If I had gone on Dr. Phil in the past six weeks, I imagine he would have been shouting faux psycho-babble at me like, â€œYou canâ€™t see the forest for the trees, son!â€Â And sadly, heâ€™d have been spot on.
The background here is that I have been constructing a shiny new gallery space because, you know, I donâ€™t have anything else going on in my life, what with travel, the currency collection, Pound, kids, moving, art shows, oh and that company that I pour myself into daily.Â Sigh.Â Starting a new gallery is like having a new baby minus the swollen ankles and a gift registry.Â True to myself, I have been wracking my mind over the perfect name.Â You know from here ( http://stevewilliamsstudio.com/making-cheddar/my-name-is-roger-roger/ ) that I can really over-think a name.Â But parents, back me up here.Â The name: something that sounds creative, not crafty. Â A name that is unique, but not weird.Â Something that is easy to spell and canâ€™t get mispronounced or nicknamed into something objectionable.Â Itâ€™s a tall order, sure.Â By far, my all-time favorite gallery by name is Haunch of Venison.Â Itâ€™s the sort of name that is so absurd, that I am intrigued.Â Itâ€™s so out there that I immediately am drawn to it and trust it to deliver a level of poetic sophistication and intellectual branding that would never be found in a place called, say,
The Artistsâ€™ Corner.Â I want this new gallery baby to convey something similar.
I canâ€™t help but believe that this gallery is going to be pivotal for me as an artist as well as feeding my entrepreneurial spirit.Â Iâ€™ve been playing gallerist for close to twenty years now.Â It never gets â€œoldâ€ per se, but I have had breaks along the way.Â Being involved with other artists and dissecting their creative process always inspires my own work and even my personal life.Â Already I am putting the wheels in motion to take my own work on the road in 2012 to Washington, D.C. and Berlin, where I will be in someone elseâ€™s gallery.Â Itâ€™s a wonderful contrast to be both the displayer and the displayed.
But I tell you, I wore myself out with this naming business.Â I wore my friends out and art-world colleagues, too with my fretting.Â I didnâ€™t want to just dial it in.Â This gallery needs to perfectly embody the effort and love that made it be.Â I wanted to offer something to the art community that showed how discerning I think they are.Â The names boiled down to things like Roger Collective.Â That one was accurate, but didnâ€™t have soul.Â Fangtooth Herring sounded cool, but in the end it seemed a bit rough.Â Basel Rathbone rolled out, but itâ€™s a name that may just be trying a bit too hard.Â I really got comfortable with Rathbone Cup, which literally means a â€œcup of raw bonesâ€, signifying the raw space to house/exhibit the art.Â There were a half dozen others that made the cut, but also went to the wayside once the patently obvious knocked me upside my head.
So, without further ado, I presentâ€¦drum roll, trumpet fanfare and ticker tape parade, pleaseâ€¦Florida Mining.Â Wha?Â Florida?Â Mining?Â Yep.Â And itâ€™s located on Florida Mining Boulevard.Â It was there the whole time.Â A lot of people donâ€™t know that Florida mines anything other than seashells, old men in tall black socks with sandals and sacks of citrus, but we do.Â And now, atop a former gypsum mine, Iâ€™ll be excavating what I consider to be some of the finest, most forward and often atypical art this area has seen.
My new baby is anything but common.Â To quote the late Patrick Swayze, â€œNobody puts Baby in the corner!â€Â There will be no watercolor herons on the point, no acrylic lighthouses in the fog and most certainly no seagulls on seashells.Â Florida Mining will always be creative and unique, never mispronounced or nicknamed.Â Everyone, raise a glass and light a cigarâ€¦my new baby is here!