Well, for years (I mean YEARS, guys – like fourteen of them) my clients have been asking me to help them hang photos on their walls, and I’ve never had the energy to jump into the world of wall consulting, and truth be told, the last step in all wall consulting jobs — the hanging part — kept stumping me. If I was going to go into my clients’ homes and make recommendations about what to hang where… I really felt strongly that I needed to also offer that final piece of the puzzle: I needed to be able to offer hanging services. And see, I make holes in my own walls when I do this myself. Exhibit A, from my personal Instagram feed from Sept 20, 2013 – see? I kid you not. Hanging is not my forte.
So when I connected with Tom Fiske last fall, owner of TBF Design in Milton, and he agreed to be my hanging partner? And see, hanging IS his forte. And well, the rest is history.
Oh, what’s that you say? You like history? Oh, OK, sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a… no, wait, that’s not it. Not going to sing you the Gilligan’s theme song. How about you get comfortable and I’ll tell you all about it.
Last summer and fall, as I dipped my toe into the world of wall consulting, I had some wonderfully patient clients come along for the ride with me. First I worked with the M family in Newton. At first I didn’t think I wanted to sell frames, so I thought I’d charge by the hour and go into clients’ homes and help them lay out the frames I’d source and recommend that they buy off the internet.
So first I came in and took photos of their stairway and a few other spaces. And then I went back to my desk and laid out some options for them online. But the bummer was that this process took a long time. Time at my desk laying out options, time for the M family to get together and look at the layouts I proposed and email me back to say what they liked and didn’t like. Time for me to adjust, make more suggestions… we’re talking months. But it worked out, eventually we made some choices, they ordered some prints and some frames and off they went.
But now I knew I wanted to be more involved. This was FUN, thinking about years and years of my clients’ photos coming to life in spaces in their homes. I knew I needed to get going.
So I started researching. And researching. And digging. And doo-da-doooooo (that’s like a bugle noise – like a little trumpet noise in your head — k?) I started finding frames I liked!
Frames that WORKED and looked fantastic with my photos in them.
Frames that I felt good about offering to you guys!
So thusly (that’s completely not a word, but I really like it here and I’m going to leave it) the Frames by BBP Collection was born. Ta DA!
I’m offering 3 frames:
And they’re not insanely expensive! They’re gorgeous, and each of the frames come with an archival, matted, mounted print in it as part of the price. My framed print price chart (showing print and canvas prices as well, for comparison) is here.
Aaaaaand then I thought… what does a Frame Collection need to go with it? Of course I knew I’d offer one-off framed prints as one of the things I’d sell on my website, but I also knew I’d need to start thinking about selling groups of frames.
Then came… collections!
So, I’ve developed five collections – they’re groupings of frames that look fantastic when hung together in these arrangements and that you can buy if you’re ready to go for it. The pricing for my collections (and all my frames) includes the archival matted, mounted prints. Of course we can always customize, but here’s a look at the collections:
And then… I emailed/texted/Facebooked a few clients. I whispered. “So, if I were to offer wall consulting? Would you ever want me to come talk with you about hanging photos your walls?” And people started saying yes!
So in the past two weeks I’ve had FIVE meetings with clients to talk about their walls and what to hang where. I don’t charge for these meetings, but I only offer them January-June. I bring ALL the photos I’ve ever taken of your family with me on my laptop, I bring my layout software, sample frames… and it is super duper extremely fun.
Let me walk you through it.
So for example, I met last Tuesday (just 9 days ago!) with one fantastic mama from the D family and I took a photo of her playroom wall. She had this nice big blank playroom wall.
She had an idea of what she wanted to do with the wall, but we looked at lots of options on my laptop together.
Eventually this layout was the winner:
Then she chose a frame from the Frames by BBP Collection. She could have done canvases, or even metal prints (yesterday’s meeting resulted in five 20×30” metal prints that are going in the B family’s kitchen/living/dining room space – EEEEK that is exciting and I can’t WAIT to order those)… but mama D chose the gorgeous Pratt frame in Barn Grey – one of my absolute favorites. She’s doing these six photos as 20×24” frames with 16×20″ matted, mounted archival prints.
And then came the fun part – we got to go back through all nine of the photoshoots she’s done since 2011 when she was pregnant with her first babe and look at EVERY SINGLE PICTURE to think about what to put in these frames in the playroom.
We decided to go black and white for all six photos, and we went with three photos of all three kids from different photoshoots through the years, and one headshot of each of her three kids alone from her most recent shoot. (Well, I kind of gave it away above, actually – those are the photos she chose in that final layout I showed you above.)
Isn’t this going to look amazing?
So she placed her order with me and I ordered the prints and the frames right away (this was only nine days ago, remember!) and today was my day to frame everything. I had such fun.
And tomorrow I drive them over to Tom’s frame shop, and on Monday he brings them to her house in Weston and hangs them. I can’t wait wait WAIT for pictures of the final product. I’ll update this post when they send them to me!
So anybody else want a wall consulting meeting?
Monday, February 6th, 4:30pm update
I just heard from Tom and the wonderful mama from this family almost within moments of each other, and LOOK! They both sent me photos of the six 20x24s hung on the wall.
I like this shot because it’s from nice and far away and you can see how great the photos look in the room and get a sense of how big they are on the wall. Looks pretty close to the way they looked when I laid them out using the wall layout software, eh? Just didn’t get the glass reflections in there, otherwise, yowsa, it’s accurate!
What a wonderful afternoon I got to have yesterday! There was giving, there was helping, there were volunteering children… there were smiles and there was so much joy. In past years I’ve loved donating my time on international Help-Portrait Day (more info is here), but I couldn’t find a local event in Boston, so when this opportunity presented itself, I was thrilled to be able to donate my time for such an extraordinary event.
I spent the afternoon as one of the volunteer photographers at the Cradles to Crayons 2016 Un-Gala, where over 400 people came, volunteered their time, and made a difference. (And I think the number might have been as much as twice that, since there was a whole 2nd shift of people who came in the morning!)
I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves. My job was to shadow the incredible founder of Cradles to Crayons, Lynn Margherio, and I was honored to spend the day watching her do her thing with her fantastic assistant Patrick by her side.
I have almost 100 photos from the day, though! If anyone would like to look through them or download them, you’re more than welcome to do so — you can find them on my client galleries page.
Thanks for letting me be part of an incredible day. What a great event!
I love hanging my photos in Boston area pediatricians’ offices. You guys can be my eyes out there – when you go see your pediatrician, peek in the Newborn Waiting Room. Do they have great artwork in there? Do they want me to put together a proposal to improve their newborn waiting room walls? Dudes, that’s what I DO! Find me a pediatrician who wants a new wall display, I’ll give you a free photoshoot. Win, win.
Last winter I began a project to hang artwork on the walls of the Newborn Waiting Room area at Hyde Park Pediatrics, and after many months of planning, photo selection, printing and hanging, the display looks fantastic.
If you’re a patient over there, peek your head into the newborn waiting room and check out all those cute Boston Baby Photos faces!
Here’s the left side of the wall:
And here’s the right side (although the center color photo isn’t mine):
Edit: Here are some straight-on shots, in case you have a hard time seeing the adorableness…
I need to interrupt this regularly scheduled photography blog for a personal note.
So the real truth is I’ve been challenged by trying not to look at my phone while I’m in the car for years. I’ve taken pledges, I’ve downloaded apps to try to force me to not use my phone… and honestly, nothing has worked. The pull of the chance to just get one or two things accomplished at stoplights would win every time.
But then my incredibly disciplined husband (he’s always been better about this than I’ve been) texted me a link to this video a couple of weeks ago. His message said, “I wish everyone who drives would watch this video.”
So I watched it. It’s long, over 3 minutes. But it got me thinking. I would love it if you would take 3 minutes to watch it. Just trust me, it’s not gross or anything, it’ll just make you think.
So I said to him, YES. This video sings my song. The guy in the video parks his car before he calls his wife back. He doesn’t text in the car when the kids are there. But the buzzing draws his eye.
I knew I needed help with the technical side of my problem. The stupid buzzing. I didn’t want my phone to buzz at me in the car, but my big technical problem is that I use my phone as a GPS. I mount it on my dashboard for a huge percentage of the time that I’m in the car – so I see the buzzing. I have a really hard time not looking at it. (The app I downloaded couldn’t lock out iMessages, so it really ended up not being that helpful.)
But guys, I finally figured it out. I have a plan now, and I feel really good about it.
So now, when I’m starting the car, no matter whether I have kids in the car or not, I go through these steps to set my iPhone to “Do Not Disturb”. This means texts don’t get through, no matter what! Hallelujah! And the best part? I can still use my GPS to get to my photoshoots. Phewf.
And the second part of my new plan is the part I’m liking the best. See, my older daughter is 10, about to be 11. My little one is 7. They see what I do. I am constantly driving them places, and driving their friends around, too. I know in the blink of an eye they’ll be taking the car and I honestly don’t trust that the technology is going to fix the problem of texting and driving before they and their friends get behind the wheel. I know the behavior needs to be modeled now so it’s ingrained.
So now I first set the phone to “Do Not Disturb” (so my Apple Watch won’t buzz on my wrist) but then I hand it back to the kids and I ask them to drop it behind them into the wayback of the car. They pass it from one to the other, and each time we talk about how distracting the phone is. How we don’t need to be distracted. How “annoying” the phone is in the car. How hard it is for me to have it near me up in the front seat of the car. And we talk this way in front of friends when I’m driving carpool. We make fun of mama and how this is the only way she can avoid distraction.
Please please please let this mean that in five short years when I have sixteen year old driver in my house that she will NEVER ever consider having a phone anywhere near the front seat of the car. And “Do Not Disturb” will be her norm every time she turns the keys in the ignition.
I recently had the opportunity to bring a video crew along with me to a photoshoot – what fun! They made a really fun 90 second video for me. What do you think?
(Hint: If you want it to look really crisp and sharp, you can start playing the video, and then click on the little gear thing that takes you to “Settings” in the bottom right corner of the video. Choose 1080p to make the slideshow play in high-definition.)
OK, I know this is my work blog, and I use it to show you adorable babies and their chubby wrist rolls and holiday card recommendations and announce minishoots (yes, that’s a link for you enterprising types who are ready to think about my April Public Garden minis – I just announced the date this morning and haven’t sent the email out yet…) But normally this blog is all biz, all the time…
But I just need to take a break from all that work stuff (it is a snow day, after all) and tell you what we did this year to our living room. Because I’m bursting about it. It’s so super duper insanely fabulous now that I just want to shout it from the rooftops and tell anyone and everyone they must MUST hire Meghann Van Dorn to help them with their interior design.
I love beautiful spaces, I really do. I see my clients’ gorgeous homes all the time and I salivate, loving all the beautiful design choices they make. And when we did our kitchen renovation a couple of years ago, the incredible Dennis and Matthew DeMello of D. J. DeMello Custom Building and Woodworking did incredible work and I somehow managed to get through that process only asking Meghann for help a handful of times with some critical decisions along the way (quartz surface for the counters, TYVM). Somehow hard surfaces and kitchen/bathroom design decisions felt manageable. But once we decided our living room needed help last year, I felt completely overwhelmed. For some reason matching fabrics and thinking about upholstery and curtains made my palms sweat. I just didn’t feel like I could trust myself with it.
See, we live in Milton, in a cozy little house on an incredible street, but it’s tiny. We’re only four people, though, and though my smaller people get bigger every day, we really don’t need any more house than we have. We know we’re not moving because we love our street and our neighbors so much, but we are always looking for ways to make our small house even more right for us.
For me, I needed to bring more light into the living room. We had these IKEA shelving units along one wall that were super dark:
And we needed good seating options for the living room space, so we crowded it a bit with a loveseat that totally didn’t fit and a long rectangular coffee table that I thought fit the space because we loved to play mexican train on it… (even though it made for a good game surface, that didn’t mean it fit the space). The couch was also dark purple from Jordan’s (to hide the inevitable small child mess) and I was reluctant to upgrade it even though Meghann told me it would change everything. Again with the failed before photos, but this should give you a sense of what it looked like:
Basically it was crowded and had big comfortable pieces of furniture in it that worked for our lives but didn’t look great.
So when we were able to go ahead with the built-ins Dennis and Matt had proposed (insanely talented amazing contractors/builders, amazing workmanship all around), we also got in touch with Meghann and said – OK, let’s do this thing. Let’s take this space seriously.
She started by coming in and taking measurements. We knew we had to keep the piano where it is, and we knew where our built-ins/TV would be, but the rest of the space was up for grabs. We knew we needed the seating to double as a conversation area but also function as TV watching spots.
So she came back to us with a layout – which was amazing because I’d never thought of a circle coffee table in the space, and the idea of adding another chair blew me away. If they were swivels, we realized, they could work in either direction – pointed at the coffee table and couch to talk, or swiveling to watch TV. Brilliant!
Where Meghann excels is this next stage of things. I’ll admit I guffawed at the idea of buying all this new furniture – it seemed crazy, especially after I put some numbers in an excel spreadsheet and thought about what the entire room’s redo would mean. But Meghann took this project on and became what I felt like was my personal Craigslist savant. She convinced me we didn’t need to buy everything new. We just needed to be patient. She was sending me links at all times of the day and night. “How about these light fixtures?” “OK, hop in your car RIGHT NOW and go get this coffee table for $40, it is perfect!” (note: I do love it – it’s great. Might someday upgrade it but for now it’s fabulous.) “If you recover this chair it will be amazing. Look at the lines!” (note: it is, and after her incredible upholsterer guy recovered it with fabric Meghann helped me choose at an insanely cool fabric store, it is one of my favorite pieces of furniture ever) And I’d get texts with photos from her as she wandered TJ Maxx – “Jess, this rug is $100, and it’s soft and thick like you said you wanted. I think you should get over here and feel it in person. I think it might be perfect.” (note: it was) “What about this side table?” (nope) “This one?” (nope) “OK, how about these four I found online?” (YES!!!)
She just took on the project with such zeal – and it was such fun to work with her. I loved that she had strong opinions for me and told me why – I’m easy to convince if someone has good reasons. (For example, we knew we needed more light, and the Grey Owl paint Meghann had recommended for the rest of the space downstairs seemed like a good starting point for brightening things up in there. It’s so much brighter now.)
So I guess I’ll end this and feed my kids some lunch – it’s time for the big reveal. First, I’ll start with Dennis & Matt’s gorgeous perfect built-ins:
Don’t you just die? So in love with them.
And then here’s the full picture of the whole room. Thank you thank you thank you, Meghann.
It’s perfect, it’s finished, and I couldn’t have done it with you guys. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Well, here it is September… we blinked and the summer flew by, and now that kids are back to school we can start thinking about the fall. And why not spend a little time thinking about one of my favorite parts of the fall… holiday cards! I know, I know, too early! But I’ve had this post on my mind for a while, so I wanted to get it up on the blog.
I should start by saying I love that you’re thinking about doing holiday cards this year. Some people say it’s a dying art – that Facebook and social media in general have rendered the holiday card superfluous. Well, I disagree. I adore each and every card when it arrives in my mailbox – I love the joy they spread, the feel of the paper in your hands, the fact that after the season is over you can punch holes in them and stick a binder clip through the holes and voila, you have a coffee table book you and your family will love browsing every holiday season.
I’m not kidding, your kids really will sit around and look through the books…
This is a completely unposed shot I snagged with my phone last December of my 9 year old and a handful of neighbors hanging out one afternoon in my living room. You can tell it’s unposed because there’s a sock on the coffee table. And one neighbor is looking through US Weekly instead of the holiday card books. Because dudes, this really happened. I really came upon them exactly like this. And I believe in keeping it real, people. Coffee table socks and all.
But I digress. I started this blog post because I have no skin in the game – I completely honestly and truly don’t care who prints your cards for you (I just want you to do a card because I adore them). I always recommend working with any of my card partners (because, let’s be real here, they’re the companies who’ll put my website on the back of the card AND send me a little check after you place your order to thank me for referring you) but it really doesn’t matter to me who you choose because I love all of them. And most of all I just love cards. ANY card you make is a wonderfully perfect card, really and truly.
And because I’m a little obsessive, I’m going to take some time and write up some research for you. Do with it what you will. I’m going to do it for my three partners, Tiny Prints, Minted and Mango Ink, and I’m going to divide my research into Philosophy & Design Process, Papers and Pricing. And away we go!
PHILOSOPHY & DESIGN PROCESS
Tiny Prints: With thousands of customizable card designs on their website, it can be a quick and easy to drill down and find exactly what you’re looking for at Tiny Prints. I’ve found that they offer the most variety when it comes to layout options if you prefer to design the card yourself online. They explain that they “curate our collection from designs created exclusively for us by the industry’s top artists. You get the most trend-forward cards… We’ll worry over every dotted “i” and every crossed “t” and won’t stop until your order is flawless.”
Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to dig through everything they offer, and some of my clients have told me that they freeze up a bit when they’re confronted with so many options, but most of my clients who’ve worked with Tiny Prints in the past tell me: “they’re easy-to-use”, “fast to get the task done”, and they have “a great selection”.
Minted: Minted also has thousands of card designs on their website, and while it seems to me that they have fewer layout options than Tiny Prints, they call themselves a “haven for paper connoisseurs”. They also describe themselves as “a marketplace of independent artists”, explaining that they “source creative content from a global community of independent artists, then sell the best… directly to consumers. An early pioneer of crowdsourcing, Minted has held art and design challenges monthly since April 2008. Challenges are open for both submission and voting, the ‘crowd’ curates Minted’s product selection by rating products, and Minted utilizes analytics to evaluate votes… Minted produces and sells winning designs, paying the designer a commission on every sale.”
My clients who’ve worked with Minted in the past tell me some of the same things about all the options and their analysis paralysis I mentioned in the Tiny Prints paragraph, but in general, my clients tell me: “they have a great selection”, “I love their other products”, “I love their designs”, and “they’re easy-to-use”.
Mango Ink: Mango Ink is a boutique-style card company with a clean and simple style. They’re located on the west coast, and are owned by husband and wife Heidi and Ryan Miller. They’ve been in business 10 years, and their philosophy is completely different than the big box companies like Tiny Prints and Minted, in that they’re essentially your personal card designer. You start by finding a card you like on their website and placing an order, and they’ll change it to fit your personality. They think of the designs on their site as “ideas”, and they want you to find some element or elements you love and then have them to make it just right for you. They’ll “work with you ’til it works” and they tell me “nobody’s stuck, ever.” Their turnaround time is also extraordinarily quick in the busy holiday season.
My clients who’ve worked with Mango Ink in past years tell me: “they’re helpful”, “responsive”, “super easy”, “better quality”, “different”, “committed to making the card perfect for me, no matter how many tries it took”, “the paper quality was amazing”, “nice and patient”, “their website is a lot less overwhelming”, “terrific”, “creative in their suggestions”, “responsive to requests at the height of the busy season”, and they make “great quality cards”.
I’ve learned a lot about card papers doing this research – very interesting. I’m going to try to simplify for you. So to start, you know when you get the cards in the mail there are the thin ones, the ones that feel like they’re printed on photo paper (and on the back they look like a photo with the printer’s name stamped diagonally across it? They kind of curl up when you put them on the mantle?) Those aren’t the ones we’re talking about here. Those ones are less expensive than the ones I’m reviewing here, and are available to order on photo websites like Shutterfly and Snapfish or from stores like CVS and Walgreens.
So the papers I’m comparing about are the ones that are thicker – the primary “signature” paper offered by my three card partners. There’s also Double Thick, which is fun and really substantial. Minted even offers a TripleThick option, which is completely unbendable.
I’ll cut to the chase here – there’s one that’ll blow you away. It’s smooth and the photos look insanely crisp, bright and beautiful on it. You kind of want to caress this paper, trust me. It’s the 130 lb Smooth paper offered by Mango Ink. I highlighted the price for it in blue in the pricing table below. (For me, the one discount paper listed below (the Tiny Prints 100 lb Studiobasics paper) isn’t quite thick enough – it feels a little flimsy. It isn’t as flimsy as the photo paper I described above, but it isn’t that thick card stock I’m looking for.) The 110 lb – 130 lb papers offered by Tiny Prints and Minted are matte, and although they’re nice and thick to the touch, I just adore the way the photos look on the 130 lb smooth from Mango Ink.
For the pricing section, I’m going to attempt compare apples to apples, so I’m going to price 100 of their full priced cards*. (That being said, Tiny Prints has, in past years, offered my clients as much as a 40% off coupon. In 2014 Minted offered my clients a 30% off coupon – in 2015 so far they’ve offered my clients only a 20% off coupon, but they say that they “have a very special offer coming soon” – so I imagine they might increase that discount as the season goes on? Not sure. Mango Ink has an ongoing, always-valid offer of 35% off for my clients. More info about coupon codes for all of these offers is up on the holiday cards page of my website. If there isn’t a current coupon listed, email me and I’ll see if I can get a coupon for you from my contacts at these companies. There are always sales running, but suffice it to say we can usually get you substantial discounts off these prices during the holiday season.
*pricing data collected September 2015
Discount Card Paper (4″x9″ flat card)
Unit price when you buy 100
Standard Card Paper (5×7 flat card)
Unit price when you buy 100
Thicker paper (5×7 flat card)
Unit price when you buy 100
100 lb Studiobasics semi-glossy paper
110 lb, 16 point Signature Matte or 120 lb, 11 point Signature Semi-Glossy paper (they don’t have any 100% recycled paper available)
$1.69-$1.89 depending on quantity of photos and design chosen
220 lb Premium Double Thick Matte
$2.78-$2.88 depending on quantity of photos and design chosen
No discount papers available
120 lb Signature paper or 130 lb 100% recycled Premium Paper
$1.63 for Signature or $1.80 for 100% recycled Premium
240 lb, 35 point, DoubleThick
No discount papers available
110 lb Matte (100% recycled) or 130 lb Smooth paper
Double thick 38 point savoy cotton
So there you go. My takeaway from this pricing research is that after you apply the various discounts, these three vendors are priced nearly exactly the same. The one priced the highest (Tiny Prints) offers the 40% off discount, the mid-priced one (Mango Ink) offers the 35% off discount, and the lowest (Minted) offers the (currently 20%, but perhaps as much as) 30% off discount. So at the end of the day you should choose the one you like the best, and not choose based on price, in my humble opinion, since they’re so similar.
So there’s my research, do with it what you will. I hope it’s helpful!
And don’t forget to send me a copy of your card :)
Weather’s warming up, kiddos are finishing school – methinks it’s time to do my summer thang – delete Facebook and email from my phone until Labor Day. Anybody else up for it? I know it’s not for everyone, but if you can do something like it, I highly recommend it. Even for a week when you’re on vacation or something. I swear it is the most refreshing thing in the world. Eventually my phone doesn’t even interest me anymore. (Then September 1st rolls around and the old habits come rushing back, of course.)
(This is that thing that’s gotten me some press over the years… The New York Times‘ Motherlode blog two summers ago and then that interview with WCVB Channel 5 last summer…)
I’ll be checking email pretty much every other day, but if you need more more quickly, don’t hesitate to call or text me on my cellphone: 617-501-6078.
Do you believe it? I was wondering if we could hit $5,000 and you guys just kept sending checks! We raised $6,106 for The Jimmy Fund, and I’m just a puddle. I am overwhelmed with gratitude… love… I’m just bowled over by your generosity. Thank you.
I made a trifold brochure that outlines all the pieces of the 10 Years of BBP fundraiser and gallery show, and you can either ask me for one when you see me or you can download the PDF here. There’s also an outline of everything we did this year on this page of the blog.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me – it was quite a ride. And I really, honestly couldn’t have done it without Evan, Meghan and Maggie. You guys made it all happen.
And Annie, thanks for your help today. You and your sister make me proud every day.
Tonight I joined four wonderful artists in a round table discussion at the Main Brookline Library (where the BBP show is hung through June 1st) and my head is still spinning thinking of the fantastic conversation. The topics we discussed included managing a career as an artist; social media, technology and art: a changing landscape; and art for sale vs. art for art.
The questions from the audience were great as well – I’m so energized! I’m googling like crazy looking at all the websites of these artists – I loved what they had to say, which makes me already a fan of their respective works.
You’ll find links to their websites below.
From left to right on the panel we had:
Jon Amburg – is a Boston-based photographer and painter who works in a studio at the Boston Center for the Arts. “I believe that art is a vessel to our spirituality; a transport, something that flows through us, and also something that contains us. My paintings, photographs, and mixed media projects derive from many sources including memory and meditation. The process is a journey inward. I am interested in spatial relationships, and also in the intimate (and innate) relationship that we have with colors and forms that arouse us emotionally. My art is about re-visions and layers and absences.”
Then that’s me in the reeeeeally bright blue shirt.
Then the next seat was Robert Baart – he is currently exhibiting his collection of 19th & early 20th century artist materials at the Main Library. Robert is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He recently retired after teaching at the Museum School for thirty-five years. He is an observer of nature and the landscape. His paintings hover between realism and abstraction and embody a language of color, texture, light, and atmosphere. His work is in numerous private and corporate collections both in the US and abroad.
And then next we had our wonderful moderator, Gillian Jackson, who’s the administrator for the Brookline Commission for the Arts. Then next we had Nancy Marks, who is a Boston-based artist who has been making art for over 20 years: first through paper-making and then as a printmaker and a painter. Her current mixed media exhibit “The Intimacy of Memory” is on view at the Beverly J. Tassinari Gallery at Newbury College in Brookline through May 15. Nancy is founder of Swing Dog Arts, an expressive arts and healing practice.
And last but not least, on the far right of the stage, we had Ruth Ginsberg-Place, a Boston-based photographer, printmaker and book artist, who produces color photographs, woodcuts and monotypes. Her subjects are water reflections, shadows, arboretums and plants, and she works in a studio at the Boston Center for the Arts. After receiving her MFA from Syracuse University she held a tenured teaching position in the Art Department of Southern Illinois University. More recently she has taught at Wheelock College and Wentworth Institute. She is a member of EES Arts, a cooperative printmaking studio, The Monotype Guild of New England, Boston Book Arts and Zea Mays Printmaking Studio.
I was so honored to have been included, thank you to Julie Falsioni at the Brookline Library for the idea and all the legwork and then also to Gillian Jackson for making it happen.
What a year! If you’re visiting this page to learn about the 10 Years of Boston Baby Photos anniversary show, there’s an overview posted here.
Today we hung the show in its final library: The Brookline Public Library (in the Main Branch at 361 Washington Street). It’ll be there all month. A great time to see it would be at the Artists’ Round Table this coming Monday, May 5th from 6:30-8:15pm (more info is at this link).
And then you’re also all invited to the closing reception at the Library on Sunday, June 1st from 1-3pm. That afternoon we’ll be joined by a representative from The Jimmy Fund, and we’ll be presenting them with a “big check” from all of us. I really hope you can be there.
In case you aren’t able to stop by, I thought I’d share a few photos from today.
The library itself is gorgeous:
The exhibit is on display upstairs in Hunneman Hall, which is a beautiful, enormous room used by the library for gatherings and events:
Upon entering the hall, you see six of the ten categories straight ahead:
And then if you turn around, the other four categories are hung on the facing wall.
It was such a pleasure to hang the show using pins instead of on those tall white boards we’ve been using all year – it looks so clean and crisp to me! Here’s a closeup of the pins:
The hall itself is just such a pretty spot – I love the floor, and I’m a sucker for the high ceiling and beautiful light. Can’t wait to celebrate the end of this incredible year on June 1st at the closing reception.
And, as always, I’m still collecting donations for the Jimmy Fund on a table at the show. The families whose photos are in the show are sending donations now in trade for their mounted photos – I can’t wait to see how much more we raise!
We’re at $3,955 as of yesterday’s visit to the P.O. Box.
To have the checks counted in our “big check” we’re giving at the June 1st event, mail donation checks made out to “The Jimmy Fund” before May 15th to:
Boston Baby Photos
P.O. Box 870144
Milton Village, MA 02187
And if you’re sending the donation as a trade for your family’s photo in the show, and can’t come on June 1st to pick up your photo, it’d be great if you could include a $10 check made out to Boston Baby Photos to cover the cost of shipping.
In addition to the 10 Years of BBP show, painter extraordinaire Jennifer Marbury (formerly of Milton/Dorchester, and now living (I am so jealous) in the Bahamas) has shipped some incredible prints that are available for purchase. They’re of gorgeous scenes like this – exactly what we need on these cold New England days.
I hope you’ll hold Sunday, March 23rd from 3-5pm for the wine and cheese reception. The show is in their offices at the Carruth Building, at 1908 Dorchester Ave (you can see Flat Black and the Ashmont MBTA station in the background of the first photo below), and the show will be hanging there until the end of April. Meetcha there!
In case this is the first you’re hearing about the 10 Years of BBP show, you can get more information about it and a catalog of all 100 photos on the blog. We’ve raised $3,610 for The Jimmy Fund so far. On May 1st we’ll hang the show for the last time at the Brookline Library for the month of May. This will close out a year of travels for the show, and on Sunday, June 1st I’ll be hosting a closing reception from 1-3pm in Hunneman Hall upstairs in the Brookline Library (at 361 Washington Street). Families whose photographs are in the show are invited to come to that reception and trade a donation to the Jimmy Fund for their mounted photo from the show. If you’re interested to read all about the show’s travels to various branches of the Boston Public Library this year, you can read everything tagged 10yrs on the blog by clicking here and scrolling down, down, down.
But for now, here’s where the show is happily hanging until the end of April:
Here’s a sneak peek at the way we hung it in their space:
Big thanks to the team at The Real Estate Group – they’ve been so welcoming and helpful.
This Saturday, at 6pm at the Carpenter’s Center, our beloved Ashmont Nursery School (the cooperative parent-run nursery school both my girls have adored for the past six years) will hold its annual benefit auction.
If you come, you can bid on my 11am minishoot on April 12th in the Public Garden, plus all the digital files, in addition to loads of other amazing items.
This is my last year as an ANS parent, so as a thank you to the school for all these wonderful years, I’m donating hundreds of marketing photographs I’ve taken at the school in the last few months, and we’ll be running a slideshow of all of them at the auction on Saturday. It’s chock-full of photos like these:
I had a great morning hanging the traveling 10 Years of Boston Baby Photos Gallery Show at the Jamaica Plain Library – it’ll be there through Thanksgiving weekend. FYI – this is the last library show on the books until it heads to the Brookline Public Library for the month of May 2014. There are some other library and location possibilities for the show for January through April 2014, but if anyone knows of a local space that might be interested in hosting the show, please let me know. The show will end its one year tour after the May show in Brookline, and I’ll be dismantling and selling the photos to benefit the Jimmy Fund.
(More information about the show and a catalog of all 100 photos in the show is available by clicking on this tag and scrolling down, down, down the page.)
As you can tell, I’m not using the white hanging bars here – they have a gorgeous mantle that encircles the entire library, so we got to just lean most of the categories of photos along that high mantle, above the shelves of books.
We even got to lean some up against the windows, since it’s November and they won’t be opening the windows this month…
(And yes, in this next picture – that is Uranus, from the Museum of Science’s cool exhibit installed around Boston showing the scale model of the solar system – more info about that exhibit is here. But I digress…)
And then we were able to hang two categories in the lobby of the library from the balcony level – it’s a little hard to see in this picture, but that’s “gotcha” and “classics” along the top balcony here:
You can see it better in this one – both “gotcha” and “classics” are hung like this:
And last but not least, one in the display case in the lobby:
I hope you can swing by to see the show this month! The library hours are posted here.