Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hope My Kids Don't Mind.....

Since I shared some new work last week that was "seasonal", I decided to continue the theme with the image that was on our Christmas card sixteen (I think) years ago.

If you have taken any of my workshops you may have already seen this. I like to show it as an example of a piece that was a fiber based darkroom print colored with Marshall's photo oils and colored pencils.

So with that, I am getting ready to spend the next few days with my family (both my kids will be home!) and wanted to wish everyone a joyful and peaceful holiday weekend. May it be filled with love, beauty, good food and laughter........

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Tool.........

©2010 Dianne Poinski

One of the reasons I have totally embraced digital photography is for the first time, it feels like it's going to be possible to actually create the images I have been seeing in my imagination. How I got from the original version of this poinsettia to the one you see above, is a perfect example.

For the last few months I have been playing around with texture layers in Photoshop and loving it! A couple of weeks ago I discovered Leslie Nicole and her Photo Artist Textures site. Not only does she offer some wonderful textures, but she also gives information on how to use them. Her own images are beautiful and I was very inspired by what I saw.

When I discovered that Leslie use to also hand-color her images, I was surprised at first, and then it made complete sense. In an email to me she compared using textures to hand-coloring - " Put color on, take it off in places, layer other colors..." I also feel that my choice of grainy film was an early attempt to add texture to my photographs.

While this image is not handcolored, I can see where this effect will be a natural fit with the handcoloring - just like grainy film was - and I can't wait to start experimenting.

This poinsettia is my nod to the "season" and I thought I would share the steps I took to create it.

Here is the original, "out of the camera" version:

After using a filter to soften the image a bit, I added one of the textures I purchased from Leslie - "Grenat", adjusted the opacity, did a little masking.....

I then added another layer - "Printemps" and made a few more adjustments to bring out some yellow.

The last texture layer I added was called "Vintage-Forest" (love that name).

I did a few more adjustments, cropped and added the edge treatment and had to step away from my computer. I could have played with this all night!

To some people this may seem like a lot of digital manipulation and there was a time when I would have agreed. What I feel now, is that I am using the tools that are available to me to enhance the mood, add the colors and create the images I have always longed to make. These will be both "hand"colored and digitally colored - it will depend on the image. As long as I get close to my original vision, I will be happy......

It's also time for me to stop defending myself and my decision to do more work in the computer. Maybe that's my New Year's resolution...............

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Inspired by a Magazine

I have always loved magazines. I read "Highlights" as a child and of course, "Teen" magazine and a few others I am embarrassed to admit to.

In 1987 a new magazine was introduced called "Victoria". As a new mother, I found escape and beauty in this magazine. My reality was diapers, doctor appointments, and laundry. As much as I loved being with my baby daughter, I looked forward to every issue of Victoria that landed in my mailbox.

It would be a few years before I would seriously picked up a camera, but already I could sense a stirring whenever I saw the beautiful images that graced the pages of that magazine. I didn't know it yet, but my floral photography would later be influenced by the compositions featured in Victoria.

@1999 Dianne Poinski

Victoria was also one of the first magazines (at least that I am aware of), that spotlighted women entrepreneurs. Again, I was a few years away from being self-employed, but for some reason I devoured these articles and wanted to read more.

@2002 Dianne Poinski

In 1999 Janet Allon and the editors of Victoria Magazine released - "The Business of Bliss" and then in 2001, "Turn Your Passion Into Profits" was published. By this time my photography business was just getting off the ground and I found these books informative and inspirational. These days, I spend a lot of time online searching for similar information, grateful that Victoria Magazine helped pave the way.

As my photography business grew, I continued to subscribe to the magazine and flip through it looking for creative ideas and helpful articles. I am sure you can imagine my disappointment when it was announced in 2003 that the magazine was folding. As sad as that was, I was grateful for the pile of issues in my closet that I could haul out whenever I craved quiet and inspiration with my afternoon cup of tea.

Looking back, I feel that the images in Victoria Magazine not only inspired the design of my floral photographs, but is one of the reasons I started setting these shots up in the first place. This is very evident in some of my early work, but the idea for this blog post came from a session in my studio a couple of weeks ago involving lavender, teacups and those books that keep popping up in my photographs. I had the best time, and later when I was reviewing my images, I noticed that Victoria Magazine's influence had crept in again and it was most welcome!

@2010 Dianne Poinski

There is a happy ending to the story about the demise of the magazine in 2003. In 2007 it was announced that Victoria Magazine was returning. Not only am I still a subscriber, but so is my 24 year old daughter - the baby girl mentioned in the beginning of this! What's not to love about a magazine with the word "Bliss" typed above the title..........

P.S. For some reason, last week one of my older blog posts emailed itself out to those of you that have signed up to receive these in your in-box. Not sure how or why that happen, but I am sorry!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Year-End Review

I know we just finished up with Thanksgiving and it's not even December yet, but I have already bought my 2011 calendars and planners and I am ready to move on. Before I do, I want to go back and review what my intentions were at the beginning of 2010 and see how I did.

I wrote a mid-year progress report back in May, which showed that some items on my list were working out better than others, but I was happy with what I had accomplished up to that point.

For this year-end review, I will revisit that same list to see what I need to work on in 2011.

• Take more photographs!! I think I nailed this one. In May my hard drive was full and in November I upgraded my computer and now have 3 times as much storage. I recently spent a weekend "keywording" over 3000 images. So feeling good here......

• Pay my debt down by $4200 - I had to adjust this figure a few times to reflect a more "realistic" goal, but I am excited to report that I have reduced my debt by almost $3500! Not what I planned, but I am thrilled by that number anyway.

• Be more conscious about my business expenses and how I spend money. – I have seen improvement here, but I still need to work on making better choices.

• Have a cash reserve at the end of 2010 of $5000. – Simply not going to happen...........oh well. This item will have to be totally revised for next year.

• Continue to offer workshops and come up with ideas for new classes. -I did offer a new "camera" class this year and will be announcing my 2011 workshop schedule this week. What I didn't talk about here earlier was my plan to offer an e-book on my hand-coloring process. Announcement: It will be finished in early January!

• Try to stop worrying about what other people think about me and what I write about in this blog. – Wrote a whole blog post on this subject: "Holding Back"

• Work on “projects” instead of random images. – I got a little off track with this intention and started to spend too much time "putting out fires" instead of having a clear focus. My "flower book" project suffered as a result, and I have pushed that release back to February 2011.

• Practice feeling gratitude every day – I have revived my practice of writing down at least 3 things I am grateful for everyday. One of my "good" habits.

• Most important – Have Fun! – I feel like I am making progress here. I took a wonderful 2 week road trip with my husband and have gotten better at scheduling more "off" time. Funny how this tends to make me more productive!

I find this exercise very satisfying and I have learned quite a bit about myself this year. I will spend the next few weeks reflecting on this list and getting clear about where I want to be at this time next year.

I won't be doing this alone however. I am signing up to be part of the "Thriving Artists Project" where I will be inspired, guided and armed with the information I need to make 2011 an awesome year. Check out the website if you want more information:

P.S. I also wanted to share that the "gardening" project I mentioned earlier in the year (but was not included here) won't be showing up on my 2011 list. Time to let that one go. Bottom line, I don't really know what I am doing when I am out there, and (here's the real truth) I would rather be working on my photography than in the dirt. I think I liked the "idea" of gardening more than the reality. Again - a little clarity. Feels good....................

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beauty in my Backyard.....

©2010 Dianne Poinski

A short post this week.........

Here in the U.S. we will celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. While I try to practice gratitude everyday, it helps to have this annual reminder to slow down and reflect on how lucky I am.

Besides my friends and family, high on my current gratitude list has to be the beauty of this autumn season. For some reason the fall colors seem deeper and brighter this year and I have paused more than once to take it all in.

This image* here was shot in my backyard a couple of weeks ago. I happened to look out and notice how this bench, with all it's strength and texture, appeared to be floating in a pool of leaves. This was a perfect example of the season slowing me down to notice simple compositions and beauty (right in my backyard!)

Slowing down is what I yearn for right now. Unfortunately, this week also feels like the collective deep breath before the frantic pace of the "main" holiday begins. How I wish Thanksgiving could be our "main" holiday. Oh well.....

So wherever you are, no matter what season you are in, take a moment to be still and notice how the light is falling on the trees, or the rainbow of colors that appear in the clouds, or even how delicious that turkey is!

I would love to carry this awareness into December, but for now I will enjoy, give thanks and be present. Sounds so simple ....................breathe.........

P.S. Also high on my gratitude list are the people who take the time to read my blog. Of course I love the comments and emails I receive, but I also appreciate just knowing you are all out there. Thank you!

*Image info: Original hand-colored black and white pigment print. Hand-colored with PanPastels and pastel pencils.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hand-Coloring - The Video

My new Flip video camera arrived a couple of weeks ago and I didn't have a chance to play with it until this weekend. I have been wanting to share in a video my technique of hand-coloring and now I can. This is by no means an instructional video, but just a peek into the process.

I have some new editing software that I still need to learn, so for this video I stuck with Animoto - which I already know. I plan to post more detailed videos down the road, but for now I am excited to share this very short, little movie on hand-coloring black and white photographs with Pan Pastels.

If for some reason you can't view it here, it's also on YouTube, but the quality is not as good.

Be sure to turn your speakers on!

If you want to experiment with this process after watching the video, here are a couple of older blog posts with more information on the technique, including recommended papers and printing guidelines.

In the video, I included the step where I wipe off the excess pastel on a piece of mat board. You can also use a paper towel, but it's an important step. If you don't do this, you usually end up with more color on the print than you may want. While you can take some of it off with a kneaded eraser, I suggest starting out light and layering on the color.

Like I mentioned, I plan to make more videos about this technique, but for now, this is a good introduction to hand-coloring and the tools I use.

I also share a lot of information every month in my email newsletter. You can sign up for it here. "Email Newsletter" Choose the "Workshop Updates and Information" list for hand-coloring tips and other information. (You can also sign up for the general email as well).

Stay tuned and I promise I will talk in the next video.......

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Digital Creations

2010 Dianne Poinski

A number of you have noticed that I am not hand-coloring all my photographs these days. I know that this is the technique I teach, and "Hand-colored Photography" appears in my business name, but I am having so much fun exploring other ways to create my images that I have decided it’s time to share.

2010 Dianne Poinski

I have been posting the occasional "digital creation" here on my blog or on my facebook page, but I have never offered them up for sale. With that in mind, I recently conducted a survey of selected people on my email newsletter list. The response was great and the information I gathered was invaluable.

Here is some of what I learned:

  • 42% of those that responded had bought art online, stating that knowing the artist and their work made them feel comfortable with their decision.

  • 73% said that subject matter and/or color was the most important factor they considered when choosing art to purchase.

  • Only 15% ranked buying “originals” as “very important”.

  • 44% were very interested in being able to purchase greeting cards with my images on them.

  • 43% like the idea of choosing mats and frames when buying art online.

As a photographer, I am in a unique position because my hand-colored photographs are considered “originals” and reproductions are made from these pieces. In this way, I operate more like a painter, creating originals using the best materials available and then investing in high quality scans in order to produce the finest reproductions possible. This is not going to change. I will still be creating “originals”, hand-colored with pastels, but images created digitally will now be available as well.

After a lot research, thought and experimentation, I made the decision that in addition to my website, I would also start offering images for sale on the “Imagekind” website. On Imagekind, greeting cards, matting and framing, as well as canvas prints will be available. Everything is created and shipped by Imagekind, so the pieces will not be signed or numbered. For the hand-colored reproductions, I will be keeping track of the images sold, so while the number will not be on the piece, it will still be part of a limited edition.

The digital images will be available as open editions. This and the fact that I do not have to pay for scans, make it possible for me to offer these images at very reasonable prices. For now, these prints will only be available on ImageKind.

Signed and numbered reproductions will still be available direct from me; however, the price of these signed prints will be a bit higher than on ImageKind. I will continue to create original hand-colored photographs and if I get really excited about one of the new images, I have the option of printing it as a black and white and then hand-coloring to create a new “original”.

2010 Dianne Poinski

I want to thank everyone who participated in the survey. It has always been my intention to make my images affordable and accessible. I feel the options available on Imagekind make this possible, freeing me up to continue to practice the craft of hand-coloring while experimenting with other ways to express my vision.

Check out my new “store” on Imagekind and let me know what you think. While there, be sure to click on "customize" to see the different types of papers available (prices are based on your selection) as well as mats, frames and the greeting cards. Here is the link: "Dianne Poinski Photography"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Holding Back

When I first started this blog, very few people I knew in “real” life were aware I had a one. It was that way when I first logged onto Facebook too. I even went as far as to use a new email address for my Facebook account, making it more difficult for people to find me. My anonymity did not last long and soon a lot of my “friends” on Facebook were people I knew both personally and professionally. I am enjoying this, but as a result, more people I know in the real world now know about this blog.

©2010 Dianne Poinski

Lately when I sit down to write a blog post I start thinking about who might read it and what they will think of me when they do. Who are these people I am afraid of? Some of them are other local photographers and artists. While I may be a bit intimidated, (which is mostly about me, not them), these are all people I respect and admire.

So why do I want to hide? One concern is I fear I am not qualified enough to share what I know in such a public forum. I also feel a little shy about promoting myself and my work here, on my website or in my newsletters (the fact that I even have a newsletter feels a little funny.)

Where does this come from? Part of it has to do with my qualifications. I don’t have a degree in photography (or anything else for that matter, but I did go to school to become an accountant). My understanding of the technical side of photography is limited. On top of that, even though I hand-color, I am not a painter and I lack basic knowledge of color theory. I know there will be some that argue that I am placing too much importance on this, and I am always working to educate myself as much as possible, but I often wonder what a diploma would have done for my confidence.

As more people find out I have this blog, these insecurities have made writing more difficult. There is this little voice in the back of my head whispering “who are you to be talking about photography?” “You are no expert.” And on my darker days….. “you are just a bookkeeper, not an artist”. I have also started to feel a reluctance to talk about the business I have been building around my photography for the last 15 years.

All this self doubt has made it feel like I have been holding back a bit and I don’t want to do that anymore. The blogs I love to read are the ones where they share their knowledge, while also giving me a glimpse into their lives. It feels good to know I am not the only one struggling to feel confident enough to call themselves an artist, or that they too would like to make some money with their art but are afraid to admit it.

All I know is that I am passionate about what I do and I enjoy sharing that. I love connecting with people this way and I am so grateful for all of you that have left comments or sent emails with support and encouragement. I have received a lot of positive feedback about my work over the years and I am going to try to keep that front and center instead of opening the door wide and letting the critics invade my head. If anyone has some suggestions on how to do this, that does not involve years of therapy, I would love to hear from you!

Another option is to start a completely different blog and not tell anybody. For a moment, I seriously considered this…………………

Image Info - Lighthouse on Vancouver Island near Victoria. This was not hand-colored, but I had a blast working on it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dabbling in Delight

When I first started out in photography, I spent a few years taking children's portraits in black and white and then hand-coloring them. As it turned out, this was not really what I wanted to do, so I started recommending other photographers for these jobs instead.

Since then, whenever the subject of taking portraits comes up, I usually joke that "I don't take pictures of anything with eyes". I meant it too! Until I purchased my first digital "point & shoot" camera last year, I stopped even taking pictures of my own kids! (Thank you to my friends who passed on duplicates of photos they had shot at all the school and theater events my children participated in!)

My Facebook friends know that I recently attended the wedding of the daughter of one of my best friends. I have known Kelsey since she was 11 or 12, so this day was a special occasion for all of us.

While I was not the "designated" photographer, I did tell my friend that I would bring my camera and see what I could do as well. It was fun and I am sharing a few of the same shots here as I did on Facebook. These were all made from where I was sitting so I would not interfere with what the other photographers were doing. (An important thing to remember if you are ever attending a wedding as a guest and not "the" photographer.)

I was delighted to discover again that it doesn't matter what I am taking pictures of - I just love photography! Even when my subjects have eyes! I think I knew that on some level, but it's easily forgotten when you have turned your passion into a business. I couldn't wait to get these images uploaded so I could work on them!

Wedding photography can be very difficult and I can only imagine the stress those photographers must face each and every time they are hired for a job. I have heard people complain about the cost of wedding photographers, but in addition to the mental and emotional toll it can take, they have also invested thousands of dollars in equipment - much of which becomes obsolete in just a few years. They deserve the big bucks!

So congratulations Kelsey & Francisco! Wishing you a lifetime of health, laughter and love! Thanks for inviting me to be part of your special day..........

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Following up on my "Disappointment"....

I thought I would do a little follow up to my post "I am Disappointed” which expressed my frustration with the media over the handling of the tragic events following the Second Saturday activities in Sacramento last month. That post also included a call to the community to come together before things deteriorate even further.

I attended the community forum meeting on September 25th and left feeling like a dialogue had been started, but that it’s going to take some time and the cooperation of everyone to return Second Saturday to its original vision.

It was clear that the meeting was more about mid-town Sacramento in general and less about Second Saturday, but I do feel we were heard.

At the beginning of the meeting, forms were passed out for us to write down our concerns and list possible solutions. Different stations were set up that addressed specific issues. Some of these were parking, safety and special events. We were instructed to tape our form at the station that best represented our reason for attending the meeting.

Eventually a panel was presented to publicly discuss and answer some common questions. The panel consisted of representatives from the police department, the Midtown Business Association, Neighborhood Services, the city's parking department, and the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control).

There was a lot of discussion in regards to parking and alcohol abuse. It’s obvious that this is not just a Second Saturday problem, but an ongoing concern of most residents.

When the topic of Second Saturday came up, many suggestions were made including, changing the times, eliminating amplified music, and requiring that street vendors be juried in. A detailed list of issues of concern and suggestions covered at this meeting can be found here: Community Forum.

Like I said at the beginning of this, I feel like a change will slowly happen, but I hope it’s not too late.

This past Saturday was the first Second Saturday since the events of last month.

Officials estimated that attendance was down 25%, but there could be many reasons besides fear for those numbers. There was a lot going on last Saturday including the members preview opening of the Crocker Art Museum and the "Sammies Block Party" happening right down the street from our studios.

I do believe we will find out next month though, that the fear generated from the media about Second Saturday is going to keep a lot of people home with their doors locked. I hope I am wrong, but I did have a conversation Saturday night with someone who told me when she mentioned to her friends that she was going out on Second Saturday; she was asked “if she was going to wear her bulletproof vest”.

I am going to choose to have faith that the people of Sacramento will decide that they are not going to let violence and fear rule their lives. It’s sad that this is the way the world is now, but common sense and awareness not only help minimize the risk of going out on Second Saturday, but also helps keep you safe the moment you get out of bed in the morning.

We are all free to choose how we view life. If you make decisions based on fear, I believe you miss out on a lot of the beauty and wonder that still exists all around us.

I will end with one of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein: “There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” You decide…………………

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New to Art Festivals? My Top 5 Suggestions..

So I did it - my first art festival in 2 years. I am tired as well as a little sore. Between bringing all my work down the stairs from my studio earlier in the week, and then setting up and tearing down my booth this weekend, I worked muscles that had not moved in quite awhile.

Just like I imagined, it was great seeing old friends as soon as I got there. Socializing may have been a stall tactic too. This is what my space looked like before I got down to business.

Even though I have had this space before, I never put it together the same way twice. It takes awhile and many false starts before it starts to look and feel right. It’s like putting a puzzle together. Get a few key pieces in place and the rest sort of follows organically.

Show Time!

Besides the Sacramento Arts Festival, there were also a couple of craft fairs and other events happening this weekend. I received a few phone calls and emails from students asking for a little advice as they got ready to set up and sell their photographs for the first time. I also met a couple of artists at this show who were just starting their “art festival adventure” and spent some time answering their questions as well.

That’s where I got the idea for this blog post. So what are the 5 things I recommend to every artist just starting out?

#1 – Remember to have fun! It’s close to impossible to sell your art if you are sitting there looking bored or worse - angry that no one is coming into your booth. If you look like you are having a good time, people will feel better about stepping in to get a closer look. Trust me – this can be difficult at slow shows and takes some practice, but do this and you significantly increase your chances of having a financially successful show. I don't suggest having fun just so you can make money. Use this time to make new friends and enjoy yourself. You are not going anywhere, so you might as well make the best of it!

#2 - Be sure to get as many email and snail mail addresses as you can from people showing interest in your work. Close to 75% of my sales this weekend were from people who had received my postcards and/or the email I sent out last week.

#3 – Don’t try to put every piece you have ever created in your booth. Try not to overwhelm your audience and be sure to only show your best work.

#4 – Be a good art festival neighbor. Don’t look at your neighbors as competition; instead be courteous and respectful of their art and their booth. We are all in this together and the community of artists is a huge part of why I do art festivals. I could write a whole blog post about this (and I probably will).

#5 – Be patient. Success does not usually happen right away. It takes awhile to build up your lists and figure out the best booth layout for your type of work. Also, try not to spend money you don’t have buying brand new panels, tables etc. (I am guilty of this and most of you know where that got me.) Go slow, be creative and most important – go back to #1 – have fun!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Been Two Years............

Next weekend I will be showing at my first art festival in two years. It's been a crazy week and I have been reminded why I decided to take a break in the first place. In between counting inventory and looking for my boxes, I have been home making prints and cutting mats when I would rather be in my beautifully lit studio, hand-coloring one my new images. To give you a point of reference - here are a couple of photos of what my office looks like right now.

Getting ready for this show seems more difficult because it’s been so long since I had to pull this together. When I was going to art festivals every other weekend and I had a van I used only for shows, it was a lot easier. Everything but the art was stored in one place, ready to go. I had a rhythm and a system. (To read the story about what happened to my van, click here: "Big Blue")

Now I need to bravely go into my garage to pull out display equipment, go down into the basement and look for all the supplies I stored two years ago and then climb a very tall ladder in my studio to take down the track lights I will need to light my booth.

I don’t mean to be complaining. One of the things I am excited about, is seeing many of my friends from the art festival circuit that I have not seen in two years. Making the decision to take a break was more difficult because of the relationships I formed in the eleven years I spent doing the shows.

But I also feel scattered and unfocused. Between this show, the event I had in my studio last month, and my recent road trip, I feel like I have veered off course. My routine has vanished and once again I feel like I am simply doing my “have to do now” activities with no vision or purpose.

I think I have shared this before, but I have a tendency to live in the world of “everything will be ok when………..” I feel like I am there right now. “I will get back on track after the show, the trip, the out of town visitors…………” you get the idea.

So enough of that…..time to buck up and get back to work so I will be ready to pack up my “mini” van and set up on Thursday.

I have a choice here. I can be overwhelmed, frustrated and not very nice to my husband, or be excited about seeing old friends, making new ones and sharing my art with anyone nice enough to step inside my booth. If you are in town, stop by the Sacramento Art Festival, October 1 – 3; booth #334 and say hello!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Am Disappointed............

© Patty Paige Short "Art Open" Neon Sculpture 36" x 49"

I am disappointed. It’s the media that I am aiming most of my finger wagging at, but I am also disappointed in the people that take what the media says at face value and make decisions based on stories meant to keep us on high alert at all times. I have been saying for a couple of years now that the news media played a huge role in helping our economy collapse and should be held partially responsible for instilling fear and panic in even the most levelheaded consumers. Bad news sells and people pay attention, but I am not here to talk about the economy. Instead, it’s a local news story that has me planning my next “news fast.”

We here in Sacramento, California have enjoyed for many years the monthly ritual known as Second Saturday. On the second Saturday of every month, art galleries around town have opened their doors and held receptions to showcase their artists and give the public a chance to bathe in the energy and vitality of the urban core of our city.

The last couple of years has seen a shift in behaviors and attitudes toward this event. Instead of the gentle stroll from venue to venue, it became a street party complete with live electronic music, street vendors (many of them from other towns) and young people looking to drink and socialize. I am not going to place any blame here, but it has been an accepted fact that patrons, collectors and artists themselves, were becoming more and more uncomfortable as the event headed into a direction far removed from the original vision.

So why am I disappointed in the media? Last Saturday (technically Sunday morning) a shooting took place, killing one young man and wounding three others. To call it a tragic event would be an understatement, and my heart goes out to the victims’ families. The coverage of this unnecessary violence however is what has me pecking away at my keyboard.

The shooting occurred in the area known as midtown, the heart of the party version of Second Saturday. However, the shooting took place a couple of hours after the galleries and shops had closed for the night. Why then did the local paper have the words “Second Saturday” as a secondary headline when the news showed up on the front page? It’s bad enough that an enjoyable, cultural occasion was already earning a reputation as a “crazy scene,” but now with the media’s twisted use of headlines and images of police attempting to perform “crowd control”, you can be sure that genuinely interested art lovers will stay away in droves.

I just overheard a conversation between a few people talking about the story and they kept referring to the shooting as “the Second Saturday shooting". Why? Because that’s how it was portrayed in the news. The mayor and all the other business leaders in the community can put their spin on things in an attempt to gain the public’s confidence, but it may be too late. I am afraid the damage has been done, the decisions have been made and other plans put on the calendar for future Second Saturdays. That will be the scenario unless we as a community do something.

I plan to attend the community forum scheduled for Saturday, September 25th at 9:00 AM at the Hart Center at 27th and J. (I originally saw it scheduled for 10 am, but click here to read the article that said 9.) This meeting is an opportunity for residents, businesses, artists and gallery owners to come together and seek solutions. As a group, I believe we can bring back Second Saturday, focus once again on the visual arts and create a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.