Happy Monday everybody — glad to have you here. So, last week on “The Grid” my wife Kalebra was our guest on the show, and we started the show sharing one of her ideas that has come to life. In short, here’s how it works:
“Picture this — we fly you and a guest to the KelbyOne Headquarters in Tampa, Florida so you can attend the opening night of your own private Gallery Showing.
It starts with you cutting the ribbon on your exhibit, then we usher you in with the crowd to a wine and cheese reception where they can enjoy your beautifully framed and mounted work in our new photographic gallery, with sprawling white walls; beautiful lighting; and wood floors.
After posing for pictures and chatting with the crowd, we head into the theater for a live interview where we talk about you, your work, and get some insight into the images you create. Your “gallery talk” is streamed live to KelbyOne members and guests who’ll be celebrating your gallery opening evening event, and talk, from every corner of the globe.”
Sounds like fun? It’s more than fun — it’s the opportunity to feature KelbyOne members and lift up a talented photographer or artist and share their work with the world. To get them recognition and exposure they might not get any other way. Our goal is to be that “foot in the door” or “big break” that gets an artist noticed and hopefully one that leads to bigger and better things.
I did a short Q&A below, because while we’ve already had hundreds of entries since we launched the idea last Wednesday, we have lots and lots of questions. Here goes:
Q. Is this just an online gallery?
A. No, this is a physical gallery, located at our Headquarters just outside Tampa, Florida. The gallery itself is currently under construction, but it’s fairly far along, and will be completed very soon (well before the actual first opening).
Q. Is this just a one-time thing?
A. Nope, this is something we’re doing throughout the year, so there will be multiple gallery showings each featuring a different photographer or artist.
Q. Is there an entry fee for my work to be considered?
A. There is no fee for KelbyOne members.
Q. What if I’m not a KelbyOne member?
A. Sorry — this is something we’re doing just for the KelbyOne member community, so only KelbyOne members may submit their work for consideration.
Q. What do you need for me to have my work considered for “The Gallery at KelbyOne?”
A. We just need a link to see your work. We’re looking for a body of work — we’ll feature approximately 14 of your images in the Gallery Show. It can be a link to your portfolio, to a photo gallery on Facebook — doesn’t matter. Just some place where we can see your work.
Q. Are you looking for a special topic or category?
A. Not at all — we’re just looking for great undiscovered work from great undiscovered artists.
Q. Do the images have to be photos?
A. Nope. They can be illustrations, line drawings, graphic designs, collages, montages, fine art — you name it, but the gallery is for digital art, so keep that in mind.
Q. Do I need to put my work in categories so you can judge them?
A. Nope — we just need to see that within your work there are enough solid images for a Gallery Showing. Again, we’re looking for approximately 14 images to display.
Q. What if I don’t live in the United States?
A. That means it will (a) Cost us more for your airfare, and (b) you’ll have to get a passport.
Q. What if I live in North Korea?
A. You will have very little traffic on your ride to the airport, or anywhere for that matter. Of course, they won’t actually let you leave when you get to the airport, but don’t worry — we’ll eat your weight in cheese at the opening, and I’ll just interview myself, which I think think this Q&A proves I’m perfectly capable of.
Q. Would it help if I send a bribe — maybe cash sent to your offices in a plain manila envelope?
A. Absolutely! That would definitely tip the scales in your favor.
A. No! Are you kidding? This isn’t the Olympics! (Ouch, who said that? Just a joke. You knew that was a joke right? Everybody know that’s a joke, right? Right? hello?)
Q. Hey, I’m not a KelbyOne member, but I am a North Korean, and an Olympic Judge, and I’m offended!
A. Sorry, being offended by nearly everything is strictly an American trait, so you’re disqualified. Next question!
Q. Who takes care of the printing and framing of my images if I’m chosen?
A. We take care of all of that for you. When you arrive everything will already be in place, and it won’t cost you a dime.
Q. Do I get to keep the prints after the showing?
A. Absolutely. We’ll ship them to you with our compliments.
Q. OK, what’s the catch?
A. There is no catch. To give you a little insight, one day I asked Kalebra “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?” She immediately said, “I’d be a talent scout. I would love it, because my job would be to make people’s dreams come true!” If you ask me, this is a just an extension of that — Kalebra’s dream of lifting someone from our community up, and giving someone who might never have the opportunity a gallery showing of their own. This is their shot, their chance, and hopefully that will open doors and lead to big things. It’s a very genuine idea, and there’s no marketing, no discounts, no deals, no hidden agenda. It’s another side of us, and our community, and as soon as she shared her idea with us, we all loved it and wanted to be a part of it — of lifting an artist up — and that’s really what this is all about.
Q. When is the cutoff date for submissions?
A. It’s January 15th, 2017 at midnight ET.
Q. That’s not a lot of time.
A. That’s not a question.
Q. Can I have more time?
A. No. Come on, it’s 14 or so images. It’s just a link to your images online. If you can’t put that together in a week or so, maybe you’re not ready for a Gallery Showing.
A. No, I was just being mean. That’s one of the only benefits of writing a daily blog — the opportunity to get snarky with people who ask dumb questions like that. See, that’s me being mean again, and for no reason at all. I’m simply invoking “Blogger privilege.”
Q. Wait, but isn’t it actually you that is writing these questions in the first place?
A. Ummmm. Next question please.
Q. OK, where do I submit the link to my work?
A. Log into the KelbyOne member site, and then click this link (if you’re not logged in, it will ask you to log in with your member User Name and Password).
Q. I see you have a set of terms I have to agree to that sounds like I’m signing over the rights, not only to my work, but also perhaps the deed to my home, and any future profits from the potential sale of medicinal marijuana. Are you going to steal my work?
A. Look, I’ve seen your work. Believe me, nobody is every going to want to steal your work.
Q. Wow, that was kinda harsh.
A. Look, somebody had to tell you. OK, in all seriousness, we hate having all that legal crud as much as you do, but sadly because we live in such a litigious society, now if you’re going to display anyone’s images it takes a team of lawyers to come up with terms so you don’t get sued. You can thank the lawyers for that one, but these types of terms are sadly very common these days no matter which competition or contest you enter. We’re not trying to take anything from you — we’re just trying to protect ourselves. We wouldn’t have those terms if we didn’t need to legally protect ourselves. We would have greatly preferred to keep the money our own lawyers charged us to create it. Don’t get me started.
Q. Well, it sounds like a rights grab, so I’m not going to submit my work.
A. Okey Dokey. Lots of other people already submitted so we’ll choose one of them instead.
Q. You’re pretty serious about the snarky thing?
A. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. That, and the knowledge that at some point in the day we might get the opportunity to shoplift something small from Walgreens.
Q. You do that?
A. No, but a guy has to have dreams, doesn’t he?
Q. This isn’t about the gallery per se, but are you shooting the College National Championship Game tonight between Alabama and Clemson?
A. Why yes I am (and thank you for asking). I am super-psyched, and #rolltide!
Q. Snarkiness aside, you’re pretty excited about this, aren’t you?
A. I am. The moment Kalebra shared her dream of making someone else’s dream come true, we were “all in.” I can’t wait to meet the artist myself on Opening Night. It will be something none of us will ever forget.
So, there ya have it. If you have any questions I haven’t answered here, just leave it for me in the comments, and I’ll get an answer for you (maybe even a snarky answer if you ask a snarky question).
Here’s to a 2017 where your work get recognized, and you reach a worldwide audience that can enjoy, appreciate, and celebrate your work.