts – Find out exactly who to email the press release to.
  • Send it and Be Positive! – Even if they don’t publish your story or announcement this time, maybe your name will be more familiar next time it comes to their inbox.
Helpful Websites:

There are a ton of websites out there that can answer questions on content, formatting, and timelines. Here are a few of my favorites for technical information on writing a Press Release and other Art Marketing Strategies and Advice.

Art Biz Blog by Alyson Stanfield
(I also recommend Alyson’s weekly Art Marketing Action Podcast for excellent “tips and tricks for your art career”)

PR Web: Press Release Newswire

The Center for Participatory Change

These should get you started. I’d love to hear your stories of Press Release success and for other tips or websites you’ve found helpful.

Happy Writing!

*I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self Promotion, by Alyson Stanfield
Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Promoting your Art - Part 1 of 2

Self-promotion is not a bad word! I believe promoting your work is much different than used-car salesman "selling". I do not believe that all marketing is "selling out" or that it belittles the work. Effective promotion helps get your work seen by potential clients and collectors. And, often the reality of pursuing and maintaining a life-long career in art means that you will have to learn how to make your art profitable. $$$

First, you have to believe in your work and be your own biggest fan. No one knows your work better than you! If you're waiting for someone else to jump in and promote your work for you, you could be waiting a long time! Not that this doesn't happen, but until that glorious day, you better learn how to do it yourself!

So, I'm going to post a two part series highlighting a few of my favorite promotional tips, and explaining how these efforts led to my Upcoming Exhibition at the Appleton Museum of Art.
  • Networking - Meet people, talk to them and remember their names! I am a member of a young professionals group here in Ocala, FL. I met a woman that works at the Appleton last year and have stayed in touch. I knew who to send a Press Release to, and maybe my name stood out a bit because we'd met on several occasions. (More on this in Part 2 of this post series.) Recommended reading: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. (I listened to the whole audio book in 1 day.)
    (Network goes for online social networking too. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. Though I admit that I still trying to get the hang of these!)
  • Search for alternative spaces to show your work. This could mean a couple things:

1 – Places that do not typically show art (restaurants, salons, coffee shops, banks, doctor's offices, etc.)

2- Places that typically show art, but art that is not typically your style. I have a show installed now at the Ocala Civic Theater, a venue that I would qualify as the 2nd type.

To illustrate a couple of points on promotion and alternative spaces, I’m going to tell the story of how this show came to be. The Theater has a large wall in their entrance lobby that is often used to display art - aka paintings. When I approached the Theater to ask about their exhibition policy, I was quickly informed that there was no room to exhibit sculpture in the lobby. I continued to pursue the opportunity; explaining a bit about my work and addressing some of their concerns. I was sent to speak with another person. Same response."Sculpture? We can’t show sculpture!" I was sent to speak with another person. Same response. You get the idea.

Understanding that my work is atypical from what they generally exhibit, I finally decided to do the following....

  • Create a PR packet or write an exhibition proposal. In addition to including my artist statement, resume, and bio, I printed a few images and explained how to install my work. I did not send a CD in this situation; adjust your packet to your target audience/jury. I thought printed images would grab their attention quicker than a CD or website address. My purpose was to demonstrate how sculpture would work within the parameters of the Theater lobby. I received a phone call 2 days later and had my choice of dates for the exhibition.

So, how did I go from this exhibit to receiving a phone call from a museum? Find out in Promoting your Art - Part 2... Writing a Press Release!

Happy Marketing!

Meagan. Chaney Gumpert
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