Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Art Blog: Cha CHING!

I am done. At least for now, I am done throwing money into the art “black hole”. I am over it. I feel like I am throwing dollar bills into the air and they are swirling and spinning around and I can’t catch even one of them. I am done.

We artists have to think rationally at least on occasion. I hate this premise. I really do. I like Sheree’s “pie in the sky” art dreams much better. However, somebody or something just woke me up. I am not going to apply for any more juried shows for a while. I am not becoming a "member" of art organizations either. I am not even going to spend money on too much supplies when nothing sells anyway. I am going to put myself in hiatus. It just doesn’t make sense right now. I hate this idea, but I slapped myself into reality. Even though I don’t like counting pennies and being economically reasonable when it comes to art, there has to be a line drawn in the sand. I am crossing it now. STOP SHEREE!

I know I am not alone. For those artists who see their reflection here, please chime into the conversation. I am guilty. I want to show my work and one way to show my work is to be included in juried shows. However it seems that lately, these juried shows are a bit suspect. Now before you give me all kinds of great advice about juried shows, I must tell you I have been entering juried shows since the early 70’s. I know about juried shows. In fact, I have been a juror for quite a few juried shows. I know how things work. Yet, there is something going on that is very different now. I really feel that many venues are promoting juried shows for the sake of the venue and not the artists or their work. I just have this feeling.

I visited an art venue and they were hawking their newest prospectus. The person handed me one and then the people at the venue began to talk amongst themselves. One person said something about the juried show and another responded with “Cha-CHING”. In other words, they were interested in the money it brought in for the venue. That isn’t wrong, but the smirk on their faces was troubling to me.

It is so funny because just over two years ago, I started Git Outta My Face Gallery with the intention of helping artists promote their work at no cost to the artists. I bankrolled the whole deal. Even though my intentions were good and honest, the gallery fizzled out. It will close in coming weeks and it is sad in a lot of ways. I tried. Some artists tried, but there wasn’t enough interest I guess.

This is water under the bridge. I just want artists to realize that all that glitters is not gold. Like I said “I am done.” At least, I am steering clear from throwing money away on things that rival Las Vegas odds. I am not a gambler. I can’t afford to be. I am an artist.

“All That Glitters”
Acrylic / Mixed media on canvas

(Click pic for detail)


namastenancy said...

Years ago, I came to the realization that I couldn't just spend and spend on my art or on my quest to get more exposure, get into a show or even haul my art work up and down California and the West in a futile effort to sell more, via fairs and outdoor art shows. I was laid off from my long time job and when I got a new job, started working with a friend of mine who was also a financial planner. Once I looked at my art spending outgo vs income, I was shocked. I had been deliberately closing my eyes to how much it all cost. I didn't stop painting but I stopped the futile quest for sales and shows. Unfortunately, the blight of on sales, not even comments continues - I tell people about my flickr account, encourage them to look at the images and they don't even bother. I am now making more money and getting more public exposure as an arts journalist than I ever did as a painter. Life's path sure has some strange byways that you never expect. I'm not at all unhappy the way things are turning out. As a critic, they pay me to write about a show and I'm treated with a lot more respect. When I was "just" a painter, I was not treated with respect, was expected to foot the bill and grew to resent that the whole art business rested on people like me - from supplies, to shows, advertising and exhibits.

Eero said...

I'm taking 2 years off of showing on the advice of some peers. It's great to get some perspective on the whole thing. For 6 years, I devoted my work to showing, being an independent curator, etc. After all that effort...I have very little to show for it, it seems. A lot of lines on the resume, yes...but what I really wanted out of it was Money and Respect. Didn't get either in the quantities I felt I needed or deserved. So...taking a break. Reassessing my priorities. Still making art, of course. Don't ever stop making stuff, Sheree. From all I've read here on your blog, you are a true Creative, whether it be visual art or whatever. Best of luck!

Sheree Rensel said...

What a great comment!!! Thank you!!! :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

Nancy, Thank you for your sage words too!! :-)