Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The Art Fair Recap
The vast history of my fair experience has been with the more "craftier" arts. I have done weaving and basketry too long ago to note here. And then for 15 years I made and sold elaborate Mardi Gras Masks. I am used to a lot of activity at fairs. People coming and going in my booth. And a fair number of sales as my price point was lower and I had to sell more to make expenses. Yes, Virginia, there are expenses at a fair. And they are about equal to the gallery cut.
I knew when I switched to painting that art fairs would be different. More people just walk by my booth. If they are looking for jewelry they walk by all booths with paintings. I know that fairs are now about finding those people looking for paintings - not selling paintings to those that are not. It is about getting my work before the people that like it. And given my price point these days the difference between a so-so fair and a great fair can be one sale. Or as in the case of this last fair - one or two collectors of my work.
And the fair is not necessarily over when you break down and pack all the paintings away. They do not, like my masks, go into dark boxes stored in a corner of my storage shed. They get hung back up in my studio and some go to the galleries that represent me. And some of the people that just passed by this last weekend took my card and call.
It was my best fair with painting that I have ever had. (This is by my standards as a painter new to this game.) But I don't consider it over yet. My fine artist friends in the game for far longer than me say they consider a 2-week window in which someone can still call and say,"I saw your work at . . ." or "Did you sell that one . . .". And an art fair is about more than sales. It is about recognition and networking. Still the sales are very nice whenever they come.
"The opera ain't over till the fat lady sings." Dan Cook, Writer/sportscaster. And if you are one of those that believes it was Joe DiMaggio see Wiki.