After giving it a bit of thought, I realized I need to find ways to reach out to new art patrons without being completely dependent on individual gallery owners. I like the idea of selling via the internet with Facebook, Instagram and other options; but unless one is pretty well known as an artist, most collectors are not going to make an art purchase without seeing the piece in person.
The Northern Neck Artisan Trail is a part of the Virginia Artisan Trail Network and features lots of artists in a wide variety of medium and ideas. The idea is to have art lovers visit your studio so there is a connection between the art, the artist and the art collector. See where art is made, how it is made and at least some of what is involved helps folks have a greater empathy and appreciation for art and the artists.
So, I took the plunge, put in the application and today was visited by the woman who makes the determination if your studio and your work fits the program.
I have to be available for visitors at least two days a week, but can set my own hours and days and also request appointments for those days and times. I can plan special events of basically any sort (open house, classes, demonstrations, invite a bunch of artist friends over for a group event, etc.) and advertise those events on the Northern Neck Artisan Trail website and Facebook page which will give me a wider audience. They are now strongly pushing the Second Saturday Studio Tours and from what I’ve seen, it has had a pretty good turn out.
Well, it turns out I have been approved!
She said it will be a few days (probably a week or so) and they will send me the codes I need to access and build my NNK Artisan Trail web page.
She recommended I get or make a sign to put down on our mailbox pointing down the lane (so folks don’t think they’ve come to the end of the road and can’t go further as it does say: “End State Maintenance” and they will get me a Northern Neck Artisan Trail Sign before June to put at the entrance to my driveway. She also suggested I figure out a way to clarify which paintings are for sale and which are not. I guess wall tags aren’t too weird… or maybe I’ll just produce a pricing book of some sort. Or I can just dedicate one wall of the studio and the stairway walls to works that are for sale. I’ll figure something out.
So, I’m off to paint a “Kauffman Studio” sign for my mailbox!