The reception at Frank last night was a lot of fun, nice to see all of you that came out on a very cold evening. I have found my calling. I was bartender and it seems that it suits me very well :) we had Carolina Brewery beers, yum, and I did have my share of it while pouring wine and beer for others. Quite honestly it seemed to me to be a gathering of artists that were squeezing in a tiny bit of fun and good food before going home to finish last minute details in their studios. Not a lot of the buying public came out as far as I could tell. Guess they were all over at Best Buy getting the latest greatest electronic bullshit. This selling of art is truly baffling this year. I have had conversations with gallery owners and artists all week about the business of art and it seems that we need to be cultivating a new buying public. But how is the big question. I'm not being mean here towards old folks, because I am getting to be one of them, but the Friday night reception at the CDCG show was packed with very old folks, and 99% of them were white. They were using walkers, carrying their oxygen bottles, some in wheelchairs. I mean, good for them for getting out on a cold winter night, I don't even do that unless I am forced into it, but where are they going to put more art in their retirement villages? Where was the diversity in this show, I saw very few people of other races, just a bunch of white people. Where were the young art buyers? Where was the ethnicity? Last night, same thing, I met two very cool African American men and maybe three people under the age of 40, then talked to a bunch of white artists my age or older..... what up? There were a number of folks with same sex partners, so at least there was a little diversity represented in the crowd. But still, I have been around A LOT of white people over the age of 50 this month! I'm ready for some international travel at this point!
I was talking to one artist last night about how we should be attracting the young tech people in this area, there are so many of them, thirty somethings, buying new homes, surely they need art.
I asked Wesley this morning, if she just bought a new house and had the means to fill it with great art, what would she do? Her reply was, that she would like to commission artists to make personal pieces for her. She recently did just that. There is a young artist that takes requests for art on her website and Wesley asked her for a charcoal drawing of a vietnam soldier. The artist did one for her, it was amazing and it was $25.
Wesley also talked about how so many of her friends have been influenced by Apple, the streamlined look of the product and the stores and that many in her generation were attracted to that minimalist look. Thankfully, she added that some of the new pieces that I am working on had that minimalist look that she is attracted to.
I have been making work that speaks to me and things from my childhood and that's fine, I have an audience for that. But I wonder, if I want to attract a younger customer, and grow my art "business", should I consider making work that attracts that customer and will I still be true to myself as an artist and not crossing the line into making work solely to make more money. There is a fine line there, art from your soul, art for making money.
I think for now, I will continue to explore things that interest me, make things I want to make, and if you find me and you like what I like, that is super cool! I figure since I am extremely immature, that a young audience should be able to relate to my work as easily as an older audience. It's just getting them to find me that is the thing I'm figuring out. Well, I have sat here and drank a pot of coffee while talking to you, so time to get going. Weaving today, I finished one scarf yesterday and hope to finish another today. I''l just leave you with this to ponder:
My friend Shannon left a post on Laura's blog the other day with these words: