The days after a big art event always fill me with a multitude of feelings. From elation to disappointment and everything in between I am left thinking about how to improve or build on my success and, even more importanty, what makes an event a successful one.
This past weekend’s Stinking Fish Fall Show was no different. In many respects it was a resounding success. A large and steady stream of visitors braved the cold weather to come visit and buy from our eclectic group of artists. The atmosphere was festive and cheerful. I met with many friends and aquaintances and had some wonderful chats with new visitors. The artists were overwhelmed with the turnout and most were very pleased with their earnings for the weekend.
At the end, though, many of us had an abundance of stock to take home, myself included. While my earnings were more than expected, I still only sold a handful of artworks out of many dozens on display. Happily, I did sell a large number of my new photography books.
So I was left thinking about what makes a successful show. Is it more important to sell a lot of product or to sell fewer, but to people with whom your work has resonated deeply? Are the connections made and exposure had of even greater importance? What about the pleasure the work has given to those who have seen and admired it, even sighing deeply while viewing it?
One dear and repeat visitor to the tour was overwhelmed to see all of these people whose work she so admires under one roof, and needed to take a break and revisit the next day. Many connected strongly with the images of Italy in my 2015 planner with the resultant conversations beling full of joy and recounted memories. Being close to Christmas many were holiday shopping and it was very touching to know that my pieces were chosen to be given to cherished friends and family as gifts, some being sent to faraway places.
The artists themselves got tremendous pleasure in sharing the event with each other, visiting with each other during the few quiet moments, buying or trading each other’s work, sharing laughter, food and stories. One later said it was the most fun she’d had in a long time. All agreed they wanted to do it again next year.
So in the end, I would have to say that, yes, it was a successful event, however much was sold, for it brought a community of artists together, in the process giving them this opportunity to share with a larger community their passion, creativity and joy. Hard to beat that!
Below is my set-up.
Photos courtesy of Nicole Valentine-Rimmer.
Wishing you all a wonderful, creative week of sharing!