Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

How to get publicity as an artist

2010 . 06 . 02 - Comments / Commentaires (9)

In the summer of 2005, the Oregonian’s art critic David Row wrote an article about the art dealer Tracy Savage. The piece described how Savage was moving her art space over to the east side of Portland even though she had been quoted as calling that half of the city the “twilight zone” just a few years before in another article by the same critic. When I read the 2005 article, I was annoyed. I distinctly remembered that Savage had called the east side the “bogey land” in the 2003 piece because it amused me to use Savage’s insult to refer to that half of the city (I moved there in 2004). I wasn’t about to let this misquote of a quote go unremarked. I emailed Row immediately.

In the end, it turned out that I was wrong: Savage had in fact referred to the east side of the river as the “twilight zone”—I confirmed this by checking on microfiche at the library. But I was okay with being wrong. By putting my foot in my mouth, I had introduced myself to Portland’s primary art critic, and he had asked to visit my studio.

Before writing to Row to correct him, I had never met him, and every press release I had sent him had been ignored. Soon after dropping by my studio, Row mentioned my paintings in an article about another artist’s work, and I’m certain he played a part in having another article written about my own work in the Oregonian even if it wasn’t by him.

Getting publicity as an artist is like everything else in an artist’s career or in any kind of career: it’s about relationships. And, while I wouldn’t recommend picking a fight with a critic in order to get her-him to look at your work, I do think that there’s something to be said for trying to engage with critics about the work that they do instead of the work that you want them to be writing about. However you choose to do it, making yourself seem more like a person and less like an anonymous press release is a very good idea.

the Oregonian

photos by Stephanie Yao with the Oregonian for a 2007 article

a subject with her portrait by Gwenn Seemel, photo by Stephanie Yao

photo by Stephanie Yao with the Oregonian

- How to make a living as an artist
- Making a living is like making a painting
- Branding yourself as an artist

CATEGORIES: - English - Business of art - Featuring artists -

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(9) Comments / Commentaires: How to get publicity as an artist

-- joshua emrich -- 2010 . 06 . 06 --

Interesting. Thanks.
I tend to dislike certain critics and I don’t want to get over it(PORT writers) maybe it’s best to just ignore them and focus on those I like(Speer, D.K.Row etc.) Not every relationship is good and trying to get along can lead to lying and kissing up. But there’s plenty of great art people out there.

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-- joshua emrich -- 2012 . 06 . 06 --

Fuck this chick. I’m embarrassed to have posted on her site. The chick is a joke. A liberal self righteous cunt. Just try disagreeing with her.

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-- joshua emrich -- 2012 . 06 . 06 --

my point is, mrs. seemel, take me off your moronic site…all my comments

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-- Gwenn -- 2012 . 06 . 06 --

I have asked you twice now to refrain from commenting on my blog, once in September 2010 when you made a personal attack on another commenter on this post and a second time a few years later.

In between these two incidents, you requested me as a friend on Facebook and then immediately made a rude and hurtful comment on my wall.  I blocked you on Facebook.

Leave me alone.

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-- joshua emrich -- 2012 . 06 . 09 --

I am sooo sorry Gwenn, you are such a wonderful artist and human being,  I admire you so much and so I will respectfully (yet a bit sadly) leave you alone.
Please accept my apology.

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-- Joshua emrich -- 2013 . 03 . 08 --

Irony. I’m sorry for nothing regarding you. Nothing.
You want nothing more than publicity (and to be a victim).
Now cry to your blog readers.

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-- Gwenn -- 2013 . 03 . 16 --

@Joshua Emrich:  As I write this, it’s 16 March 2013, and I’m responding to your last comment which was written in the last week or so. 

That it’s March 2013 is important.  It means that for several years now you have been saying rude and hurtful things to me on my site even after I have asked you to refrain from commenting repeatedly.

I blocked you from commenting on my blog once when you were rude to another commenter in September 2010, but for the most part I have left it up to you to control yourself and avoid commenting.  That is over.  I have blocked you again, and, if you find a new way to comment in the future, I will block you again.  Please understand: your voice is unwanted in this forum.

In June 2012, in the comment thread above, you ordered me to remove all of your comments from my site.  Instead, I removed your last name from all your comments except the ones on this blog post.  I did this for two reasons:

1) You used your real name to comment, and that indicates to me that you must be proud enough of what you say to stand by it.

2) I want others to be able to see who you are based on what you have said to me.  To be clear for anyone who might be interested, the Joshua Emrich commenting on this thread was a grade school art teacher in the Portland Oregon metropolitan area at some point and may still be one.

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-- Joshua DAVID emrich -- 2013 . 03 . 16 --

In response to the above:
Your facts are wrong. One example is right here in your last comment. I was never an art teacher in Portland OR.
But whatever fits your worldview is how you work.
You recently referred to answers to questions you asked real artists as “lame”.
Very typical selfrighteousness. Very convienient for your quest for being the one truly in the know.
PR means zip to me.
It means everything to you. So best stick to what you know: such as whether male monkeys have vaginas and if kangaroos are gay. At such things, you are awesome!

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-- Gwenn -- 2013 . 03 . 16 --

When you first contacted me back in 2009 to ask for my help with pricing and marketing your artwork, you told me you were an art teacher in the Reynolds School District, which is in the Portland metropolitan area.

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