“Be there or be square,” as thousands of art aficionados gather at Guild Hall at 158 Main Street, in beautiful East Hampton for the spectacular annual outdoor /indoor massive event. There’s art by the best of New York artists, near and far.
I have five pieces up for display and sale, and there are likely thousands more to choose from. Prices range from $75 to approx. $2200. I don’t know if prices are negotiable, but the event makes art affordable for everyone. Check it out.
Whether you purchase or not, it is a fun and fantastic experience to see all that is out there to enhance your office, home, or to give as gifts. It happens rain or shine, tomorrow, Saturday, August 5, 2017. It opens 9 AM, and it’s over at 4 PM.Rain or shine. The event benefits the arts. Fifty percent of the purchase price goes to Guild Hall, which promotes and supports the arts.
It was an experience in which I am glad I took part. I learned what people want — great bargains, and tourist souvenirs. Next time, I will bring unframed small paintings and monoprints, (not expensively framed larger, more expensive pieces). I didn’t put my best in, and stuck to what would be desired by a designer, someone who wouldn’t want intensity; prettiness and color instead. My rationale was that the prices were too low, based on the restrictive scale allowed for participation. I did overprice three pieces that I witnessed people obviously wanted. I kick myself now in retrospect, because I made it impossible, with my overestimation of what people would be willing to spend.
In BJ Spoke Gallery, I ask the President of the gallery to tell me what price is reasonable. I didn’t have his feedback, nor did I exercise insight to ask him for his opinion. I trust his opinion. Instead. I asked my spouse (who doesn’t appreciate most abstract art, but loves and appreciates me and is aware of the time, effort and expense I put into each creation), and that is how I overpriced the most admired pieces.
One learns from one’s mistakes. This has been a good lesson. I can’t feel badly as I did when I left, because I was prepared with feedback from other artists (whose work I admire, truly skilled and gifted) who told me they had not sold a thing two years in a row, and their work does sell elsewhere. It’s the venue. One has to be prepared for it with foreknowledge, and have enough self-confidence to persevere and not take the sales figures as critiques of one’s talent. (Vincent Van Gogh, who sold nothing in his lifetime and more great artists flood to mind).
Many artists lie about their sales. In fact, I recently read that Salvadore Dali bought out his first show in NYC. That hiked up demand for his work.( It is cheating.) Galleries maintain records of what is sold, by whom and for what dollar amount, and these records help in valuation of the art in an estate or in future sales pricing. It takes not just ego, sweat, courage and talent, but also it takes a lot of money to launch a career in art. And then the studio space, storage space, materials and the training, studies, the framing the time and effort promoting, and the costs to enter. Even the Clothesline charged $15 per artist to participate.
When people put a valuation on a painting they should consider what went into the creation they consider purchasing. Art is not free. It costs the artist and the artist cannot live on passion and paint. Buyers and exhibition venue administrators should be sensitive to this reality. Too many artists give up because they can’t make a living doing art. What if that next great artist was a reincarnated Picasso and he decided to chuck the brushes and to become a stockbroker instead to pay his bills?
The Clothesline event was akin to a bazaar. Paintings, photographs and other objects of art were hung and on the floor and a major hodgepodge that doesn’t do the individual pieces justice.
In contrast, in a gallery setting each piece is given space and a chance to be seen in its best light. This wasn’t the case. I didn’t know it would be like this, thus a valuable learning experience. I intend to do it again, sometime in the future, knowing, at best I will recover cost of materials, without profit, as it is a fundraiser and I must keep that in mind.