Monday, January 18, 2010

Why Do People Do Art Shows?

This is an old draft I finally made the time to sit down and finish. I sometimes have more than one going on at a time, posting none of them. This goes back to November.

I was at dinner the other night when two friends mentioned that I had not put anything new on my blog in awhile. Too true. I have saved stuff to write about but have not gotten around to writing anything. Time! That’s the key; time to do so. I decided today I would try to get something written. (And didn't do so until now, 2 months later!)

In the past two months I have been to a number of Arts Festivals with my friend Nancy. Nancy is a retired elementary school principal. Since retiring, she has been busy with a number of different projects; arts and crafts, stamping, scrapbooking; a regular Martha Stewart! She always has something in the works. Nancy is now into photography. She has taken a number of photography classes. She takes great photos, as she puts it, of things that do not move. She does buildings and objects, not people or animals. She has done shows in the Atlanta area and in South Carolina. I have helped her out a few times. Needless to say, most I have helped her with have either been rainy or cold days. The last one I did I thought I would never warm up, and it was only October. Most of Nancy’s shows are outdoors; one lately was indoors.

Preparation for the shows is a lot of work; which photos to take, framed or just matted, what sizes. I told Nancy one time (she had been out of town, and I had collected her mail for her) I would never know if anyone had broken into her house and disturbed anything because she spreads her stuff out ALL OVER the place!

Setting up for the shows is also a lot of work. Nancy has a tent she puts up and display walls on which to hang her photos. It takes a couple of hours to get everything set up. Nancy plans out how and where everything will be hung. She has a system in place; what photos get hung on the walls, which go in baskets. She has props and displays. She sets her tent up to “draw” in the customers.

That’s another story in itself. Some days there will be a number of visitors to the show and Nancy’s tent, other days few. I don’t know how Nancy does it. I think I would go nuts; being there all day waiting for people not only to come into my tent, but to also buy something. To me it would be very discouraging to have people look through my photography, tell me how good it was, then walk away without buying a thing. Not Nancy. At Chastain, one guy came back at least three times; even brought his cousin back with him; to look at a scene from Sullivan’s Island, and he still did not buy the photo. Nancy just kept smiling and having conversations with him. Nancy does not get discouraged. She will be ready for the next show, around the next corner.

It is also interesting to see which photos attract people at the different shows; at one show it was scenes from the Atlanta area, at another show photos taken in Europe, at a third show beach photos. Every show attracts a number of different types of people. Interesting!

Nancy makes friends at all her shows. She befriends the people set up beside her. At the Chastain show the photographer beside her gave her a lot of advice; price the photos higher, no posters, make the mats herself. He was very friendly; as was his girlfriend; and he wanted Nancy to be successful. He had no trouble sharing his advice with her; good advice at that.

Nancy is always planning; the next shot, the next project, the next show. She is off for awhile now, so she will have lots of ideas by the time the next show rolls around!

1 comment:

  1. You are such a hoot! OK, I did learn a new trick in Photoshop last night. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Also, going to try to merge a street sign with a building. Hummmm. Are you on the edge of your seat? Just keep your fingers crossed. You know, I could never do all of this if it wasn't for you, Tom and Barbara...oh, and the homeless guys at Myrtle Beach when none of you could go with me. Thanks for the cute blog.