(Maybe) A Hoarder

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am a garage sale junkie. I have spent a decade filling up my garage
with “finds” that I know would cost me a lot if I had to buy them. But
now my husband wants to create a workshop and I need to
consolidate. I have acquired many beautiful picture frames, the kind
that would cost a lot in a frame store. I have also finally started to
take my painting hobby more seriously. Don’t laugh or freak out but I
probably have a hundred of them, many more than I could fill even if
my art were good enough to display, which it is not yet–but might
become. I’ve donated a lot of the other junk to charities, but I don’t
want to give up on my dream of a show. I promised Hubby I would
listen to you. Do I need to trim by more than half?

(Maybe) A Hoarder

Dear Maybe/Hoarder:

While replacement cost is generally a good decision-making tool for
what to stash in one’s garage or attic, keeping a lot of junk (especially
flammable material) that one doesn’t need is a hoarding symptom.
Even if Hubby wasn’t asking for space, doing an annual clean out is a
good reality check on what’s worth keeping and what might be worth
putting in a garage sale of your own.

Most non-professional shows are hung in small restaurants, coffee
houses, or arts collectives. Even a relatively big show might have
twenty pieces. I’d suggest taking your favorite frames, and perhaps
those that are considered standard sizes for which you could get some
pre-cut mats, and hanging a show in your own home of your dozen
favorite paintings. Take a wall and treat this project like it matters.
Seeing your art hung will give you perspective and invite feedback
from family and friends. After a few weeks, rotate a few of the
paintings. Then cut your frame hoard in half; if you haven’t gotten a
show in the world by next year, do it again. Be sure to look for a local
arts organization that works with the young to donate what you don’t
keep. With schools doing less, we all need to do more to engage
growing imaginations.