I’m finishing up with some details for my gallery show this week. I’m looking forward to it at this point.
One of the unresolved issues I’ve had though is the question of how to display a pop-up card in a gallery setting. The Mezzanine Gallery uses a hanging system which prevents anything from touching the walls directly. The work “floats” just in front of the walls on these transparent brackets suspended from a track in the ceiling. It sounds elegant and I think the bigger work will look great on the hangers. However, the little pop-up cards I planned to display won’t work this way. There are also pedestals available there so I’m going to go that route. But the only displays I could find commercially available for a pop-up greeting card were for these custom acrylic retail fixtures. I have cards made in several different sizes and they’d need to be opened to various positions as well so unfortunately this plastic retail option won’t really work for me either. But as I was thinking about what I’d ideally want, I made a little paper thumbnail model of it. Then it occurred to me - “You make things. You should make this thing yourself.” I answered aloud to the voice in my head which was probably a bad sign for those around me but I agreed with that voice nonetheless. So, although they aren’t made from clear acrylic as I’d originally hoped they’d be, I made a few of these simple little displays out of white paper (chipboard.) They work perfectly and they are all customized for my different cards. They should securely hold the cards open just the right amount so that people can still see how they fold from a flat position.
The next thing I have to do is to follow up on my other idea to create QR codes for the gallery tags so that anyone with a smartphone can shoot a code on the nameplate and quickly see a short video of that specific pop-up piece in action. It’s hard to exhibit something designed to be interactive in a gallery setting where that interaction is neither appropriate nor possible. I’m hoping these efforts will allow all the visitors to appreciate the work without anyone handling the work. There are special challenges to consider when your medium is effectively ephemera.