Art Students League Summer Art Market is my biggest show by far each year. This year was no different, as a more spacious layout made for a more pleasant experience, and the traditionally perfect weather made a return, after last year’s chilling drizzle.
I really enjoy this show on many levels, though its ability to pay bills certainly colors my perspective. But the people, many of whom are now longtime friends, really make for an enjoyable though exhausting weekend. And friends and family seem to have picked up on how exhausting, yet important the show is to me. I get lots of offers to help schlep art and equipment, bring me food, or just to come down and say high during the long days. Thank you to all from the bottom of my heart!
But the show has become a validation, for many of us in the struggling artist brigade, of what we are trying to accomplish. The art has gotten stronger, sales steadier. Even on a most basic level, it’s refreshing, while standing 10 hours a day on hot asphalt, to see so many people starting to get it. Buying original art is a very different thing than buying a giclee reproduction, or decorative object.
When you buy art, not only do you put cash into the local creative economy, thus making it stronger, more innovative and more able to contribute to the region’s educational and cultural needs, but you make the art itself stronger. Money is time, and more time spent by experienced artists in the studio means you won’t have to fly to NYC to see great art; mature, well conceived and refined.
While you are doing that, you can bask in the mountain sun, drink a beer, and talk to those same artists in your flip flops. How they got in your flip flops, you’ll never know.
My next street fair show is July 16-17 on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. Stop by and say hello.