Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Art Off-Pike 2008 - Part 2
So, last weekend Marcus and I participated in the Art Off-Pike arts and music festival in Covington, KY - which is right across the river from Cincinnati. Covington is sort of our Brooklyn (sort of) and they are really trying to build an arts district, which I give them credit for doing. The potential is high for the area, as it still has tons of historical character, cheap real estate and a growing community of dangerous liberals. This was actually the 4th annual Off-Pike festival, though I'd never heard of it.
There's a place locally called Building Value that sells used building materials. Basically when a house is getting gutted or someone is doing a remodel, you can donate your cabinets, sinks, etc to Building Value for resale and proceeds go to a charity. I wasn't being charitable on the occasion of my visit, but I was on the lookout for some blank, white doors to show our work on. I ended up buying 9 doors and hinged them together in pairs to create some mobile screens to hang up the work.
So, Saturday we met down at our spots and began set-up, which didn't take too long, though those pop-up tents dont exactly just pop up. The doors worked out ok but the uneven pavement required shims to stay marginally stable.
The show only lasted from 11-5 and had about 50 "artists" displaying and selling their work, but after seeing much of it, my conclusion is that the jurying criteria was likely just whether or not submission checks cleared or not.
Although the weather was great, and sitting outside enjoying art and the weather on a Saturday was quite a treat, I was turned off enough by the outdoor show, that I doubted that I would do this fest again next year. Once the wind picked up and blew our work over, I was certain, never again. Not long after though, I actually sold a piece. Granted it was the smallest and cheapest, but a sale is a sale. Not long after that, around 4:30, the committee announced it's award winners, of which I won 2nd place and was handed a check by a guy who looked an awful lot like the Monopoly man.
This now has me reconsidering my 2009 participation as I have learned a few things about outdoor art shows.
1. Even if you sell nothing, it's more fun to sit outside drinking and showing off your artwork than doing house chores.
2. The streets of Covington do not lend themselves to panels that need level flooring to stand securely.
3. The sweet spot price-point for street fair art is under $100 (though I sold mine for $185).
4. The standards for a show like this and their stringent jurying process made victory that much easier.
5. The range of folk that a fest like this can attract is mesmerizing. Seriously.
In closing, thanks to those that came and thanks to those who were genuinely into my work. I know it doesn't appeal to all audiences - which is how I like it.