SLAM – Queen of the Mantis Flies Part One

It would seem that as an artist and blogger, I tend to work in waves.  First, I’ll have a wave of artistic creation that so consumes my time that I have none left for blogging.  Then, I’ll have a wave of consistent blog posts, during which I may dabble with this or that artistically, but not really have any intense rushes of creativity.

Lately, I’ve been in the middle of a creative storm, including one very large project that started with a trip to my local mall.  One day my husband and I took a trip to the Kitsap Mall, which is around 19 miles away from our house, because we wanted to check out a little gift shop that rents out space to local artists and craftspeople.  Well, we found that the little shop was a bust, at least for now, they were closing up in two weeks though the woman running the shop did tell us that they opened seasonally, and would probably have some space available around the holidays.

We started to head back to our car, when I noticed a sign in front of the mall space that used to house Forever 21.  The sign said, “ART”.

Kitsap County Art Slam
The sign in front of the former Forever 21 store in the Kitsap Mall.


Well, obviously I needed to check this out.  I went in, and to make a long story short, they were giving artists space, without charge, to display their work for two weeks, and I claimed the last available space, as long as I could get back with my artwork in two hours!  Well, as I said before, the mall is about 19 miles away from my house, and a return trip wasn’t really in my plans that day, but how could I pass up the chance to display my art in the mall for two weeks, free of charge.  We rushed home, threw everything we would need into our van, and then rushed all the way back.

My husband and me standing in front of of my art display at the Kitsap Mall
My husband and me at Art Slam, in front of my display area.

The display at the mall was awesome.  Even though they weren’t selling from the shop, they allowed us to pass out contact information so people could buy from us directly, away from the mall.  This eliminated the mall’s legal responsibility for collecting sales tax or reporting income tax, and shifted it on the individual artist.  I did make several sales during this time, but all were from my etsy shop,  I’m not sure that the mall display contributed to those sales, but it may have, since the url to my etsy shop was part of the contact information I provided at the mall.

Another thing took place at the mall also, every artist who was part of the Art Slam was given the option to take home a Mannequin to paint or decorate however they saw fit, and then donate it back for a silent auction that would raise funds to start a permanent gallery at the mall after the temporary pop up gallery closed down.  Of course, the artists who were part of the Art Slam pop up gallery would be top on the list for displaying their work at the permanent one when it opened.

So, I took home a mannequin.  She Started out looking like this, now in this picture one arm is removed.  That is because my dog had decided to chew up the arm, the damage was minimal, but unmistakably there.  I left that arm off the picture while I was trying to decide how I would fix the damage.  I was already planning on doing some paper mache work on the mannequin, so I was pretty sure that I would end up using that method to fix the damage done by puppy…

Mannequin unpainted
This is my mannequin before I did any work on it.

Be sure to check back for part two of this post to see the progress on the mannequin, and the finished work.  Or, better yet subscribe to all future posts if you want to be sure not to miss it!