Since 2008, Pennylane has offered one-on-one artist consultations, group seminars and brand development through her own company, Dazed and Confucius Consulting; assisting and advising emerging and mid-career artists on how to achieve their career goals in the fine art industry. Pennylane holds a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture Theory from New York University and has lectured at various forums including New York, London, Toronto, Chicago and Seoul. Her publications discuss the politics of representation, gender and identity in pop culture, film and fine art.
Pennylane manages the figurative artists’ collective Phantoms in the Front Yard, showcasing the work of prominent Vancouver artists at various pop-up locations. Founded by Pennylane and Jay Senetchko in 2009, the group has garnered critical attention with its annual exhibitions an notable guest artists. Pennylane is currently an associate of Bau-Xi Gallery, with two locations in Toronto, one in Vancouver and one in Seattle. The gallery celebrates its 50th year in 2015, making it the longest standing commercial gallery in Canada. In the past 12 years, she has worked for Elliott Louis Gallery, Jacana Gallery and Jennifer Kostuik.
At Langara College, Pennylane is responsible for creating and instructing the courses: Marketing for the Fine Artist and The Photographic Concept. An avid supporter of community arts and culture, she sits on the board for the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Foundation.
Image above taken by Kailey Fuller-Jackson
Pennylane offers individualized consultations that consist of an initial critique and discussion, marketing and promotional guidance and goal-setting. Consultations are catered to the artists’ needs however topics may include: feedback and criticism, focusing a body of work, developing promotional tools, approaching galleries, identifying an audience. Pennylane also specializes in writing services such as: artist statements, CVs, ghost-writing, exhibition statements, proposals and press releases.
2016 rates are $85 per introductory session. Consultations are one-on-one, the addition of one or more persons is subject to a rate increase, please inquire with Pennylane or request a rate-sheet. Cancellations with a full refund must be made within 48 hours prior to meeting.
Consultations last approximately 90 minutes and are held at the artist’s studio or location of choice. There is an additional $15 travel cost for meetings taking place outside of the lower mainland, this includes North and West Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam and Richmond. Please inquire about rates beyond these locations. Please note that consultations are currently being booked 8 – 10 weeks in advance. Follow up and repeat consultations are made within 3-4 months time.
To prioritize discussion topics and maximize meeting time, please fill out this pre-consultation form and send it to Pennylane up to one week prior to your booking.
For questions regarding booking or rates for private group (*under 10), corporate and non-profit institutions for the following seminars or workshops, please contact Pennylane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Navigating the Art Industry: Professional Practices for Emerging Artists – 3 hours
This is a unique seminar designed specifically for emerging artists preparing to approach the commercial and public art industry. It is ideal for fine artists of any media pursuing careers in the commercial Vancouver art market or those looking to expand their exhibition repertoire.
Presenter Pennylane Shen has taught full courses in Vancouver, New York and Toronto. This seminar is a condensed introductory session of her 12-week course at Langara College, combining theory, industry experience and practical resources for the emerging artist.
The Way it Looks: Trends and Techniques in Contemporary Framing, Hanging and Presentation – 80 minutes
How a piece is presented is a crucial part of the final product. In the commercial art industry, it can often make or break a sale. When developing an exhibition, considering the space, the order and how the work is displayed is essential to the total experience. For shipping long distances, conservation and museum-display specialized steps in protection and documentation must be taken into account.
The Way it Looks is a 80-minute seminar covering contemporary styles and trends in framing, hanging, labeling and presentation of artwork. Although this seminar focuses mainly on 2-dimensional media it is applicable to a variety of contexts, emphasizing the importance of protecting artwork for longevity and archival purposes in a cost-effective and practical manner. Reviewing multiple examples in contemporary ways of presentation from photography, works on panel, canvases, illustration and prints behind glass and examples that require no framing at all, Pennylane covers a wide spectrum of practical and gallery-quality display techniques.
How It Sounds: Writing for the Practical Artist – 90 minutes
Writing about one’s practice is a difficult feat for even the most seasoned artist. Translating the complex ideas in one’s work onto the written page is a daunting task that requires practice and research. This seminar focuses on the many facet of art writing, using several examples, tips and industry standards for emerging and mid-career artists.
Topics include: artists statements, CVs and covering letters, press releases, formal and informal voice. A key aspect of this seminar is to hone in on the art reading audience. Identifying these audiences helps situate the voice of the artist, clarify their purpose and fine tune the writing process. Using a variety of examples, Pennylane distinguishes use of concise writing verses artspeak and where and when each is appropriate.
Founded in 2009, Phantoms in the Front Yard (PITFY) is a Vancouver-based figurative artist collective focused on elevating the human figure’s role as muse in the Canadian contemporary art scene.
The name captures the essence of the group’s purpose: to address the fact that Modernist and Postmodern schools of thought virtually ignore the importance of figurative work, effectively banishing it to the “back yard”. With each exhibition, the Phantoms hope to bring figurative work back to the front yard of contemporary art.
With a goal of creating art for all, not just academics and industry veterans, the PITFY collective opens its doors to members from a broad range of career stages. This diversity provides a variety of perspectives and an exciting opportunity for each member. Emerging artists gain insight from experience, and established ones are invigorated with new ideas. Every PITFY exhibition features work by collective members and one invited guest who has the potential to join the collective full-time. This model adds a truly dynamic element to group relations, with every participant assigned specific duties to help make the show a success. PITFY exhibition structure enhances this exciting mix even further, with biannual shows in alternative venues independent of any gallery or institutional setting. This format allows complete freedom to determine which work will be shown and how – a truly unique feature of the PITFY collective.
Contrary to group shows curated to reflect a unifying theme, PITFY exhibitions are unified in the artistic process itself. Group members take turns choosing each show’s theme, which other members are free to interpret in their own manner. Subject matter is developed collaboratively in group meetings, resulting in work that is often outside of, and sometimes even contrary to, each member’s normal subject matter and process. This inspires experimentation and new possibilities, often resulting in work that is very diverse in nature, yet unified on a common theme.
Current collective members:
Pennylane Shen (curator) – www.dazedandconfucius.com
Jay Senetchko – www.senetchko.ca
Michael Abraham – www.michaelabraham.com
Paul Morstad – www.paulmorstad.com
Bruce Pashak – www.brucepashak.com
Jonathan Sutton – www.jonathansutton.net
Jeremiah Birnbaum – www.birnbaumjeremiah.ca
Caroline Weaver – www.caroline-weaver.ca
Past Guest Phantoms include:
Pennylane has been actively involved in the not-for-profit art and charity sector for the past decade. After happily participating as a member of Art for Life committee for several years, she made the move to join the Vancouver General Hospital UBC hospital foundation in 2012.
Deeply passionate about art as a means of giving and healing, Pennylane strongly advocates for bringing artwork beyond the walls of the gallery or home. Through tours given regularly to patients and staff, she has seen firsthand the positive response to artwork in the hospital. By creating an atmosphere of hope, contemplation, cognitive stimulation and discussion for patients, visitors and staff, the hospital experience is drastically improved, as is the process of recovery.
Since its impetus in 2000, the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation has more than 1400 curated pieces by incredibly notable artists grace the walls of our hospitals, making it one of the largest and most recognized collections in Canada.
Whether you are an artist or collector, consider submitting a piece of art in consideration for donation to our hospitals. There are still many bare walls in lonely spaces that could benefit greatly from it.
Also read about the IDEA Art Award – An Emily Carr Partnership