So, are you worried out there, that you’re not selling your pieces? Well there are a few artists selling, but only a few. I was looking forward to visiting the Las Vegas International Art Expo again this year in September. It’s always great to see what the new SOLO artists are creating and how the premier artists have tweaked their style so that their regular patrons will again buy their pieces. Art Business News whose parent company runs both the New York and Las Vegas International Art Expos postponed or possibly cancelled both major art shows because of the lack of sales of booth space and too few buyers per booth. Many of the gallery and SOLO artists have decided that they can’t afford the prices that the large expos and showcases are charging, especially when the inherent total expenses to exhibit, (we’re discussing a 4’ X 10” booth,) runs in the neighborhood of $7000. to $10,000. At the same time, galleries are pulling back, dropping artists and tightening up. I have friends on the East Coast (professional artists/instructors/framers), who after acquiescing to the exorbitant costs of doing the NYC and LV shows, have decided that Art Basel Miami Beach might be a better bet.
As a mirror to the national and international art scene, closer to home, we recently saw the Saunders Gallery in Fig Garden, Peppertree Gallery at Marks and Shaw and the Gallery at the Park at Nees and Palm close, apparently due to lack of local interest which is probably a fast and loose euphemism. These events are more likely to be a factor of the current economic recession since the viability of most galleries is tied to sales. On the other hand, since you are accessing this missive via FresnoArts.net, you are probably aware that this region has a burgeoning arts and cultural community.
So at this point in the normal ebb and flow of the art market, the artist has the time to evolve their style; the opportunity to add works to their portfolio and to add shows and displays to their bio. Again most outcomes are predicated on intention. Generally, artists work towards social validation that their art has intrinsic value, which they want to share. In booming economic times (see: 2002), validation might be in the form of high-volume sales. Outside validation in an ebb market may mean a great critical review or simply good feedback from the public or their peers. It takes a supremely self-actualized person who paints for his or herself only.
When you are looking for a venue to display your artwork in, spend some time to understand how the exposure might be compatible to your goals. Are you looking for sales only? Are you looking to get an enhanced reputation in your social circle or the community? Are you focused on stimulation of the flow of emotions, whether visceral, psychological, positive or negative? How are each of these factors going to effect the reception of each piece and the show overall? Should any of us care? And if we do care, what does that do to what is considered as the purity of our vision. I think these are thoughts that we each as artists, curators, members of artist collectives, jurors of shows, writers of blogs and critiques and even patrons of the arts must contemplate.
These are questions that a quality artist begins to ask when they finally realize that they will always love their newest piece and that their road of exploration will last a lifetime.
Gallery Curator - K-Jewel Art Gallery