Art on the Prairie is a fabulous show that happens November 10 - 11th in Perry, Iowa. The event celebrates the works of artists in many mediums from visual arts to musicians and poets too. Artists will be set up in six locations around the town square including the historic and restored Hotel Pattee.
Now in it's third year, Art on the Prairie is organized by a group of artisans in the area who endeavor, and succeed, in bringing a selection of over one hundred, top rate artists to show their work in a festive and well run show. There are interactive projects too for a children's learning experience in a variety of art forms. Listen to the music, hear a lovely poem and browse the booths of printers, painters, metal and woodworkers, weavers, potters, sculptors and stained glass.
I am very pleased to have been selected this year as one of the artists for Art on the Prairie. You'll find me in the "Canistea Room" at Hotel Pattee. Please stop by and say hello! I will be showing my hand-pulled prints in linocuts, woodcuts and white line woodblock technique, as well as monotypes.
Visit my gallery here to see my printmaking art. Thanks!Comment on or Share this Article →
Bonnie's Art-O-Mat label
Can't afford to buy art at Sotheby's, but dream of being a collector? Well, now you can. Beautiful, imaginative, top tier original art in all forms are indeed available at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Chicago Cultural Center, The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas , The Whitney Museum of American Art in NY and many other locations including upscale hotels, libraries and even Whole Foods. Just look for the cigarette vending machines at these locales. The brand, Art-O-Mat.
This ingenius way of making art affordable to anyone is the brainchild of Clark Whittington. In June of 1997 Clark loaded some of his own art into the slots of a recently banned cigarette machine and managed to get it placed in a local cafe in Winston-Salem. Art-O-Mat was born. And the machine is still in that cafe. Now there are about 400 contributing artists, selling their original works of art through the Art-O-Mat's ninety plus vending machines nationwide. "Venue owners who have welcomed Art-O-Mat to their shops, museums, cultural centers and more, see the vending machines as art installations, not trinket sellers" says Clark.
Refurbished and fancied up old vending machines around the US and Canada too, hold small pieces of art - the size of a pack of cigarettes actually. Paintings, prints, textile works, or other unique pieces that will fit in a specific size box. You, the connoisseur of art put your money - $5- in the slot, pick a piece of art and pull the lever (great fun) and it falls gently to the base of the machine for you to collect and admire.
Clark Whittington says, "Art-O-Mat is moving forward and growing in large part because of the talented artists participating. They see this not just as an opportunity for themselves, but as a collaborative effort to promote art and creativity." Clark also noted that Art-O-Mat is always on the look-out for new artists to include in the project. Find out about the application process at http://www.artomat.org.
I'm pleased to be one of the many artists whose work is available in Art-O-Mat's vending machines, joining the purveyors of affordable art earlier this year. We artists enclose info about ourselves with the art and ask that buyers let us know where our work ends up geographically, which is fun to know and even nicer when you get an email such as this:
Hello Bonnie,I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I am the proud owner of one of your prints from an art o mat at the cosmopolitan casino on the Las Vegas strip. The art o mat there is for sure the machine with the best odds in the house (couldn't resist).
My partner and I usually buy one piece from an art o mat whenever we see one on our travels. I bought this one in particular as gift for her as she was not traveling with me. Currently it sits sweetly on top of our thermostat in our living room in Portland, OR.
Thanks for sharing your art in an affordable and creative way. You prints were in the machine on the bottom row second to the left! SC
The writer of this lovely email also included a picture of the Art-O-Mat vending machine at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas where he bought my art.
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Artists frequently receive requests to donate a piece of their art to charity fundraisers, civic or non-profit groups. ‘Lucky you’ is the message—just give a piece of your creative work for display or auction and it will be terrific exposure for you as an artist!
Such was the case recently on Cape Cod. The Barnstable Municipal Airport, Hyannis, approached local artists, requesting art to adorn the new airport space. A wonderful opportunity said the Airport Arts Task Force for artists to get “exposure.” An insult, say the artists! Well, says the Task Force, the work actually would be just be on loan and insurance up to a certain level would be provided….but value beyond that level would be the liability of the artist. Some deal, huh.
Susan Vaughn, journalist and reporter for “Wicked Local/Barnstable” which is part of The Register, Cape Cod’s weekly newspaper since the 1830’s, has been meeting with local artists, who received the Airport Task Force's request through the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. Vaughn cites on the artists’ grievances and concerns related to the airport’s request. Certainly “donating one’s art” is not a new issue for artists, but this time the artists decided on a more constructive approach to resolve the issue.
Vaughn reports that the artists see a huge disconnect between the business, civic leadership and community artisans. But in fact, a large percentage of revenue supporting the area is generated by the cultural offerings. The Cape is an arts destination, the artists say, with wonderful art fairs, galleries, music and theatre.
Times are tough right now for everyone say the artists, many who readily admit to lacking business and marketing expertise. They may be talented, exceptional artists, but getting their work before the buyer is the missing piece. The artists of the Cape Foundation group have brainstormed and come up with a variety of approaches for making the airport situation a win-win community-artists relationship that may reap benefits for all.
So how does the story end? Its evolving actually and showing promise for some “creative” solutions. Reporter, Susan Vaughn, says artists, community leaders and the Airport Task Force are talking, have come up with some action plans and ideas for future cooperative and beneficial projects too.Comment on or Share this Article →
So I'm taking a little survey here about how, you as an artist, evaluate the effectiveness of social media in your own marketing. I'm certainly not asking for your trade secerts, but your assessment of social media's value, or not, to your promotion and sales. This little survey is for those of you who have stats or some kind of tracking on your website that gives you a picture of how well your posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin serve you.
This query comes after a year of my own tracking both online activity and offline promotion through a stats system. Share your thoughts:
1. Do you utilize, if at all, sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or other various "art forums" to promote or brand yourself as an artist? If you do, what elements on those sites seems to work best for you? For example on Facebook, do your website visitors come from your profile, biz page or Networked blogs?
2. Do you have a newsletter and publish it regularly? Is your mailing list growing because of social media? Are you finding it harder to get sign ups now since everyone online has a newsletter too? (I know, loaded question....)
3. Do you blog? Helpful?
4. Do you feel you are reaching the clientele, galleries or prospects you think likely client prospects? Or do you find you've made contacts with other artists, built a sometimes helpful network, found some resources, maybe made a few sales?
5. As result of your analysis, have you or will change how you use social media?
I hope you will share your views on social media as a tool in your marketing. Thanks!Comment on or Share this Article →
Julie McCullough Found Object Art
Julie McCullough is an internationally known doll artist. Since there are many variations in the genre, I should further define Julie's work as very inspired, mystical, often times whimsical, always tells a story. Her company is Magic Threads and from her studio in Urbandale, Iowa, comes a wide array of intricate, imaginative creations, as well as doll patterns for those who want to try their skills at this artform.
Over the last year, Julie has added another facet to her product line and that is "found objects art." Many artists today are incorporating discarded junk, treasures from the tool box and antique vendors into their art, but again Julie's work is top drawer and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
This week, KCCI TV in Des Moines, Iowa interviewed Julie McCullough in her studio. So watch this video and enjoy the journey through this artist's creative space: Julie McCullough on KCCI TV
My newsletter, also from my website here, emails once or twice a month, announces new artwork, events or exhibitions of interest, and current blog topics. It is also short and sweet!Comment on or Share this Article →
A recent Linkedin discussion about effective use of social media and sales sites to sell and promote one's art brought some interesting insights. The majority of comments came from artisans who have have planned their use of the internet judiciously and with success. I noted that they did not mention the chat rooms, teams or forums as part of their e-commerce strategies.
E-Commerce sites abound and most include "community", forums, and chit-chat. As for me, I have in the past involved myself in sites' forums or teams, such as on Etsy or Fine Art America, but in analyzing why and what benefit they have, I conclude really none. Some users spend time making comments and building community through chatting thinking that it will lead to sales...questionable. Some sites do offer some subject specific discussion groups that actually offer useful information or boarden your scope of internet use. Linkedin is one of those where you find good discussions with other professionals. But then it's not a sales site per se. Certainly, many of us find "Fine Art Views" a great resource for our art careers. And "support" forums serve as handy references.
Many of us who use the internet for marketing and promotion are using a combination of social media, blogs, and e-commerce sites. It is time consuming, but certainly doesn't have to be all consuming. I suggest having a plan and schedule for attending to your sites, such as check in times, sequence, cross referencing, blog entries, product updates and listings, newsletters, etc. Periodically evaluate the efficacy of your online presence. If one site seems not to be working over a 6 month period and isn't showing up in your stats, rethink using it. Be sure to allote time for research and tweaking as necessary. This is your marketing plan, which is a major component of your business plan. Review and tweak as needed.
Notice I didn't mention chat rooms or rah-rah for your team. Again, analyze the why of what you do online. If there IS a forum that offers you good exposure that will build your image, decide how you will present yourself, how often and track the stats/feedback. Justify your time in other words. Of course, you will occassionally make a quick comment on another's good work or interesting comment, or respond to an article that you find helpful too.
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Using social media to image build and draw to one's sales site(s) is excellent marketing, but remember that what you say and put on those sights does reflect on you and your business side. Put your efforts into good presentation....and stay out of the chat rooms! One must have studio time remember. So what do you think?