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Susan Holland 's comment on FineArtViews Interview: Edward Winkleman -- Gallery Owner, Curator, Author and Art Blogger

Susan Holland
via faso.com
Brian, I am going to be setting up my last "First Friday Artwalk" in about a week. This is a small town "festival" that happens all summer long in a city whose merchants welcome the extra flow of traffic on a summer night. There are artists whose work has been juried in by some branch committee of the chamber of commerce. They are not allowing wares not made by the artist him/herself and they do vet that carefully. Musicians come out and play in cafes and restaurants. Kids come with parents...diners come out after dinner. They get to know you. I ask for a spot that's under cover (too old for canopies now) and they put me in one of the cute theatre lobbies. Set up an hour early. By this time of the year, people are coming in to see what's new on my display. They buy. They ask. They share. They remark. (also they walk by with only a glance, of course.)

Why am I sharing this? I think the troubled galleries, and the burgeoning web marketing trend that seems to be imploding, this stuff is having the wobbles. My sense is that people are longing for non-virtual connection. Real connection is what they have a hunger for, whether they realize it yet or not.

Artists are scratching heads from all corners right now (from the forums I frequent on LinkedIn) about how to move their art in this climate. They are having poor results getting off the ground with either gallery insecurity or the overwhelming competition of online sales. They are talking about clothesline sales, some of them. I am wishing I were young enough to whip up all these sighing artists and encouraging them to generate fairs in their own small communities, or streets of larger communities that occur on a certain date..maybe only once a year on International Art Day..where they hang out the contents of their archives and storage and price them to get art out and on people's walls! It could be a global party, like New Year's Day, if it caught on. I am getting positive vibes from Spain, and France and NYC about this "podunk" sounding idea. It could start little. Just chug along faithfully long enough for people to learn to love it, and embrace Art Day as a favorite event. Nothing grandiose! Just artist to neighbor. One warm hand to another.

How can you make a living like this? You can make part of a living like this. You can call some of your endeavor's expenses "tuition"...it's a school no institution can give any artist, being there with a live customer. And you will learn what you are doing that people like. If they buy one, they will "know an artist", and it begins to flow.

Forgive the many words. I am excited, and some others are. Waiting for someone to pick up this ball and deliver it to a Seth Seminar of something. It CAN work. It is working in my city and in others that I know of.



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