Some Reflections

Posted by Gregory Johnson on

At this writing it is June 15th, 2023. I find myself reviewing the events that have occurred since launching "Gregory Alan Art, LLC". As I have many times, I also find myself trying to define what "success" means for the artist.

Well then, let's do a breakdown.

A few days ago I traveled to the Zanesville Museum of Art to deliver my drawing, "The Hair of Athena", pictured (a print of it is available here wink wink), which has been accepted for their 77th annual art show. It's a truly beautiful museum, and of course after dropping off my piece I decided to wander around. If you're ever in the Zanesville area, I highly suggest you drop in. It features everything from classic art to, well, the quirky, which all museums should. While wandering from room to room in kind of an "art daze", (I get that way with art, I just get lost in it), I happened upon a painting by Anthony Schepis. Anthony was one of my teachers at Cooper School of Art. A completely no nonsense disciplinarian, who refused to suffer fools. He was the one who reviewed my portfolio and accepted me into Cooper. I don't recall if he ever smiled. I was in his anatomy class, life drawing, and illustration classes. A truly legitimate artist and teacher. Being a goofy immature twenty year old, I both disliked him and deeply respected him. Thinking back, I probably learned more from him than any of the other teachers at Cooper combined, and that school had some good teachers. And here I was, in the same museum as Anthony, although his painting was part of their permanent collection, I still savored the moment. A year and a half after starting this new life, the feeling of synchronicity was profound.

I will be having a solo show at Heights Arts in Cleveland Heights this coming August entitled, "Inner Worlds", which will feature an Artist Talk as well as a night of ekphrastic poetry, (Poets write and read their poetry inspired by the art). I have this kind of almost overwhelming feeling of gratitude about this event.

I was invited for a solo show at the Ashtabula Arts Center this coming February, another beautiful and impressive venue. I'm kind of jumping out of my skin with anticipation. It will feature around 40 pieces, which in itself gives me pause. I've done that many and more in only a year and a half.

Two of my pieces were included in an Ekphrastic poetry reading at Pennington Arts in Columbus, and I have been accepted 7 months running at 83 Gallery monthly exhibitions, in which I have sold 4 pieces.

Not to mention my solo show at Stella's Art Gallery last February, which was a great success, not only that I sold 3 pieces, but that it was well attended, and led to the show in Ashtabula.

It all started with a drawing of mine being accepted at 934 Gallery in Columbus in 2019, before Gregory Alan Art even existed.

And of course, let's not forget this very website from which you are reading this blog, which was created by my son Aaron. As well as a healthy presence on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, also due to the efforts of Aaron and I. All this basically arose from nothing, except a burning desire to create art.

Does all this sound like bragging? If it does, please know that it is not so much bragging as it is a chronicle of wonder. My art has come a long way. Through constant working it has continuously evolved. And even though I have not achieved "fame", (whatever that means), I view these past and upcoming events as successes, which brings me back to trying to define exactly what that means.

Make no mistake, my aim is to achieve regional, statewide, national, and international notice. Did I say success? No. Did I say acclaim? No. The world is populated by millions of working artists, most of whom are jockeying for position. I'm not in it for those reasons. I deeply NEED to touch people with my work. My art is the one thing that defines my reason for existing. (When I say "my art", I really mean art that manifests through me). I don't charge an arm and a leg for my work, that just makes it harder for people to own it. That's also why I offer prints; also more affordable. No, my definition of success is every single time I can get my art in front of people and there's a communication at a deeper level. That's what all of the art world should have as an aim, not profiteering or fixing prices by dictating what is "good" art. That's just a racket.

There is one thing that I have learned not only over the years but especially the last year and a half: the importance of quality. I will try to define that in an upcoming blog.

Anthony already knows.


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