This Side of the Red Sticker

Maria Teicher is currently in the first year of her MFA at the New York Academy of Art.  Although painting is her first and foremost, Maria also works as a photographer.  With camera in hand at all the Academy's events, her perspective is unique as it often changes within each new frame. A new conversation is heard with another focus of her lens.  

Originally posted by, Maria Teicher, MFA 2013

The general art loving/collecting public doesn't often get to see the artist's perspective behind the finished canvas. There's often a lot more to the work hanging on the white wall before you. There's a real human being there that is often overlooked and unrealized.

The Academy has some incredible opportunities for students attending. Deck The Walls is a big one. Three walls filled with incredible art by students and alumni are divided by price points while artists paint live models in the middle of our gallery space. Collectors and art lovers crowd around, finding art they connect to and some even purchase works to take home. This particular show is anonymous and the collector does not know who exactly they are purchasing work from until later.  It's a beautiful idea that forces one to look at the work rather than the name of the artist. It's a fun frenzy, but there's more to it than one would realize.

I entered Deck The Walls with camera in hand (as usual) and walked around the room. The excitement from everyone was apparent and contagious. I stumbled over to where my pieces were and within the first hour, two had sold. Overjoyed, I immediately captured the red sold sticker and contacted my fiancé. It was an incredible moment but I wasn't forced to analyze how big these moments can be until a little later on.

After walking around the event and documenting it's blissful candids of holiday art, drinks and fun, (which you can see here: flickr) I found some of my fellow classmates and friends. A handful of us got wrapped up in great conversation as we quietly kept our eyes on our pieces. Some of us had sold works while others hopefully waited. I watched my classmate Daniela as the dialogue continued. She had yet to sell and I observed her  eyes floating back and forth from her piece to the conversation taking place. A few minutes passed and all of a sudden there was a red sticker placed next to her painting. The genuine excitement and emotion she exuded was beautiful, infectious and honest. Her eyes filled with quiet tears as she apologized for becoming emotional. She explained that this was her first work ever sold and the weight of the moment was felt by all. Standing there with her, the group of us couldn't be more thrilled for her. It was only a few minutes in time, but that feeling will stay with me for years to come.  

To put your mind, heart and hand into something (no matter the subject) takes a lot of courage. When someone you do not know connects enough with something you have made to purchase it, it is a feeling like no other. Art lovers and collectors may not realize that these little moments exist, but they do. They're a silent encouragement to the artist. They are a confirmation that our passion, hard work and skill can make connections to the world we observe and choose to express through creating. 

There's an entire world on the other side of the red sticker and although I'm slighting bias, I must say that it's a really great one.


  1. What a great, honest piece of writing.

    We have been to Take Home a Nude and Deck the Walls at the New York Academy of Art and are looking forward to the Tribeca Ball in April.

    Although we are not rich by any means, at each one of these events we have been fortunate to find special pieces to add to our small but growing collection. We collect art that speaks to us and that adds to our daily lives in our home.

    You are right it takes a lot of courage on the part of the artist and I think your post is an honest insight in to what an artist experiences. We know there is a story behind each piece we have and that there is a story to each artist that we admire.

    Thanks for sharing and we plan to continue to encourage the very talented emerging artists at the Academy.

  2. just another drop to remove from the ocean of student debt. Interesting how 'silent encouragements' can be reminders of eternal bondage.

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