The following Power Point is from our February 5, 2020 meeting and covers numerous topics related to how to exhibit your art. Some of the information provided is repeated in previous blogs but this will provide you with a single point for a wealth of helpful information.
May 2019 Meeting Presentation
By Nancy Brown
Nancy explained and demonstrated gallery wrapping and re-stretching a canvas over a wooden frame. She has used her own wooden frames for her paintings for years and prefers the hand-made frames over the pre-stretched canvas for a variety of reasons. The only disadvantage, she admits, is the weight. Because she uses stronger wood with larger dimensions, it does weigh more per linear foot. However, they don't warp and can be re-used many times. Below, you can see how she secures a corner; more pictures of her process can be found at this link. GalleryWrapping
Thank you, Nancy Brown!
September 2018 Newsletter
By Barry Eigen
Often when I find myself among a group of artists the conversation turns to how we artists should set prices for our art.
An economics professor of mine described the strategy for setting prices this way: Imagine you are selling bean bags, he said. Let’s assume you’ve got a warehouse full of bean bags and every morning you go to the window, look outside to see how many people are waiting in line to buy your beanbags. If the line goes all the way to the horizon, he said, you should raise your prices. If on the other hand no one is standing in line, it's time to lower your prices. It’s obvious.
An experienced Austinite told me if a person picked up a stone and threw it in any direction, he would hit a musician or an artist. That’s how many artists and musicians there are in Austin. In other words, a lot of artists means there is a great deal of competition for art buyers resulting in a smaller number of art buyers standing in any one line. Too few buyers, he would say, is a buyer’s market and a buyer’s market exerts downward pressure on prices. That’s been my experience here in Austin. I moved to Texas just four years ago from Wisconsin and I am convinced a painting priced at X dollars here will sell for two or three times that in New York, Chicago, Santa Fe and even Milwaukee.
There are those who argue sculpture should be priced based on size while two dimensional art should be priced by the square inch. One told me the going rule for pricing a painting is $1.00 per square inch. Another said $1.25. On a video, an established artist suggested $1.75. Maybe I’m wrong but I have a good deal of trouble understanding this approach.
In my thinking, neither size nor even the amount of time it takes to create a piece should be the dominant way to determine price. Certainly every piece of art we create is not like every other. In our various opinions, some of our art may be more successful than others. I argue we ought to be able to price the work we really like different from the work we like less. I’m fully aware some folks don’t agree.
The notion that the time it takes to create a piece should determine its price was for me dismissed forever by an incident I experienced years ago. I attended an art fair with a close friend, a potter known for his large copper mat raku wheel-thrown amphoras with bottoms that came to a graceful point. Some of his pieces were five feet tall and for display were balanced delicately on a plexiglas cylinder. To say his work was stunning is an understatement and his prices, ranging from five hundred to seventy-five hundred dollars, underscored it.
At the show a collector came along, carefully studied one magnificent piece and asked how someone could throw a piece whose bottom came to a point. “I throw it upside down,” the potter answered. Then, considering the piece’s very substantial price, the collector asked the question we all sometimes get: “How long did it take you to make that piece?” My friend smiled and gave an answer that said it all. “Thirty years!” he said. I use that answer often. You can use it too.
Setting prices is always subjective. The battle between pricing your work so it will sell and setting prices so your work will be appreciated is not easy. I only offer the words of a seventeenth century French playwright.
“Things only have the value that we give them.” - Moliere
September 2018 Newsletter
By Diane Pingree
When attending art receptions, shows and other events, keep in mind that the featured artist or artists are the focus, so out of courtesy and consideration for them, here are some guidelines:
November 2018 Newsletter
By Helen Buck
These notes are from Big Medium’s Creative Standards Seminar in October. This is what I heard and interpreted and may not be completely accurate. If you attended this or other sessions during the event, please share your notes.
SESSION: How to Get into Galleries
Presenter: Chris Cowden, Exec Director at Women and Their Work
Mentioned several times: Sharing your work for free does a disservice to the art community.
1. Research space / range and type of work/ gallery history / who has shown at this gallery and what is their experience.
2. Pace yourself: make note of the shows and galleries to submit your work and remember it takes from 5 to 10 hours to complete a submission if done well
3. DO NOT cold call or just show up and do not mail. Waste of time and money
4. You can call and ask “what is your process” / note, many galleries already have their process noted on their web site.
5. The # 1 most important thing is submitting OUTSTANDING visual images. It’s worth spending the money. If you find a detail within your piece important, you might be able to provide a second image with a close up. Don’t expect the judge to blow up your digital image
6. Artist Statement: don’t overthink/ just be yourself/ talk about your work / keep it to a few well-crafted sentences. Focus on what brings you to work in your craft and how this work is produced
7. Do not denigrate your work or yourself/ be proud of you and your work
8. If the call is for 10 great pieces and you have 4 or 5 / Wait to apply until you have the 10 needed even if it’s next year
9. Don’t get burned out applying everywhere. Be judicious
10. Rejection is part of it. Make it a mind game: ie. I get accepted to 1 out of 10 I apply for therefore 1 rejection brings me closer to acceptance.
11. Yes a website is needed. Make it good and keep it updated. All other social media may help. But beware the time you spend with it.
12. Consistent Authentic Investigation: Chris spoke to honesty when dealing with galleries (Proposal should specify if the work presented are examples and there will be new work in the show or is the submitted work what the gallery can expect)
13. You can have one style. But if you have several styles make them consistently strong as you apply. If you present more than one style, group them with 4 or 5 like styles. (ie: 4 or 5 botanicals and 4 or 5 portraits / 4 or 5 acrylic paintings and 4 or 5 sculptures)
14. Review your rejection letters and look for positive remarks. If you don’t get feedback when rejected you can respectfully ask for remarks. You may not get it but sometimes you will
15. Closing: have faith in your work and keep applying
November 2018 Newsletter
By Terri St.Arnauld
Why - We usually take our photographs in the largest size possible to capture the most information. This makes it easier to edit a photo. However, when using a photo file for digital purposes (websites, submissions, email attachments, etc.), it's usually better, and sometimes required, to have a small file. This makes it important to know how to resize your photos.
Parameters - For fine printing, you would want a file at 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and at least the HxW of your print, making a total (L-XL) size that could be 10-120 MB. For web uses, though, you only need a file at 72 ppi and a HxW specified/recommended by the end user. We will use the Newsletter for our working example, at 72 ppi, dimensions of the longest side should not exceed 400 pixels and a total file size of 500 KB. [Your file must be less than 700px or it will not upload to the newsletter software in a reasonable amount of time and will not be used.]
Software - There are many free software programs and apps out there, though not all of them will allow resizing your photo to your specifications. I've done a little research on this and am going to recommend Fotor, as well as provide some basic instructions. I've chosen Fotor because it is very easy to use and seems to be available for download on all the basic platforms (desktop - windows, apple; mobile - android, ios; chromebook; ipad).
Download Fotor at https://www.fotor.com and set up your account to use on one or all of your platforms.
Instructions for Resizing Multiple Images Using Fotor [Note: “>” means “next”, “then” or similar.]
Top 5 Free Photo Editing Software for PC/Laptop
February 2019 Newsletter
By Leslie Kell
We are fortunate to have a healthy roster of venues to display our art and we are blessed with dedicated volunteers to facilitate these exhibits. Let’s try to make things easy on them…
Here are some gentle reminders about expectations as a CAS artist:
A. Before you submit for a show, please read the call and check the dates. Make sure you are available to drop off and pick up your work. We understand that things come up. If so, please make arrangements for dropping off and picking up your artwork. Be aware that picking up outside of the designated time is an inconvenience for the venue and the coordinator.
B. If you commit to a show, honor that commitment. CAS strives to maintain professional practices and when an artist doesn’t show, it impacts our reputation and yours. You are also potentially wasting a spot that another artist would have gladly taken.
C. Be on time – our volunteers have schedules and commitments as well. They need to be able to install and strike shows as efficiently as possible.
D. Remember that our venues are places of business. We need to respect that we are guests, and not linger where it is disturbing to the venue patrons.
E. Volunteer! We can only handle as many venues as we have coordinators for. There are so many opportunities for our artists, but it’s not possible to explore them without people willing to help. So if you are interested in volunteering let us know. It can be the most fun and rewarding experience: building your knowledge, getting to know fellow artists, planning and coordinating shows (small, medium, and large).
February 2019 Newsletter
By Leslie Kell
ARE YOU MISSING OUT by not participate in our Curated Venues program? -- Enter your work in the CAS Artist's Portfolio
Why are we asking this question? -- Simple, Curated Venues select artists exclusively from the CAS portfolio and if you are not in the CAS portfolio, your work is not eligible for these shows.
OUCH! Tell me more!
A description of how the Curated Venues work for the Venue can be found on the CAS website under "Exhibit Services." For an example, you can view the current portfolio artists here: http://www.creativeartssociety.org/artist-portfolios.htmls
1. The Curated Program was launched last year and has grown to include four (4) libraries, Topaz Salon, Smile On Orthodontics, and Reveal Dental. And the list continues to grow.
2. The program is designed to attract high-end Venues that want a consistent gallery presentation in their space, while offering our artists an opportunity to plan, install, execute, and promote a professional art show.
DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
1. All members of CAS are eligible for inclusion in the “CAS Artists Portfolio" and (IMPORTANT POINT HERE) the Venue owner or manager selects artists to exhibit in their specific Venue from only this portfolio.
2. Applicants must have a body of work large enough to hang 10-20 pieces, if selected. Your portfolio entry should represent your unique art style and mediums. That's right! We said mediums, with a plural. Some of our great CAS artists are adept at many different mediums. Consistency is the key here. Put your best foot forward and be consistent.
3. And, are you prepared to plan and install your exhibit, as well as prepare the labels for the wall? No worries on this point, as our team is here to help you understand and execute a great, rewarding show, with ease.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME FOR SURE?
1. If you don't enter your work in the portfolio you won't have an opportunity to exhibit in these venues.
2. Inclusion in the Portfolio does not guarantee a show. Yes, you will be added to a group of CAS artists in the portfolio, if you choose to do so. The Venues will have access to all artists' work featured in the portfolio. Though you are eligible for selection, it is ultimately the choice of the Venue for each of these exhibit opportunities.
WHAT AM I WAITING FOR?? HOW DO I GET MY WORK IN THE PORTFOLIO?
Easy as your grandma's apple pie! Download the Call for Art and enter your work; visit the CAS website at http://www.creativeartssociety.org/artists-portfolio-application.html.
February 2019 Newsletter
By Helen Buck
Note: This is what I heard and interpreted and may not be completely accurate. If you attended this or other sessions during the event, please share your notes.
Session: Artists Statement / Artist Talks
Presenter: Michael Manchaca, MFA (San Antonio, recently exhibited at McNey)
Session: Conducting a Studio Tour
Presenters: Jordan W Tucker / Valerie Chaussonnet
May 2019 Newsletter
By Terri St.Arnauld
We have all heard about the importance of goals, so you might already be regularly writing/reviewing/rewriting your goals. If this is something you struggle with, here is another way to approach it. It is a four-step process that evolves from self-understanding. You work on the steps in order, but when you finish one, you can go back and change others because your self-understanding might change. As you work on them, it might help to talk with those close to you about them, or maybe just some of the goals, depending on the person.
1. Success Inventory
Imagine you have achieved success, maybe even at the end of your life. What does that look like for you? Does it mean money, family, home ownership, travel, health, creating artwork, spirituality, etc? What do you want to have accomplished in your lifetime? Write out those components as an inventory. In this inventory, it’s important to be clear. (Travel might mean around the US, to specific places, countries or continents, or to visit friends and family.) Keep your list with you and add to it as you think of things. When you’re ready, or at least in a week, review your list and regroup your ideas, if necessary, to help you think about them more clearly. Remember, you can always change your list.
This is a list of goals, in the broadest sense.
2. Analysis of Assets/Deficits and Endure/Prefer Activities
First, spend some time thinking about what work and business activities you are good at – Assets – and which ones are not your strong suit – Deficits. (You might be good at talking with people one-to-one but not at speaking to a large group.) Don’t downplay your strengths and don’t beat yourself up for the things you’re not as good at. Make lists of each of these.
Then, spend some time thinking about past work experiences and types of activities, situations, schedules and people. What did you like – Prefer? What did you dislike – Endure? Make lists of each of these.
Again, these activities and experiences do not have to relate to your art practice or even to paid work.
3. Components of a Goal
A well-written goal is measurable, achievable, worthwhile, identifies potential difficulties, and states strategies or action steps you can take to achieve the goal.
4. Goal Setting
While you are not required to write your longest-term goals first, it can be helpful. After setting a 10-year goal, you will likely see shorter-term (5-year, 3-year and short-term) goals that need to be reached to get you there. Try to develop multiple goals for each category, especially the shorter periods.
A goal might relate to an achievement on your Success Inventory; ways to make the most of one or more of your Assets, incorporate Preferences; improve a Deficit and/or avoid or minimize situations you’ve had to Endure.
As you write each goal, follow the criteria in number 3, paying attention to Measurability, Achievability, whether it is Worthwhile, as well as potential Difficulties and Strategies.
SET A DATE TO REVIEW AND UPDATE YOUR GOALS AT LEAST ANNUALLY!
This is information I learned in a professional development seminar called ArtistINC. The program was developed by Mid-America Arts Alliance and offered by the City of Austin to teach artists the business of art, an important aspect that is often overlooked in formal training.
This blog is a compilation of knowledge gained, experiences had, lessons-learned, tips and tricks picked up over the years by CAS artists. If you have something you would like to share with the membership please submit it here