Category Archives: Shows and Exhibitions

Fine Arts show, steampunk conventions, trunk shows and other exhibitions featuring the art and jewelry of Rena Hopkins.

Winter is for Undeath

I’ve been negligent.  The world has been shifting and I did not tell you.

A very (very) few of you may know that I worked in theatre a long time ago in the baby years of my artistic career.  I designed costumes, I sewed costumes, I worked in prop departments and had a promising career laying out before me.  As happens to many poor folks with big dreams, I hit a small bump in my road and those dreams for the future were de-railed by the immediate need to eat and pay rent.  I lived in my car, I framed pictures, I worked for a few more years with a theatre troupe that was a bad fit for my aesthetic…

then I gave up.

And then this winter…

NERVE Productions Dracula
NERVE Productions Dracula

I found my people, and they are RAW.


Working with a brilliant troupe of performers and creatives led by the razor sharp Kathe Koja to create a production like nothing you’ve seen before.  Immersive, mind rattling theatre that assaults every sense.  Theatre stripped to its bones and left bleeding before you. Scenes marked by shadows. Smells of the earth, and sex and fear.   And the costumes…

Rick Leider's Drac Portrait
Dracula meets Jonathan Harker
Photo by Rick Leider

This production is already run its course.  But there is more to come, and soon.  We are thinking now of Heironymous  Bosch, of labyrinthian spaces and the green light of old monitors.

I promise to keep you better informed.


Thank you Columbus!

Divine Iguana Show Booth
New Display for a New Year

Just got home from the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Studio Clearance Sale.  I make the trip to Columbus every January, and its always nice to see some of my long standing customers.  This year was the first time I brought a jewelry heavy booth, and I have to thank my Columbus fans for the warm reception for this new work.  You guys are awesome!

And to my fellow artists:

The Ohio Designer Craftsmen put on some of my favorite shows of the season.  If you’re looking to add some new shows into your schedule (this is specifically aimed at you, my Michigan friends) then you should consider applying to Shaker Heights, Winterfair, or at least the Studio Clearance Sale.  You won’t be disappointed!

Art Studio Clearance Sale

“When will you be in Columbus again?”

THIS WEEKEND!!  I will be at the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Art Studio Clearance Sale this Saturday and Sunday, January 25 and 26.

Booth 611
Booth 611…right in the middle!

I’ll be in booth 611…the one that looks just like this!


The show runs from 10-5 on Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday.  $6 gets you admission to both days.

If you’ve never been to the Art Studio Clearance Sale before, and you’re in the Columbus area, you owe it to yourself to come check this one out.  Fantastic art at wholesale prices.  I mean, GORGEOUS work.  At 20% to 75% off the regular price.  Established artists bring their discontinued, damaged or overstocked pieces and you can get amazing deals on them.

Things I will have available…
Yes…That is a Clockwork Jesus.
I love this piece…watercolor, colored pencil and collaged papers. The view out the window is from my first apartment outside of college.


Old School Bamboo pendants. I don’t make these anymore. Haven’t in a LONG TIME. Please give them homes so I can use the box they have been sitting in for something else.


Steampunk Necklaces…Of course I’ll have a handful of my signature steampunk watch movement necklaces. They are marked nearly 50% off for this show!


Will you be coming to the show?




How to Woo an Artist- Some Hints for Art Fair Coordinators

This is the season in which we artists plan out our show season for the upcoming year.  Some of us display at strictly wholesale shows or fine art galleries but the vast majority of working artists participate in one or more Art Fairs throughout the year.  Choosing which shows to apply to can be daunting.

Each show has a jury fee that is non-refundable AND a booth fee (if you are accepted).  If an artist intends to fill their entire season with shows on every weekend they will need to pay jury fees to multiple shows scheduled for each weekend, just to be sure that they have enough acceptance letters to to fill their season.   Even the best artists get rejection letters but we all learn, over time, how to maximize our season while minimizing the financial impact of all those jury fees.

I’ve heard from varied sources that applications to the Grand Old Art Fairs is down.  The recession took a hard bite out the working artists, and not all of us survived..

So let’s say you’re planning one of these big art fairs.  And you want me to apply to YOUR fair.  Heck, you want as many artists as possible to apply, so that you can carefully select a mix of the very best art and craft for your audience.  How do you entice us to throw our hats into the ring?  What do you offer that will make me want to shell out my hard earned artist dollars just for the chance at landing a spot in your show?

Make it Easy

Artist’s don’t have a lot of free time for paperwork.  We’re busy making stuff.  If your admission requirements include a lot of stuff that nobody else asks for, I probably won’t bother.

  • Use the same size photos as everyone else-  Etsy requires 1000 pixel square images.  Most artists have an Etsy account and a hard drive full of gorgeous product pics formatted to this size.  You’ll get much nicer photos if you let us choose the best out of the ones we already have instead of making us take brand new ones just for your show.
  • Don’t ask for hard copies, slides, or a CD.  or a paper application for that matter.  Do you REALLY want to swim in a sea of paper submissions?
  • Please don’t make me wade through a third party online application service.  Please.  Those things are evil.  Just make a list of requirements and let us e-mail the packet directly to you.

Make it inexpensive

Artists are broke.  We’re artists.  We work hard making the things we love, but if we were big-time, highly successful, gallery represented artists with licensing deals at Barney’s we wouldn’t be working the Art Fair circuit.

  • More than $25 for an entry is painful.  $25 is painful, but we’ll deal.
  • Consider a flat rate or discount rate for artists working in more than one media.  As a mixed media artist making both decorative and functional items I can be charged as much as $100 just to apply to a show.  OUCH!
  • Consider jurying the artist, not the media.  MOST working artists and crafters now have diversified their products to include more than one type of item.   Painters also sell note cards and magnets with their photographs.  Sculptors make brooches and pendants.  Mixed media artists make EVERYTHING.
  • Consider working with local hotels to offer discount rates to traveling artists.  Or meal specials at local restaurants.  Or free parking at the venue.  Those little things add up, and we DO take them into consideration when deciding whether a show will be worthwhile.
  • Let us apply online.  The cost of printing, postage and mailing supplies adds up fast.

Keep it Fair

Carol has been displaying her blown glass vases at your fair for 20 years.  You know you’re going to accept her again, and you know that you’ll not be taking any other blown glass artists because she has artistic tenure.  So why are you accepting jury fees from up and coming blown glass artists?  Artists gossip.  We share our experiences with the applications and admissions process.  So play fair.

  • If the odds of being accepted into a given category are especially slim, tell us in advance.  Then its on us to decide whether to blow money on a jury fee that most likely won’t net a sales opportunity.
  • Have an outside judge.  This is why there is a jury fee.  We are happy to compete on a level playing field, but if you are judging this yourself there is undoubtedly going to be bias towards artists you know.

Bribe Me

I mean it.  Offer me a tent.  Bring me food (I love food).  Have a dinner party (did I mention I love food?)

Artist amenities are very very important.  If I can only afford to apply to one show in a given time frame and one has free load-in assistance, a pre-standing tent, and a breakfast buffet I know which one I’m applying to.

  • Feed us.  Snacks are AMAZING.  A hungry artist is a cranky artist.  Some peanuts and a bottled water will win you my love many times over.
  • Free coffee.  Put it in your ad materials.  It doesn’t even have to be GOOD coffee.  Just give us coffee.  Lots of artists are night people.  Most art fairs have early morning load in.  Its sounds a lot nicer if there will be coffee.
  • Load-in Assistance.  Can’t offer drive up load in?  Then at least offer to help us carry stuff.
  • Awards.  Everybody loves to win a prize.  Hand out ribbons and a couple of waived jury fees.  It won’t hurt you much and it makes us feel special.

It’s not hard to win over the artists.  Just take a little time to see things from our perspective.  And give us snacks.

HELLO, East Lansing!

Mid Michigan, I have heard your pleas. “Where can I get awesome Divine Iguana stuff in my area?” you cried. And now there is an answer..

Thank you, Mackerel Sky, for bringing the Divine Iguana into your loving embrace. Or at least into your gallery.
We’ll take things slow :)

Mackerel Sky gallery in East Lansing
Stop in to Mackerel Sky in East Lansing.
Tell Lisa that The Divine Iguana summoned you.

In all seriousness, I’m tickled pink to have Divine Iguana boxed cards and jewelry available here. Mackerel Sky is a beautiful gallery and shop, and Divine Iguana is the least of their artists. It’s all in the company you keep, my friends, and this is great company to be in!

Oh yeah…and they have our ever popular dictionary buttons!

Dictionary Buttons by Divine Iguana
Yes, they are as cool as they look.

These little guys are HOT, East Lansing. Get them while you can!

Getting ready for TeslaCon

Oh, the amazing things I have prepared for the Divine Iguana’s debut at TeslaCon 2013

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen!  The Divine Iguana is gearing up (no pun intended) and heading to the finest Steampunk event in the country.

Have I made a fantastic new outfit? No.  Instead I’ve been toiling away making amazing new things to share.  New cards.  New prints.  New necklaces from very, very old things.  Simply the finest accessories and the most intriguing images.

This traveling art carny is packing up the gypsy layers and the steamer trunks and heading to Madison with a cargo of curiosities that I can hardly wait to share.

Among the new delights is 8×10 prints of one of my favorite notecard images..Pearls of Wicked Wisdom.

just like this, only bigger.

And this simply stunning new Black Cat print, a companion to my Black Cat notecard series and to the Black Cat collage sheet’s I’ve made available on PassionFruits Images.

Black Cat Print by Rena Hopkins

This handsome fellow will be making his public debut at TeslaCon.

I’m sleep-deprived and under costumed, but I’m very proud to be able to say that I am a

YAY! The Divine Iguana is soooo excited!

Make it Take it– Steampunk Trinket workshop at Indigenous in Cincinnati

Steampunk Trinket Workshop

Make this Steampunk Necklace!
Hey Cinncinnati! Make your own Steampunk Trinket necklace in the Divine Iguana fashion!
Saturday August 24th   1pm-2pm
Indigenous Handcrafted gallery in Cincinnati.
$15 materials fee
Ages 12 and up  

Come play in my stash of watch faces, antiqued filigree and vintage beads in this one hour workshop.  You’ll learn some jewelry basics and leave with your very own, one of a kind Steampunk Trinket necklace.

This is one of my most popular designs, and makes a wonderful gift (for yourself or others).  Space is limited so register now!