Interview with Joy McGinnis from Bogda Gallery

Posted by on Dec 24, 2008 in Art Coverage, Interviews

With the word of Bogda Gallery closing soon,  Joy Mcginnis put aside some time to do a chat interview with Globatron.  Bogda Gallery for the last 22 months has shown mostly local art from Jacksonville and the surrounding area through group shows.  Joy has allowed many artists their first chance to show ever by opening Bogda and being as inclusive as possible.  The gallery is changing it’s focus and will be closing soon.  She will be focusing on solo shows from now on.  I believe anyone who has showed in a Bogda group show should email her and thank her for the opportunity to show in a city with very few places to show.  If it wasn’t for pioneers like Joy our entire art experience would be had through blogs and be all online.  Possibly that’s where we are headed Jacksonville for 2009?

Below photos from the 5-3-8, opening.

Bogda: hey

Bogda: thanks for the good words in your wrap up

Byron: you’re very welcome.
i’d love to do an interview.

Bogda: sure thing

Byron: you busted your ass. i feel your pain.
uphill battle.
lots of prima donna artists i’m sure.

Bogda: yup

Byron: i was amazed you stuck it out as long as you did.
i’ve started doing these facebook interviews.
or i guess i could do one through gmail chat too.
tell me a good time and we can chat for twenty minute or so.

Bogda: i’m good when you are

Byron: now is good for me too.

Bogda: ok, lets do this

Byron: ok. here goes.
Joy how did you get into art?
When did you know you wanted to open a gallery?
What were the chain of events that lead you to that choice?

Bogda: 1. I’ve always loved art. My mom was an artist of sorts when I was really small. Nothing I would actually put in my gallery, but she opened the door to art for me.

Byron: And you? Have you been into making your own artwork?

Bogda: I make crap

Byron: But you make work?
What type of crap?

Bogda: I know I make crap, I stopped trying over 10 years ago
I paint and draw and sculpt
I went to art school

Byron: Well, now having run a gallery and having put on many shows you could make more educated crap I’m sure.

Bogda: I don’t have the talent

Byron: How many shows did Bogda have?
How many artist do you think Bogda showed?
estimates are cool.

Bogda: um….about 22 shows?

Byron: Also, I’m interested in how many days it took you to put up each shows.
So you guys were open 22 months?
One a month is that correct?

Bogda: i think so

Byron: Wow. What a blur.

Bogda: i know

Byron: And how many artists do you think had their first show at Bogda?

Bogda: i have no clue how many artists

Byron: I know quite a few had their first public display of work at Bogda.

Bogda: a lot of the people had shown before

Byron: That’s true also, but a lot had their first “break” at Bogda.
At least it seemed that way to me.
There would have been no other venue without Bogda it seemed.

Bogda: that’s why I opened this place

Byron: Well you succeeded.
I’m sure folks will have fond memories for years to come.
What was the straw that broke the camels back?
Was there one?

Bogda: there were a few

Byron: Care to go into it, or would you rather not?

Bogda: oh please, I’ll rant

Byron: Great. Let’s hear it. I’m all for ranting as you well know.

Bogda: I had several artists that would stiff me on the upfront fees or just complain about having to pay them… I’m not heartless, I understand financial issues and worked with a lot of people to make it easier or cheaper. But that was the money that kept the doors open and the lights on.

Byron: Odd. It seems they would have just been happy to have a place to show…period.
Obviously there weren’t a lot of folks selling work so the money had to come from somewhere, right?

Bogda: exactly

Byron: I know I was happy to pay that fee, and just be in a show here in Jacksonville. Otherwise where else were you to show?

Bogda: it was coming from me

Byron: Jeez. Sorry to hear that.

Bogda: the other thing is artists attitudes
I have no tolerance for egos anymore

Byron: I knew that might have been an issue and every time I heard someone complain about the fee, I thought about how we should just be thankful your doors were open to us.
Yeah, I bet.
Strange how folks have no reason to have egos here in Jax, but it doesn’t stop them.

Bogda: yup

Byron: Do you have any theories why a art scene as small as Jacksonville’s would have so many large egos?

Bogda: Small pond

Byron: So the small pond breeds egos?
I would think it would be the reverse myself.

Bogda: People get a little press and egos inflate

Byron: Yeah, I can see that.

Bogda: there is one exception

Byron: I’ve never tried to allow that to happen to me, as I’ve had some press and I realized how it didn’t really do anything for me.
You could have ten write ups and not sell a thing.
Not that if I was selling I would get a bigger ego.
But who knows.

Bogda: when people sell they get egos
with a few exceptions

Byron: So with these ego experiences, do you have any specific examples of how the ego was too much to handle, deal with.
Any strange events like someone egging your house or something?

Bogda: I had two shows where I hid
Never been egged

Byron: Hid from the artists?

Bogda: hid from the opening

Byron: Everyone in the opening or anyone specific?

Bogda: I sat on the side of the building smoking cigarettes all night

Byron: Wild.
So what did you learn about yourself through all of this?
Did you have any moments of clarity?

Bogda: granted they were easily the two worst shows i ever had here

Byron: What was your best show in your mind?

Bogda: I loved the street art show

Byron: Yeah me too.
The out of towners show was killer too.

Bogda: the out of towners was a lot of fun to put together

Byron: Were the Out of Towner artists easier to work with than the locals.

Bogda: oh yeah

Byron: I would think so.
I have this theory that , that is why Rob at Screen Arts in St. Augustine mostly shows out of towners.

Bogda: the first two shows i had here were faves

Byron: The Labor show was the first one right.

Bogda: yup
it was amazing

Byron: Yeah, that one rocked. Labor was a big part of Bogda for a bit there wasn’t it. Drew the largest crowds didn’t they.

Bogda: yeah, I still love my Barflies

Byron: So back to moments of clarity. Sorry to ask that but just wondering.
Also, wondering where you see Jacksonville art in five, ten years. If you have a vision for it.
I myself see this type of ebb and flow going on for decades until we get a core art area that’s walkable.

Bogda: The clarity was that I wasn’t good. I wasn’t putting everything into the gallery, I was sucking as a parent, I got a part time job just to escape this place, I just wasn’t doing well and my health was terrible.

Byron: Wow. So sorry to hear that.
Do you have any regrets?
I know that’s a stupid question to.

Bogda: I don’t really

Byron: But when folks are finished with something they usually ask themselves that question.
Any plans on working in the arts, organizing, making art, etc. for the future?

Bogda: I took a chance on something I dreamed about doing, I’m not going to regret that
Well, I still have almost a year of art booked for this place before it’s done.

Byron: So you’ll have art shows for one more year still. So it’s not over?

Bogda: mostly solo shows, not the normal stuff that i was doing

Byron: That’s good to hear.
Then maybe you’ll change your mind after the year.

Bogda: i’m keeping the doors open until i run this place into the ground

Byron: Maybe the solo shows will be better for you?

Bogda: myself with it

Byron: I’m sure the solo shows will help settle things down a bit.

Bogda: the solo shows are more for my health

Byron: Who are you showing this year?
I love solo shows.
Also, have you been documenting the shows?
It might be nice to put out an art book of shows?

Bogda: I have a show with McDermott next month

Byron: Is there a web site to see the work?

Bogda: a private collector is selling off original comic book pages in Feb.

Byron: What type of work is it?

Bogda: I don’t really know
reclaimed materials?

Byron: McDermott?
Full name?

Bogda: hang on, let me get my book

Byron: okay.

Bogda: Jonathan
He showed in a group show with me a few months back

Byron: sculptor

Bogda: Really nice guy
I think he paints too

Byron: Yeah, I did a video of him at that opening. one sec. I’ll get the link.

Bogda: i was getting you a link to his images

Byron: Yeah, I remember that show. It was like yesterday.
Yeah, nice guy.
nice show actually.

Bogda: I scaled that show down a lot and had some no shows

Byron: His sculpture is very slick.
Works his tale off oh them it seems.

Bogda: yeah

Byron: So anything else you’d like to add?
advice for folks opening up galleries maybe?

Bogda: I’m selling off unclaimed art, stop by and see what’s going cheap

Byron: Any advice for local artists with big egos?

Bogda: people opening galleries? make sure you can afford the art habit.
I don’t have anything to say to big ego artists, I’m over them. They are so 2006….

Byron: True. True. And it’s 2009.
Onward and upward Joy. Thanks for the chat.
Appreciate all the hard work you put in for such little return.


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