Archive for May, 2007

Art Equipment For Sale

May 29, 2007

 

For sale:

1. Printmaking Equipment:

  • Charles Brand Etching Press – bed size 32″ X 52″
  • Drying Rack – approx. 50 spring loaded wire shelves each measuring 36″ X 48″;
  • Oak constructed glass-topped (5/8″ thick custom made) inking tables each
  • Several rollers, brayers, some in great shape while others may need
  • Various thickness blankets for press work – acid trays and other printmaking

Equipment is in the Atlanta area.
For more info: contact LaTrece Coombs, artshowgal@bellsouth.net.

2. Interested in pottery-making equipment? Rita Meech and Terry Oss in Cadillac, MI, have closed their pottery and have their equipment for sale as well as that of fellow potters Dave and Joyce Petrakovitz who retired several years ago.

This is an extensive list, so email Rita and Terry to receive the complete list: meechoss@charter.net

Upcoming Cool Art Things To Do

May 29, 2007

1. Gallery opening : June 1-30

Dennis Kendal Hall

Celebrating Four Decades in Photography

Leger Fine Art Gallery

228 W. 3rd St.

Davenport, IA

For more info: 309-716-1087

legerfineart@yahoo.com

 

2. May 29th: artBLAST Patron Party to support the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center. Your opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with internationally ceramist John Glick at Plum Tree Pottery. Expect a unique evening among arts lovers, a Tuscan feast by Charles Keeps of Savoir Fare, classical music by the Dearing Concert Duo. Enjoy it all in the surroundings of the home and studio of John Glick and his wife, Susie Symons, in Farmington Hills.

For more info about the party, click here.
To learn more about John, visit his website: www.PlumTreePottery.com.

 

3. Artists do you need to learn more about digital imaging for jurying? Larry Berman will be presenting his next digital image seminar with Bruce Baker at the Pensacola Museum of Art on June 14th. There is more information about it on the museum web site: http://www.pensacolamuseumofart.org/

 

4. Launch Party @ Kreative Soul Boutique
Saturday, June 9, 2 pm
Chicago, IL
View the creative jewelry collections by LaToya Jones and LaNaye Lawson at this trunk show. Sounds like a great party!
www.seisyn.etsy.com

Interested in the Fiber & Folk Art Fair?

May 16, 2007

Carol Cassidy-Fayer, organizer of the new Fiber and Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL, shared a lot of information with me about her plans for the new event. I think after you read this you will be as enthused about the possibilities of the Fair as I was.

First, about the event:

I am diligently working on getting the workshop list up – it is a FABULOUS list. There are 40(?) teachers, many with name recognition, all experts in their fields coming from all parts of the US, and 104 (?) workshops.

Booths sold to 58 vendors, California to Rhode Island and Texas to Minnesota! We will have live music at “Front Porch Music Stops” (5 of them) all day and live music on stage at night. The fine arts show will be open to all.

We are having a fundraiser dinner Saturday night to “Make a Little Magic”. When a bunch of good people get together in support of a good cause…REAL magic CAN and DOES happen! We will be raising money in partnership with the Northwest Area Arts Council (NAAC), our non-profit partner.

We have a wonderful beer garden with GREAT food and beer going all day and into the evenings…we want to promote the community of artists and give them time to relax and enjoy and network together in the evenings.

And, here is some background on Carol herself:

In early 2002, after time spent working in the fiber arts, I became involved in a community-based, grass roots effort to save an historic mansion and property in my town. I was asked to co-chair a fundraising drive to raise $1.6 million…but we only had 45 days to do it! – we succeeded! In the midst of doing this I had the education of a lifetime: resurrecting the community festival and carnival, creating other festivals to be “pillar projects” for the center…major fundraising events. Strategic planning, feasibility studies, surveys, fundraising, the decision to be an art center. Then came curating art shows, producing theatrical productions, running events.

I left after 4 years because it was time for me to go and because I needed to begin to earn income again! I thought, perhaps, I would go back to my fiber arts businesses, but they were not enough – I wanted to incorporate all of the new experiences plus my old ones into something that made sense, motivated me, and – provided an income that is self-supporting. The answer was…the fair.

I built the online marketing community for fiber arts – www.FibervilleUSA.com. It is growing and that has provided me with marketing opportunities as well for the fair.

Prior to my adventure, I had been moving more toward teaching, had authored a book on drop spinning, etc. A fair can teach a LOT of people, a world of people, not just one at a time! I had had experience vending and supporting my vendors at other fairs such as Maryland Sheep and Wool, FiberFest, Michigan Sheep and Wool, etc. I had had experience with huge crowds that attend the community festival, the art shows, dinners, theatricals. The fair tied it all together.

I took all my favorite experiences from all of these events, added some items from my own “wish list” and began, last year, to first test the market, then promote the new Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair. I tried very hard to shoot it…I did a small “feasibility study” and invited people I knew were pessimistic. I took my 50 page business plan to a professional, well-respected, business planner, I tested partnerships that I knew would be critical…and the more I did, the more excited people became, the more evident it became that this was something I had to do.

I have the partnerships in place, I now have some team members too. They have awesome experience and fill in the holes that I have. What’s more, all who attend the fair, be they vendors, artists, workshop teachers, students, attendees, are considered our guests and our priority is to inspire them, entertain them, and show them a good time.

Last, I believe in community service. I believe in giving back…or paying it forward, whichever you prefer. So, to be truly motivating for me, I had to have a portion of the fair do something positive in the world…or the community, the world is a very big place.

Interested? visit the website: www.fiberandfolk.com

Your Marketing Edge: Customer Service

May 13, 2007

All artists know that interacting with the interested people who attend art fairs is their surest key to financial success. It has been shown time and again that the artist who is up and visiting with these visitors in the booth will outsell those who are in the back with a book.

Here is an interesting article about differentiating yourself from others by Gary M. Stern in the Small Business Review:

For many small businesses, delivering superior customer service isn’t an add-on, an extra benefit or a cherry on the sundae, it’s about survival. Small companies can’t match industrial giants, retail superstores or giant consumer marketers for promotional and advertising budgets. And they usually can’t afford to undersell the big guys. But they do have a powerful marketing tool–enhanced customer service—if they choose to use it.

At Prudence Design & Events, a florist in Manhattan, co-owner Grayson Handy, says its personalized, up to and including accompanying brides to the catering hall, sustains its business. “We’re competing with huge companies such as Teleflora and 1-800 Flowers that have endless pockets to advertise galore and reach millions of people through their websites,” he says.

Taking advantage of a small business’ advantage

Still, many small businesses fail to deliver the service that can provide a competitive advantage. “They haven’t understood how creating one-on-one relationships and making their customers feel personally valued and appreciated is what gives them their biggest differentiation from larger organizations,” explains Paul Levesque, author of Customer Service Made Easy.

To read the rest of this article visit the Small Business Review.

Oklahoma City Festival Kicks Out Importer

May 8, 2007

The Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City is a BIG event, brought to the community by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City for six days every year at the end of April. It is highly regarded by artists for the quality of the patrons and the wonderful organization. So, everyone was surprised last week when it was discovered that a person, posing as an artist, was found in the midst of the fair, selling Chinese paper-cuttings purchased on the Internet.

Paper-cutting is a traditional art in China and there are a few wonderful Asian artists like Lou Hii, a native of Hong Kong, living and creating in Indianapolis, IN, who astonish the public with their fine work.

“Nine Lucky Koi”, paper cutting by artist Lou Hii

But this time an imposter importer appeared at Oklahoma City. How did they find him? Here is a report from Sally Bright (fiber artist from Fenton, MI) on the NAIA Forum:

Friday, the 4th day of the 6 day show, someone bought a couple pieces of this stuff. At home they checked the internet and found the exact designs they paid $68 for listed for $14. Saturday morning they brought the website information to the show, asked for their money back and got it.

Someone from the show started calling wait-listed, local artists. Someone else took a couple “of BIG burley men” over to the booth, dropped the front tarp of the show-owned tent without saying a thing, and then told the guy to get out! He just shrugged his shoulders. Show staff helped remove the items immediately. And another artist was set up within 2 hours of the tarp drop.

Later I talked with Peter Dolese, director of the show. On behalf of real artists working so hard to make a living in this realm I thanked him for enforcing the show’s rules. The show’s lawyer is studying the contract before they take further action with this guy. They will at least contact all buyers (if possible) to explain what happened and return their money if desired. Since this is a commission show, the importer guy had not been paid as of Sunday night.


Young Women Re-Craft Feminism as a DIY Project

May 6, 2007

As a subscriber to Women’s eNews articles of interest to the arts community appear occasionally. I found this one of interest and maybe you will also. You can access this story by Courtney Martin at www.womensenews.org or read on below:

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)–Two young women–strangers–sit across from one another on the subway knitting brightly, multi-colored scarves on the F train heading into Brooklyn.

They give one another knowing smiles and one removes her earphones. “So where do you get your yarn?”

Knitting, crochet, quilting, weaving, silk screening, sewing, book making, scrapbook making and amateur interior design have hit the big time among many young women.

According to the Crafts Report, a trade magazine based in Iola, Wis., almost half of crafters in the $13 billion-a-year industry are under 45 years of age and two-thirds are women.

Boutiques selling handcrafts, craft fairs and Web sites such as GetCrafty, KnitHappens, Craftster, ChurchofCraft and Knitty are measures of a boom.

What’s going on?

Homemade wares were once the key to survival, but as industrialization replaced locally produced goods, they became basement hobbies by the 1950s, largely sequestered off in a cultural corner.

But in an era of rising anxiety about the effects of globalization–on everything from the economy to social cohesion to the biosphere–many young women in their teens, 20s and 30s are joining a push to make things local and more personally connected. And for many of them knitting and stitching is the way in.

“There’s something undeniably empowering about saying, ‘I made that,’ whether the finished product is a crocheted tea cozy, a water bottle chandelier or a rig to connect your iPod and a car stereo,” says Julia Cosgrove, managing editor of ReadyMade, a Berkeley, Calif., magazine chock full of craft project ideas. “The DIY movement offers its members the utmost independence, so it’s no surprise that feminists, who had long fought for independence and equality, should find a home within its confines.”

Restoring a Connection

As postings on message boards on sites like Craftivism show, DIY, as the do-it-yourself movement is known, is not about learning how to hang your own wallpaper. It’s about taking charge of your own life, removing it from the sphere of commercial transaction and restoring a connection to women’s historic work and the traditional joys of domestic arts.

“I get kind of hurt in a special place in my heart when I hear ‘This ain’t your grandma’s crochet’ or ‘Your mama never made anything like this,'” a Portland, Ore., nurse posted on the Craftser site. “It’s a major diss on matriarchy that’s rather uncomfortable . . . Here’s a big ups to all the moms who brought us to where we are, and here’s to us who bring into the material world our own versions of things past.”

“Every time I meet other women in a knitting circle, I am recreating the quilting bees of over a century ago. I am facilitating growth in my community,” Betsy Greer, founder of Craftivism, a site that links crafting with activism, wrote in her master’s dissertation on knitting. “I am re-establishing a connection via my own channels, reclaiming something that was lost in the postmodern quest for more, more, more.”

From Survival to Pastime

DIY has philosophical roots in the 1970s “back to the land” push by young people against a rising tide of materialism and an effort to reclaim the skills and means to make their own food, clothes and homes. “The Whole Earth Catalog”–first published in 1968 and recently called “Google in paperback form” by Apple CEO Steve Jobs–was their bible.

Today’s DIY movement–with movable boundary lines that can be extended to include anti-globalization activists and self-described feminist knitters–has morphed the philosophy to fit a 21st century world where corporate monopolies, globalization and intensive advertising have alienated the average consumer from production more dramatically than ever.

That alienation comes to an end, female crafters and their clients argue, when commerce is reclaimed as a face-to-face, hand-made affair.

Economically and philosophically, many young women who align themselves with the DIY sensibility also say it distances them from big corporations that don’t pay living wages or provide health care for workers, oftentimes women from the developing world.

Supporting the Feminist Community

“My friends who go out of their way to make their own stuff or purchase from within the DIY community often talk about wanting to support women-owned small businesses,” says Lisa Jervis, founding editor of Bitch magazine, based in Oakland, Calif. “It is a desire, not only to protect the environment and reject corporate capitalism, but to spend money in a community that is explicitly feminist.”

But as the DIY movement becomes trendier, it has also begun to play the cat-and-mouse game with imitative mass consumerism.

Sew-your-own accessory kits are now sold with the popular Bratz doll series. Minneapolis-based Target, the sixth largest U.S. retailer, offers products like Granny Squares, a kit that comes with crochet hook, plastic needle and 300 yards of yarn in six colors.

This is partly why Jen Angel, co-creator of the now defunct Clamor magazine, which published from 1999 to 2006 and called itself “your DIY guide to everyday revolution,” is weary of associating DIY culture explicitly with products.

“To me, DIY doesn’t have anything to do with crafting; it has to do with personal empowerment,” she says. “It’s about knowing that if there is something that you want to do, you can go out and gain the knowledge and do it yourself, instead of waiting for someone else (a man, your family, the government) to do it for you.”

Courtney E. Martin is a writer, teacher and filmmaker living in Brooklyn. “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body,” her first book, which will be published on Simon and Schuster’s Free Press in spring of 2007. You can read more about Courtney’s work at http://www.courtneyemartin.com/ .