Social media was a key to Debbie Bzdyl’s selection for her first group exhibition. She was one of eight women artists in a show that ran from Feb. 1-14 at the new Dan Lyles Gallery on 123 South Main Street in Greenville (where the old Art Cellar used to be).
Bzdyl had contacted Lyles via Instagram about whether he was taking any new artists for his gallery but didn’t hear back for several weeks. Then he messaged her to ask if she’d be interested in being part of an upcoming show. She was thrilled, especially because it turned out that 50 artists had applied for the eight slots. “That’s how he works,” she said. “He finds artists he feels have potential and are serious about their work. He stressed strongly that any serious artist should have a strong social media presence. He talked about the importance of branding and of having a strong representative to get your name out there. Artwork is not going to sell itself no matter how good you are. You need a strong business plan.”
Bzdyl posts on Instagram up to once or twice a week—whenever she finishes a painting—and also has a Facebook page and an online portfolio.
Four of Bzdyl’s pieces for the show are part of her Cosmic Dance series: Infinite Journey, Cosmic Passages, Beyond All Imaginings, and Journey into Being. (The fifth piece is called A Serendipitous Occurrence.) “My work has morphed almost 180 degrees from what I was doing five years ago,” she said. “This series speaks to what I want to do with my artwork. I’m fascinated with the renewal/rebirth/transformation of the cosmos. That’s a beautiful, humbling mystery to me. That’s the feeling I try to convey—the feeling of constant change, constant rebirth and renewal, not only as it’s happening in the cosmos but throughout our own inner journey. We renew and grow and reinvent ourselves throughout our entire lives.”
She works mostly in acrylic but also makes use of additional tools. “Sometimes I will start out marking the canvas with art crayons or charcoal or oil pastels to mark out the color scheme and composition,” she said. “Then I go from there. The work is intuitive. I don’t have a set plan when I start.”
For more information about Bzdyl, visit http://debbiebzdylartist.blogspot.com/. For more information about the Lyles Gallery, visit https://www.danlylesgallery.com/.