Zophie King or the Importance of a Good Art Work Ethic

By F. Lennox Campello

Zophie King or the Importance of a Good Art Work Ethic

Ever wondered how to maximize the attention that your art work gets from the press, galleries, and museum curators? Or how to present your work in a professional manner and save money in the process? How to tap into grants, awards and residencies? How to approach a gallery? Should you have a contract? How do you establish an online presence for your art foot print? How do you build your professional resume? How do you get your work acquired by museums, universities and other public collections?

Those are all great questions that are seldom part of any art school curriculum that I am aware of… they are sort of part of the business side of art, which most artsy folks avoid like the plague, as art generation after art generation gets swallowed by the “victimism” approach favored by most art faculties – at least in my experience.

If you are a 2D artist, the subject of framing your artwork is enough to give most wallets a tremor of fear, as framing, unless properly planned and delivered, can be an exceedingly expensive proposition to most artists. And there are multiple approaches to this task, I call them “guerilla tactics” which can reduce the cost of framing up to 90%, especially in the DMV, where custom framing costs are around $100 an hour for labor (plus materials).

I’m starting this month’s column by discussing these issues because for the last 20 years or so I’ve been presenting a seminar titled “Boot camp for Artists” which covers all those areas and more. The seminar is free to attendees and is usually presented courtesy of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. There are several dates being offered this year – contact them at 301.446.3251 and ask for Stuart Diekmeyer.

Done with that… let’s chat about some local art shows.

Zofie King’s most recent solo exhibition “Secular Relics and Apocryphal Fossils” took place last month at International Arts & Artists at Hillyer, and which opened on my birthday and was one of the most intelligent art exhibitions which I have seen in a long time!

King notes that “when making the pieces for this show, I was reflecting on how objects connect us to history, both geological and cultural. Fossils serve as a record of geological time, in which humans are a mere blip, while reliquaries encapsulate myths that go back several centuries. The origin of relics is often dubious, and their provenance hard to track. In fact, a reliquary is venerated for what it is thought to contain, and its real value lies in the story that surrounds the object. Similarly, fossils hold our fascination by telling us about the history of life before humans. Studied extensively, they are put into context using the scientific method, but in holding a fossil, one is also physically connected to a prehistoric time.”

King is a great example of what happens when a talented artist (which she is) also has a good work ethic and approaches her artwork with not just artistic talent, but also with determination that the work “be seen.”

Born in Poland and raised in Germany, Zofie King immigrated to the Unites States in 1998. After graduating with a psychology degree in 2002, she studied interdisciplinary craft at Towson University. For six years she worked in interior design while taking classes at MICA and the Corcoran, and devoted herself to her studio art practice in 2012. Currently, and as seen in this most recent solo show, King is a sculptor who works primarily with found objects, both conceptually and visually. She has had solo shows at the NVCC Margaret W. Fisher Art Gallery, DC Arts Center, Mount St. Mary’s University Gallery, and her work has been included in numerous group shows. King was part of the Sparkplug Collective from 2017-2019 and is currently a member of the Washington Sculptor’s Group.  She doesn’t sit around in her studio moping around: she creates work and then takes action with it.

Over at the Arts Club of Washington, my good friend Erk Denker has curated new works by DMV area legendary artist Jack Boul. If you’ve never been to the Arts Club, this is a great opportunity not only to see some great new work by this Washington icon, but also see the gorgeous galleries of the Arts Club. There are two opening receptions: Friday, October 4 from 6:30-8:30PM and Saturday, October 5, from 10AM to noon.

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