I’m an ordinary Artist who found himself on an extraordinary journey. In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other artist stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for those who want to pursue their artistic endeavors.
While on my honeymoon in 2017, I was lucky enough to get to walk into Gallery Vibe in Naples, Fl., and speak to the owner, Shelby Ward. I showed her pictures of some of my artwork on my phone and asked if she thought it would fit into her gallery.
She said, “No, but let me give you a tip. Google the top 10 art galleries in different cities across America and then look at their websites to determine if you think your style of art would fit into theirs. If so, then sent them a blind email asking for representation.”
I followed her instructions and sent out about 30-40 emails. Some came back asking me for money to have them represent me and others just never replied. Five months later I received an email from a gallery owner.
This is what it said;
The subject line was “Introduced by Dennis from Centaur Galleries”
The email read:
“Hello, Clark Sheppard,
It is nice that Dennis from Centaur Galleries in Las Vegas recommended you to us.
We are an international company that doing art and technology; we are Muzillion Art. We have a gallery in San Diego now and open later these months. You can check our Facebook below for more information. Our new website will be published in September and you will see new look. And the name will be changed from Oil Painting Town to Muzillion Art then.
It is enjoyable to view your arts. We appreciate that and wondering whether you will be interested in being our artist and participate in the international show in China in November, and Hongkong, Korean next year? We need good new artists to expand.
Let me know your thoughts and will be looking forward to your reply.
513 Parkway Plaza Mall,El Cajon,CA 92020 “
At first, I thought it might be a scam. So, my reply was: Have you actually seen my site? Are you interested in my new style?
Of the abstracts, which ones do you like best?
Look forward to your honest reply!
Thank you for your message.
Of course, we have checked your website a couple times, and do love the styles you are making. I personally like your colorful and unique painting. Also, I like Sedona!!!! You are living in Sedona now? I lived in Arizona for 3 years and earned my MBA degree at Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2012. I have been to Sedona couple times!! Always miss Arizona~~I appreciate that Dennis introduced you to me. Let me know if you have any question and whether you would like us to help you promote your art?
Attached were screenshots of the art they choose from my site. I then went to work and vetted them and everything looked on the up and up. I even doused asking the Universe, all came back as a YES. I then had an attorney draw up a contract to protect myself and send it to Ninim, who had no problem with signing it “as is.”
Ninim then came to Sedona to see my art in person, and that’s when she made her choice of 12 of my original paintings. She asked that I ship them to her gallery by mid-September. I decided to deliver them in person, this way I could see her gallery and bond a little bit more with the person that would be representing my art in China.
So, I booked two flights to China for my wife and me, secured visas and we landed in Guangzhou, China on December 27th, 2018.
From there our entire experience was over the top spectacular. Nimin met us at the airport and became our personal travel guide for the next ten days. Taking us to small out of the way villages of Yangshuo and Xing Ping, we were able to learn about and come to appreciate life outside the city. Of course, Nimin also showed us about 85% of Guangzhou (population of 20 million) – the old city, the new city and much of it in between!
Signage for the show.
对望 Looking at each other
In English, it means: Expectation–American Contemporary Art Show
Then came opening night of the Art show. This was a 1st class operation. We were greeted on the Red Carpet where TV and news outlets were assembled. Signage was professional as was the Muzillion Art show presentation. A room full of private collectors came to view our art. Robert Waroway, Alexander Franco, Debra and myself were there for the opening. The other 6 artists were not present.
The first piece of art to be sold
was my original painting of “Sky of Grace” to a private Chinese collector, Andy Huang. What made this sale special, is that Andy is a collector of Chinese artifacts and this was his first purchase of western Art – ever.
I later learned that he chose my art piece, Sky of Grace, because of the order of colors. The foreground of this original painting is focused on the color green, represented in the lush grasses. In Chinese cultural beliefs, green represents Life.
Moving further into the painting, you see a variety of shades of blue water which represents Abundance and Fortune. Beyond the water are sienna-colored mountains depicting the solid, grounding Support of the Earth. The blue sky is the Presence of the Universe, and finally, the bright yellow sun and its reflection in the water represents the Buddha Light – the Spiritual Awakening of Humanity. Who knew?
The next three paintings sold at this show were: Fire In the Sky, Enchanted Castle and Prism Sky – three more of my original paintings. These were purchased by another Chinse Collector, just moments after the sale of the “Sky of Grace. Needless to say, I was quite jubilant over these sales!
The highlight came when we were invited by the benefactor Arthur Wang of the Art Show to the closing night dinner. At this event, announcements were shared regarding upcoming art shows, future plans for MUZILLION ART www.muzillionarts.com and a special announcement, inviting myself and the other 2 artists to come back to China for 2-3 months to paint and create more art, All expenses paid, airfare, lodging, and meals!