Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunnyside Art Show 2010

Suzanne, myself and Amy a fine photographer in the booth next to ours joined in for the final pose on the final day. Sunburned, tired and ready to go home.

Suzanne and I matting our art work the night before the first night of the show.

My Tent finally set up on Friday afternoon.

Martha gave me and my art a lift on the first day and helped me set up. Thanks a ton, Martha!!

It's finally over. What seemed like a life time away came and went in a flash. A very rewarding experience. I met a lot of great artists. Learned how to talk about my art with the public and got sunburned.


Dan Kent said...

Bravo! I was wondering how it went for you. Glad to see it was rewarding.

Carolina said...

Hi Wil!
Congratulations on your first show! I think you'll never forget that. I know I wouldn't...
I wish you could make a short summary and share with us, will you?
Warm regards,

Wilfred said...

Dan-- thanks, it definitely was a learning experience that i'll carry onto the next one.

Carolina-- a summary?! ekkk! Here you go then, but bare with me because I really dislike writing.

When I was a child… (kidding)

The even was amazing. It took place from May 28-30 and when i got there, I was stationed on the second level of the Pavilion which afforded a great view of Lake Ontario.
Setting up the booth was also an experience because I've never set up all my cafe drawings and pen drawings in one place. Fortunately, I got there quite a few hours earlier than the 2pm start of the show. It was probably at this point where my exhibition naivety showed, because I was forgetting the small things that an experienced exhibitor would never forget. For example, bowl for my business cards, a table cloth for the table to make it look better, or a small table easel for my unhung, framed pictures so that the public could see it from a distance. All these things, I think would have helped convey a better image of me to the public.

A few points about the show that really baffled me with respect to marketing and organization.

1. The venue, the Sunnyside Pavilion is a beautiful art deco building along the waterfront. It definitely is a destination and you really have to make a point to head out there. However, along the main entrance facade, there was no advertising for show. I asked the organizer about that and she said it was too expensive to produce. It seems odd to me that they wouldn't have diverted some funds from one area into this, since they could have used it for the following year.

2. This point is related to the first point. If I wasn't a participant in this show I never would have known about it. It seemed that was the case with most of the people stopping by my booth on all three days. They never heard of it. The organizers told me they advertised in the free weekly periodicals here but I don' think it helped. I also believe, because this event coincided with Doors Open Toronto, an event that allowed access for the public to otherwise restricted buildings and spaces, that it really diffused the crowds coming to this event. Arts Initiative an Doors open partnered up this year and I think they were hoping with the partnership, more people would attend the art show. Sadly the opposite happened.

Despite all my negative ranting, it was an amazing leaning experience for me. I learned what it takes, physically to set up a booth. How to interact with the public and talk about my art and I made some valuable contacts with artists and potential clients. So all and all it was a worthwhile experience. And fortunately I did recoup all my expenses. I know some artists didn't and it was an event that had to be fronted with your own money at the beginning.

Hope that helps, Carolina.

Are you thinking of entering one yourself?

Carolina said...

Thanks so much, Wil, for taking the time to answer :) You have fed the curious child inside of me. Very nurturing, actually ;)
I'd really, but really, love to participate in something like this. That being said, I'm not so focused, it's still at the level of wish more than at the level of "decision". There are a lot of things going on in my head lately. I have to think them through...
Thanks a lot again,

Steven said...

Thanks for sharing your rants, Wil. I have had some big-market envy because of the lack of exposure... but after reading your experiences, I wonder if it's universal challenge for artists. And I'm not nearly as talented as 90 percent of the other Urban Sketcher artists. :)