What I Learned at My Cotton Company Exhibit in 2012

The Cotton Company in historic Wake Forest, NC was once The W.W. Holding Cotton Exchange Warehouse where cotton was brought in on wagons and trucks from local farms. Today, it is a marketplace full of home decor and gifts covering 5,000 sq. ft.

On the second Friday of each month, The Cotton Company hosts a Featured Artist Reception at Art After Hours where new works are showcased, libations served, and the public is invited to peruse through art, jewelry, pottery and other household goods in a lofty space.

In August 2012, I was the Featured Artist for the month. After my novice experience at Raleigh’s Artsplosure Festival a few months earlier, I was looking forward to setting up indoors with relative ease. As it turned out, it wasn’t as simple as walking in, hanging paintings, and walking out. What was I thinking??? There was still a lot of planning, grouping of paintings in a theme, measuring, nailing, measuring, nailing, repairing paintings that were damaged in the process… Hard to believe, but it took me a day and a half to set up!

On the day of the reception, my Chicago pal, Lisa, arrived in time to help me with last-minute preparations. Don’t I have great friends? She helped me seal more slate tiles, glue encaustic tiles to the front and D-rings to the back, trim raffle entry forms, make a Trader Joe’s run for hors d'oeuvres, bake, pack, and make a mad dash for the Cotton Company.

We had a good crowd despite torrential rains that started at the prime arrival hour of 6 p.m. It helped that I was given a boost by the North Raleigh News when they picked up the event in their paper. And yes, I was only too glad to be exhibiting indoors, nibbling on some triple creme brie and crackers, a glass of wine on the other hand. I enjoyed meeting some new people and catching up with friends. I even managed to sell five paintings while introducing my work to a whole new crowd. What a show!

A big thanks to the folks at the Cotton Company who were very supportive, responsive, and accommodating. It really is a great space for both artists and customers alike.