Thursday, August 14

Explore Art Galleries & Art Festivals

If you missed it, this art blog had a theme this week: 4 Steps to Renew Your Interest in Art. Step 1 was to Make Your Art a Priority. Step 2 was to Invest in a Few Art Supplies. Step 3 is Explore Art with last art blog covering local art museums. Today’s art blog covers art galleries and art festivals.

Art Galleries
After you have visited all the museums in your area, then there are the art galleries. For those viewers in the United Kingdom, I’m talking here about privately owned businesses and not art museums.

These are the commercial ventures where art is bought and sold, usually, and sometimes auctioned. There are art galleries sponsored by not-for-profit groups as well as by groups of artists, and some art galleries don’t sell the art they exhibit.

Most cities of any size have several art galleries. Many times the art galleries are in proximity to each other and are often in or near the ‘art’ district in your town (e.g. SoHo in New York or Vyner Street in London), if there is one. More often than not, they exhibit a limited number of artists’ works--the ones that sell :-). They may exhibit art of a particular type or genre, e.g. Western (US) art. Google ‘art galleries’ and the name of your city, and you should have no trouble finding several.

The art gallery may take a percentage of the sales price of the art they sell or sell the artwork on consignment. They may also proactively market the work (or not). Sometimes they are open regular business hours, but many times you have to make an appointment. They are usually interested only in potential clients and don’t necessarily want people wandering in off the street.
The point is that you should visit a few to see what’s currently popular artwise, or if nothing else, just to see how they operate. This probably won't win me any popularity contests, but I think they're a bit clannish.

Art Festivals

This is a very broad area, to say the least, that can include a number of different scenarios. It may be called a festival, a fair, a market, a show, or be named something colloquial regarding your locale e.g. New Mexico Arts & Crafts Fair in Albuquerque. You'll see many times they've added the term 'crafts' to the name, so it becomes an arts & crafts fair. But this is just one example, here are a couple more (Taste & Art Stroll in Del Mar, CA; Amelia Island Fall Art Show, FL).

Many cities and/or civic groups sponsor annual or semi-annual events depending on the season. The purpose may be non-profit to promote ‘the arts’ in your area, or it may be sponsored by a group that gets a cut of the admission fee, parking, concessions, etc. Certainly one of the most unique art festivals is the annual Houston Art Car Parade where cars are artfully decorated by a diverse contingent of local groups, judged, and paraded downtown. The image at the top of today's blog shows one of the more than 250 entrants in the Art Car Parade.

These can be quite commercial events as well. Exhibiting at art festivals is a business model for many festival sponsors, surrounding businesses, and for many artists as well. There are even website businesses based on helping artists apply to shows around the US with online payment and uploading of digital images for those shows that are juried. Zapp is just one example.

Whatever, these are usually a fun way to spend at least half a day on a weekend to see what the artists in your area (and sometimes from other parts of the country) are showing. I recommend you check out the art festivals, shows, markets, craft fairs, etc. in your area. You'll be in for a good time.

In the Studio

I got a good start on the acrylic of the desert scene I’m working on. I painted the sky with a mixture of the aptly named greyish blue and a lot of titanium white. I also started work on the six or seven cacti in the scene using a mixture of Baltic green, Hooker’s green, cadmium yellow light, and green gold with dabs of raw umber and alizarin crimson. For the groundwork I used the same mixture but added titanium white. I’ve still got a lot of work to do as it looks pretty monochromatic at this point. But I’m pleased with my current progress and will keep you updated.

If you like reading this blog, please leave a comment, and feel free to link this site to others who may have an interest.


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