Monday, October 06, 2008

The Saturday Art Fair. Part II

This was my second week attending the "Queen Street Art Saturdays", and I finally made a sale! :D
The artists had been moved indoors last week, due to inclement weather, however, even though it was freezing out, I much preferred being out on the sidewalk this time around. A lot more foot traffic, and a lot more interest generated, since both motorists and pedestrians were intrigued by all the movement and colors and tents lining the street.

Now, just as a little aside here, I'd like to ask you all a question, and I hope it won't make me come off as some sort of snotty snob, but, what are YOUR views on Art?
See, here's why I'm asking. We have some incredibly talented artists in our midst, and the goal of these fairs is to increase awareness to local arts. But somehow (perhaps because the organization lacks a panel of juries to determine who should participate or not...), quite a few 'crafters' have been participating, and my gripe with that, is that it's starting to give the Art Fairs a bit of a flea market feel. And I don't think that's what they're going for.

You know the difference, right? In the Artist's booth, you can tell they poured their heart and soul into their work, and have spent countless hours creating them. You can see it, feel it, smell it; and all of their pieces are "One-Offs". Whereas the crafter, well, everything looks practically prefabricated, and honestly, some of the shite I saw there looked like plain B&S to me. (Buy and Sell, where they'll purchase something made in China for pennies, and then sell it for, say $5 at the show...) You can plainly see the difference in quality, it just jumps out at you, but for some reason, the (mostly male) organizers have got it in their greedy brains that "we're just trying to raise awareness for now, trying to get people to come in, and THEN we'll weed out the crafters"
And I don't agree with that! Crafters have their place, they're called Craft Shows... And Artists usually don't do well at these shows, since their meaningful expensive Art is surrounded by mindless, cheap crap! Also, and I'll use my neighbor as and example here, if you've got a photographer, selling one-of-a-kind custom framed photographs sitting next to a guy who is selling, say, printed phosters, who do you think is going to sell more? The guy with the $300 photos, or the guy with the $10 posters? Am I wrong is wanting this venue to be purely geared to the Arts, since this is what the organization claims it wants this as well?

Alright, enough of that... Off my soapbox, for now. ;)

Here is a shot of one of Niagara's greatest attractions: The Chipwagon! Man alive, the best fries in the world come from chip wagons, eh? This is a little Mom & Pop operation, where pop sits in the corner, HAND PEELING AND CUTTING the potatoes, while mom fries'em up, and serves the masses. Look at this lineup! One lady stood in line for an hour just for fries! And these guys are there all week, so they see this kind of traffic every day. It's got Chris and I thinking that perhaps we should open a chip stand when retirement creeps up... LOL!


But I'm a good girl! I only have their fries on SATURDAYS!!! :D


I don't have a tent, and frankly, I don't really want one, but most have one when they're on the street. I met Doreen here (in the grey coat) last weekend, and we took a liking to each other. We asked to be put next to each other, so that we could partner up for pee breaks! And oh boy, did we EVER need them. We had to inbibe many a hot drink so our bodies wouldn't give out to hypothermia... LOL!

My little table. I finally splurged, and got myself an actual folding table and chair for these shows. And even though I wanted to get a second one of each, 'cause I think it would work much better, I didn't, since our funds are rather tightish' at the moment, and every spare penny is going back into the house. You know what the first thing Chris said when we were setting up? "You need another table and chair!" LOL!
So, guess what I'm buying during my next COSTCO shopping excursion.
Oooh, and don't my new scarves look delish? I've been making these like a mad woman, since crocheting is a rather cozy hobby, and I've been under some stress lately, I've been finding comfort in just sitting on my couch, with music playing, and my fingers working. Lots of Ooohs! and Aaahs!, now let's hope they generate lots of Moolah next time! ;)

Me and my little 'insistant' Mimi. What a good girl she was. We made it a family affair this week, and both Chris and Mimi came with me so I could set up and keep me company while I worked. Made the day go by so much faster, and much more pleasurable!
Also more expensive, since we had to get treats for the whole family... LOL!

I sold two pairs of hoops!
Sitting behind the table, I happened to glance at these when the sun was just peeking out (for the first of two times that day...), and I couldn't get over how pretty the beads looked in the sunlight. Now, of course, the photo doesn't do the effect justice, but I tried... ;)

So? How was Your weekend? Did you do anything different, exciting or new? Did you get out in the world and show off your stuff? (ooh, that sounded dirty, didn't it? :P). A few of my readers did something exciting recently. Both Diana and Linda have bit the bullet and opened their very own Etsy stores. You should click on their names and go take a look at their Art, it'll be well worth your time, I promise! And yes, these ladies create Art, with a capital A.

Blessed Be my friends.

9 comments:

jin said...

Y'know... that's why I never go to these things anymore... and it's sad because I'm sure there are a scattering of real Artisans... but I can't stand looking at all that cheap crap!!!

I've had so many peeps tell me to set up a stall, but frankly I don't believe it's worth my time and energy because around here they'll just go pick up the cheap-o sweets.

I'm in a good place right now. (I believe! lol) Customers have to go out of their way to find me... and if they're going to go thru all that trouble, they are not only going to spend $$$, they are going to be thrilled with what I offer!

BTW- did you check out Phos' post? I showed him your creations when he was here & he posted a linky to your website!

Miss youuuuuuuu!!!!
Smoochies!

Ace said...

I guess art is in the eye of the beholder.

I know what you mean about the "craft" vs. "art" thing, but it is hard to explain.

On the other hand, I think some "art" is overrated, too.

My wife (zoinks! I'm getting used to calling her that) takes some pretty mean pictures, and I can't tell you how many times I've seen $300 photos that are basically nice $10 prints in $50 frames that are no better than the stuff she takes.

So maybe I'm not the best judge. But little knitted crap isn't art when compared with the beaded stuff you do, and little poster prints aren't art compared with a legitimate photograph.

I probably don't make much sense. It's a frustrating week already after a pretty darn good weekend.

Jewels said...

Well Jin, can I ask you to send me some of those good vibes? I need to be found too ;)
I believe I'm also in a good place now, physically and figuratively, and I'm at the point where I just want to be 'discovered', you know? I just need to find that niche for myself, the right place to display my pieces...

And yes, I DID visit Phos' blog, and I read that post, TWICE! (You HAWT!) ;)
I'm so jealous, I swear, we really do need a blogfest meetup!

Jewels said...

Ace, you ARE making sense. And LOL @ your 'wife' comment. Heck, I know how that feels, I'm still getting used to calling this place 'My' house. :/

Well, it's a good thing I'm not a knitter, eh? ;) No, actually, I know exactly what you mean, as there are Artistic knitters, and there are crafty knitters. Not to say that crafty people can't be Artistic, they totally can, it's just that there is a fine line between crap and art, and as you said, it's in the eye of the beholder.
Heck, I've seen paintings sold for thousands that I'm pretty sure were identical to what Mimi once made when she was, oh, 2 years old... I suppose it's all about what the buyer sees.
But I know crap when I see it, and that's that!
So how's married life so far? Treating you well? You two are so blessed to have found each other. Don't ever lose that.

The Lone Beader said...

Ah yes, art vs. craft. It's a tough issue for me. I can come off as rather snobby about it, too! But, the fact is it is subjective. Some people look at what I do and put it in the crafts category. But, I stopped worrying about it... *sigh*

Anyways, thanks for mentioning my shop! Don't know how well that will do, but I figure it's worth a shot! :D

Jewels said...

Oh Goddess!
Diana, I would never put your Art in the crafts category! But I know what you mean. I once had a lady in front of me at a show, pick up one of my more elaborate pieces and ask me how long it took me to make it.
"About 30 hours" I said.
She very unceremoniously dropped it back on my table and said: "You have too much f*cking time on your hands!" and walked away.
I was dumbfounded!

But only momentarily so, as I realized that this person must live a very poor life. And I don't mean that in a financial way, but in a spiritual, loving, family and friends kind of way... In that respect, I'm RICH! :D

Gnat of Glass said...

Sending a customer your way. Keep and eye out.


Gnat.
.

Jewels said...

Thanks for the heads up Scott! :D

LJ said...

My comment on the art/craft thing...Hmmm. Etsy does the same. I have now complained three times about a store selling beaded bracelets that were imported and sold in EVERY store (for less) two years ago. I'd like a juried site like Etsy. And I'd pay more per listing to get it, too.

There are good juried craft shows - the NS Designer Craft Council does two per year here. Juried & tightly juried too. I know other provinces have councils as well. But the people who sell at these are not "crafters"...an expression I hate as much as you do. These are artisans.

It's wonderful that people love to make things for fun...for gifts etc. I'd never discourage anyone in learning any craft for enjoyment, but STOP SELLING if you don't do your own designs!!!

And one more cranky word - I hope the folks who are reselling and passing themselves off as artists have a special corner in hell. Possibly populated also by other con artists, swindlers and the like.

Your scarves are gorgeous, Jewels!
We'll prevail, right???