I can’t think of too many things that are more compatible than sipping a coffee and reading the latest online comics. So what could be more natural than to have a coffeehouse comic art exhibit? By definition a coffeehouse is a place where coffee is served and people gather for conversation, music, and other informal entertainment. Coffeehouses, as businesses, want and need events and attractions to add to their social draw for patrons. Comic artists always need more audience exposure for their work. A coffeehouse comic exhibit merges two mutually beneficial needs.
Obviously the first step for the comic artist is to locate one or more local coffeehouses which are looking for future exhibits. It’s as simple as making a few personal visits and making the appropriate inquiries. You may get turned down occasionally, but more likely it is just a matter of coordinating a time in their in-house gallery schedule. This article chronicles just such a showing that my daughter, Rachel, ( @lastres0rt ) recently put together to promote her art and online comic Last Res0rt.
Rachel is currently a grad student at the Georgia Institute of Technology and not far from campus, there is a classic example of a coffeehouse appropriately named Urban Grind. “Urban Grind was created with the the true coffeehouse culture in mind.” It’s got an eclectic comfortable atmosphere, regularly scheduled music events as well as open mic poetry readings and free WIFI. How can you go wrong with that? Most importantly the owner likes to keep the look of the Urban Grind fresh by having frequently changing art exhibits by local artists displayed on the walls. For Rachel it was just a matter of presenting herself and asking for the opportunity. The owner’s response was positive and a tentative date was established.
With a showing date established, the artist now has to determine their personal goal for their exhibit along with an overall theme. In Rachel’s case she wanted to promote both her comic and her graphic design skills. She chose to present a mix of poster designs and re-prints of actual comic pages. Based on the space available she determined that she would have 16 pieces in the show, 4 posters and 14 pages, a book promo cover and an “about the artist” information poster. She also planned to provide 4×6 printed post cards as a convenient take home item for customers.
Wanting to keep the cost down and focusing on the artwork itself, Rachel decided to mount each piece on simple black foam core boards. The Urban Grind has a utility railing that runs along the top of its walls and their typical method for hanging art is by using clear fishing line suspended from hooks connected to the railing. To simplify the process, binder clips made for an inexpensive but effect way to connect the suspended nylon lines to the art.
The arrangement of pieces was determined by the physical layout of the displayable space available attempting to provide a visual continuity that transports the viewer’s eye, building their level of interest as they navigate the walls.
Visually moving around the room.
Until the eye finds the main gallery wall.
A blend of Coffee and Comics to delight the senses.
An opportunity to reach a new audience.