Journey Of My First Solo Exhibit

Journey Of My First Solo Exhibit

by Tammy Hoffert

You can imagine my shock and excitement when I got a Facebook message from Executive Director, Nancy Walter, of the Taube Museum of Art here in the collage town of Minot, North Dakota. She asked to meet with me to discuss the opportunity of doing an exhibit. I never in my wildest dreams thought that this would happen to me—this would be my 1st solo exhibit! I thought artists normally had to go through an application process to exhibit at an art museum or gallery. This must be a dream! I had been accepted into a couple of group exhibitions that I had submitted to before this, The Colored Pencil Society of America Chicago District Exhibition in 2016, and the Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibit in Brea, California in 2019. But in these exhibits I was one among many other colored pencil artists. Both awesome experiences, but this felt different, I am not used to having the focus solely on me and my artwork alone. I was excited and terrified at the same time.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought that this would happen to me—this would be my 1st solo exhibit!”

Having fun doing Colored Pencil Demo at my Artist's Reception with a view of part of my exhibit.

Nancy Walter had seen my colored pencil work on my Facebook art page and was interested in exhibiting my work at the Museum. She specifically saw my piece, Reflection A La Pears, which was in the Show case of Ann Kulberg’s COLOR Magazine, January 2019 issue. When I met with Nancy we discussed how many pieces of artwork I needed to do a solo exhibit, where in the museum my artwork would be exhibited (she wanted me to exhibit in the main gallery), and set the exhibition dates. We also discussed what was involved in the contract, for example, how much on-site insurance the museum carries which is important for any exhibiting artist to know when their artwork is on exhibit, so they can be assured that the value of their work is protected. She mentioned that the artwork needed to be ready to install, suitably wired and framed. That I would need to provide a typed copy of an actual inventory sheet listing title, size, media, price or value.

This is a view of part of my colored pencil exhibit behind me as I am doing a demo.

The exhibit was set for February 27 to March 19, 2020, with the Artist Reception on February 27th. I was told that mine was the 1st colored pencil exhibit that they have had. Yay, for the colored pencil medium! I am thrilled to see colored pencil being recognized as a true art medium.

Shortly before the exhibit was to begin, when I delivered my artwork to the Taube Museum of Art, I was asked by the new Executive Director, Mandi Carroll, to do a colored pencil demonstration at my Artist’s Reception. That was a really amazing experience as people watched me working on a colored pencil piece and asked questions and made comments. Many were amazed at the detail that can be accomplished with colored pencil. Those who attended made many wonderful comments, which was so very encouraging. What had I been so scared of? The answer is rejection, and failure. Fear that those who came to the exhibit would not like my artwork. To think if I have given into my fears I would never have had this fabulous experience. I am so happy that I embraced my fear and moved beyond it. It was so fun to see people’s enthusiasm as they looked at my artwork. I also gave one of my colored pencil pieces to be raffled off to promote the Exhibit.

“I am thrilled to see colored pencil being recognized as a true art medium.”

I raffled off this colored pencil painting, Reaching For The Light, to promote my Exhibit.

I was so thrilled to be told that my exhibit has been one of the most successful that the Taube has had in a long time. Even though the Taube Museum temporarily closed in the beginning of March due to the COVID 19 pandemic, shutting down my exhibit time early, it was such an amazing and successful experience which I will never forget.


Tammy is a self- taught Artist living and working in Minot, ND. She began seriously working in Colored Pencil in 2015. Her style of work tends towards realism. She is inspired by the people in her life and takes photos of them for future reference. She is also inspired by nature and wildlife. Her artwork gives those who view it a sense of peace and serenity. She has exhibited both locally, and nationally, winning awards. Her work has been published in international publications.

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Comments (2)

What a wonderful blog!!
So very proud of all of your accomplishments. You are a very talented artist, so glad you had the opportunity to show everyone at your solo exhibition.

Kathi Lecas Smith - Apr 16, 2020

Thank you for showing your solo exhibition.

Cem Sönmez - Apr 16, 2020

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