AATS24 7/8: The End of One Road...

After the Final Weekend, Before the Post-Mortem

The pace of the final days of preparation and weekends for Art at the Source 2024 kept me away from these entries, so now, in the final days before the artists and administrators gather for a final assessment for 2024, here are some reflections and ramblings on the experience at Studio 16B in Sebastopol.

It will come in two posts: this one that just covers the direct goings-on and tasks, and a second post to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and how to apply it looking forward.

(Previous link in this series: 23 May: Elements: Opened)
(Next link in this series: 24 June: Onward)

Prints, Formats, Pricing

Printing, matting, and wrapping consumed most of my free hours in the final days before June First. This was due in no small part to the demands I set myself for printing at least one, and sometimes two, prints for each of the sixty zodiacal animals from Forgotten Signs, along with some of my favorite outtakes.

Many of these illustrations had been previously printed, but once I started using Canson’s terrific baryta paper, my desire bent to completing the set on that material, and that meant the entire set. It was worth the effort to make the reprints.

There were about seventy matted prints on display, in print stand racks. Each print, matted or not, was signed and edition-numbered with an archival pen, and the matte or backing board was marked by hand with my studio stamp.

My longtime practice, when matting, is to fabricate my own mounting corners from archival calligraphy paper, and attach them behind the aperture of the matte with an archival tape. For some formats, the corners are cut into an “L” shape, kirigami style. For seventy prints this means 280 little origami-crane-like folded corners, made while binge-watching episodes of National Geographic’s series Photographer. (Tip: Dan Winters).

Pricing is a torment for many artists. I knew I’d need a price list, and it would be madness to make it complicated.

Therefore, two based prices for paper prints, based on size, and likewise for aluminum prints.

Paper prints made for AatS were either “small,” around 8x10, matted to 11x14; or “large,” around 16x20, matted to 18x24. Square variants are 8x8 or 12x12, mattted appropriately. Just two basic price choices: big or small.

Likewise metal prints were either 24x36 or 30x45 inches, priced consistently.

The special main-gallery-only work The Two Algorithms of Life, which was fabricated on phone-grade aluminum, had a special price given its special venue – it was also at the gallery, not the studio.

As a minor complication, and only for the small size: due to the large number of Forgotten Signs prints, there were also backed but un-matted prints, wrapped in a protective sleeves with a matteboard support for safety and structure. These were marked less expensively than the fully-matted size. There simply wasn’t space in the Open-Studio environment to present them in the larger format.

Small prints are in editions of twenty, large in editions of eight. Thus far no single print has needed more than three copies.

I didn’t frame any of these new prints: I’d already allocated the available wall space to some Liquidity SF metal prints, and a handful of older framed works like my 2017 History of the National Security Agency. They were listed separately, as were the books.

I made a simple pact with myself on the first day: I would not change the price list during the first weekend, and if I changed it for the second weekend, no price could go down. I did in fact adjust a couple of prices upwards, in the course of simplifying for the second weekend.

I printed the price list and placed it in three visible places on the walls among the prints and on the tables among the books.


The spaces at Studio 16 are at the end of a driveway in Sebastopol. Visitors would usually enter through the front section, where I was showing pictures, and proceed to the rear area where Barbara was displaying jewelry and her considerable supply of jewelry-making tools, supplies, and workspaces.

View between the two studios

On one side of my portion I added display panels to gain wall and storage space while also protecting the actual walls. This gave me about sixteen total feet of wall for hanging three- and four-foot wide prints.

The print racks and a pedestal loaded with books were placed below these wide prints. On the opposite side of the room, which had windows and a door, a low cabinet showed portfolio books and catalog, note cards, some extra folios with images of failed experiments, an studio-specifc altered version of the SebArts Gallery one-pager, test prints, and some space for visitor sign-in logs, and a laptop cycling through a photo slide show.

All book titles were bagged to keep them clean, all title had one open “Studio copy” for browsing.

Since it had come out only a few weeks earlier, I also set out a copy of the latest Shots magazine, which contained one of my photos. By coincidence, Shots had reposted it again on the Shots Instagram account just two days before the open studio. Thanks!

Cards and the Contest

RBF: Make me Laugh, Cry, or Both

I had a “caption contest” for the RBF note cards – win a set of eight different cards (the six core cards plus two special ones) if you could provide one of the funniest captions for the blank cards.

I had to redesign and reprint the entry log after the first day – one of the earliest visitors looked at it, then took and folded it up, stuck it into her purse and left! No idea why.

Fortunately I’d made a phone snap of it & had all the info for a reprint.

After the first day, it was clear to me that not everyone saw any connection between the prints and the corresponding books, or even saw the books. On the first night I quickly printed labels for all matted prints, which showed the book title if there was one.

Promotional Video: Not

No time at all. I did manage to make seven artist’s videos for the Art at the Source social media feed(s), but none of them were mine.

Second Weekend

Hung above the Forgotten Signs books & prints

On the first weekend, while I’d set up a small monitor the slide show, meant to be run on a Raspberry Pi, never surfaced. On the second weekend I just used a laptop, and it ran continuously.

Between weekends, I updated all the AatS parts of this website.

Also between weekends, I updated the price list for clarity, redesigned and reprinted the RBF card contest form, designed an printed a poster of the animals from Forgotten Signs and for spatial balance in the studio space matched it with a similarly-sized print of the photo above.

The poster was definitely a rush job, created late at night in about an hour – a penalty for exhibiting 30 to 45 minutes away from my printer.

I picked up some black ribbon and bundled-together several sets of RBF cards – the bundle offer had already been on the price list, but I wanted it to be simpler.

On heavier stock I added a placard identifying RBF as a specific project, along with the “easiest” price list of all: $5 for one, $25 for the set of six.

For both weekends, friends and neighbors provided snacks, and my year’s allotment of Girl Scout cookies (thanks, Girl Scout Ciri!) made it through all days.

I did manage, on the second Saturday, to buzz out straight away from the studio at 5PM to cover some of the annual “Cruise for Peggy Sue” in Santa Rose – even managed to give away a couple of copies of Graffiti Generations to people I knew had appeared in the book.

Peggy Sue 2024

Reflections and Results!

So how did it go, what did I learn, did I bring in the big bucks or implode?

For that, click to the next and final entry in this series, 24 June: Onward

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