Thursday, August 14, 2008

Show Me the Art, If Not the Money

Art shows are funny critters. By art shows, I mean the outdoor kind that spring up like mushrooms for a weekend at a park, street, plaza or parking lot. Then by Sunday night, like a mirage, all evidence of bustling activity vanishes.

Shows can vary widely in the patrons who comes, from serious collectors to impulse buyers to people who want to walk their dogs and get a dose of culture at the same time. You can see a range of artists and their wares, too--some are "Artists with a capital A," others are simply self-employed individuals who happen to have some skill at creating artwork or craft items, and some who are not artists at all but who buy artzy-looking things wholesale and sell them retail.

Some day I'll have to write a collection of short stories based on what goes on at art fairs. I could show both the artists' and the buyers' viewpoints, having done both myself over the years.

However, I've decided to stop doing shows and focus on other venues, preferably galleries and a few select western (indoor!) art shows. But if you attend art shows (or if you show your art at them), don't be surprised if you see some guy with a pad of paper and a pen, looking around and writing things down. Who knows -- you may become a character in a short story some day!

I took the accompanying photo of a show I did several years ago at Fountain Hills, AZ, northeast of Scottsdale. (I obscured the faces and the signage to protect the innocent). You can't really see it "post-obscuration," but a female on the right in a red top looks like she's gagging herself. (Hmmm...was this how she felt about what she saw at the show...?)

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