A few weeks ago I held an exhibition for two of my recent series of paintings and mixed media pieces. As the poster to the left notes, it was held at The Pilot Tavern, Wed., August 15th.

I’d like to share some thoughts on the event.

First of all, I’d like to thank the staff at The Pilot, particularly Michelle and Scott, the managers whom we dealt with. By ‘we’,’ I mean Scott Brown and myself. As you’ll recall from previous posts, Scott B. is the singer/songwriter/rhythm guitarist of the ban Symphony Of Nine, also owner/operator of Glenmore Records in Toronto. A man of many talents! It was Scott B. who found the venue, tweeting me as I was standing in a Tim Hortons in Minden, Ontario, on my way to go camping. His tweet was that he’d found the perfect location. He included some details and asked if I was free one day to go look. We went and met Michelle, who showed us around. The place was declared excellent! A big thank you goes out to Scott Brown, without who, this night probably would not have happened, nor been as successful!

That was a month before the event. Scott had booked the album release concert for the following Saturday, Aug. 18th, so both the band and I had some work ahead of us. They had an album to complete and I had artwork to finish. I think I had two or three pieces left to do in a couple of weeks, leaving time to get So9 the art so they could send it all off for printing. It wasn’t quite a mad dash to the end, but there was certainly pressure. Honestly, I think the pressure helped in some ways, as the last piece I did for them turned out to be one of my most striking, in my opinion.

“We Are The Chosen.” The last completed piece of art for the album! (Copyright Patrick Lemieux, 2012

Next came ordering easels. The Pilot’s Stealth Lounge is a diverse venue, but they did not stock the 40 easels I’d need for the show. Being an space with a lot of age, we couldn’t put any screws in the walls for hanging pieces either. I needed easels. And the answer came via a service called EaselRentals.com. Owner/operator Richard was most helpful and accommodating, even dropping of my 40 easels at my apartment, saving me and Scott B. a trip to his warehouse location to pick them up!

I finished the artwork and the band finished the album, both on time. I had a week  to relax before the show, but much it spent sending out notices to people and publicity websites.

When the day arrived, I was up bright and early. Richard dropped off the easels promptly at 10 AM. Scott B. arrived a short time later and we loaded them in his SUV. We didn’t have access to The Pilot until 12 noon, so we had breakfast and discussed the event. There was a delay in printing the album, so it wouldn’t be ready for the actual album release concert. Undaunted, Scott would take pre-orders at the show and mail them off. The show would go on Saturday regardless!

Boxes of easels outside my apartment! Some assembly required.

At The Pilot for noon, Scott B. and I met their Scott, who let us in. We dropped the easels off and went back to my place to get the artwork. We got back to The Pilot and started setting up. It takes a longer than you’d think to assemble that many easels. We only needed 38 of the 40. Scott B. assembled as well Glenmore Records’ promo banner and a red carpet. The event was scheduled to start at 6 PM, with the full Pilot staff arriving for 5 PM. Scott B. and I then had until 4 PM to get everything set, wanting to give ourselves time to change. In the thick of the action, I forgot how quickly time passes. We placed the artwork and the labels and the prints and the promo material around the room and raced out of there a little after 4 o’clock.

A forest of easels as we set up!

Home, shower, fresh clothes and back to The Pilot. It occurred to me at the time that I’d have been better off bringing a change of clothes to the venue and freshening up there. Still, arriving back a bit after 5 PM, I had only a few little things left, like adjusting some track lights, and then all was in readiness.

So I ordered some food.

6 PM arrived and the so did the guests! I had to pick at the food for a while, since, being the artist, I happily worked the room, explaining pieces and ideas and the process and chatting with friends. Come back to the bar, take a few bits, head back out to the floor.

So, here’s a look at the night!

Because I was mingling almost non-stop, most of my pictures were taken at the start and the end of the night. Before we packed up, I did take some photos of the gallery set up for posterity!