Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Après le Spectacle

As in the past, this year's Texas Hill Country Invitational fine art show was a memorable and valuable experience. One of the best components of the show was the opportunity for frequent and extended interaction with the other artists. It's great to be able to hear about what other people are doing in their work, both creatively as well as business-wise.

SHADOWS ON THE SUN, © Chris Gray, 2012
All rights reserved by the artist
As I spoke with Chris Gray, a fairly recent member of the BPA, he walked me through the interesting process he uses in composing his "tribal art" pen and ink designs. When you simply look at the final product of someone's art you can make guesses at the detailed steps they take to make it, but often you are totally wrong. This was certainly the case for the Chris's work.

On the last day a woman came into my booth and had much to discuss with me concerning my photographs. She happened to be a fiber artist and mentioned to me something I might consider for my images. What she had to say was not an entirely novel thought for me, but it certainly dusted off the cobwebs of an old idea I'd had some time ago.

EXPLORATION, © Kay Reinke, 2012
All rights reserved by the artist.
Adjacent to my booth were the displays of Kay Reinke's paintings and her sister Karen Cruce's fine art pottery. I recounted for them the discussion I'd had with the fiber artist, and they both jumped on the "new" idea for making my images available to a whole new set of possible collectors. Their excitement was contagious and I promised to attempt developing the required process over the next month or so.  I'll let you know how this turns out.

And finally, despite all of the wonderful aspects of this year's THCI, there was a darker undercurrent lingering through the three days of the show. It is clear that the economy of the US is not even close to being healthy, as sales of work— my own and others— were decidedly puny. Even though the show itself was absolutely wonderful and easily the pinnacle of what Boerne Professional Artists has produced over the years, people obviously did not come to buy. Fine art is, and always has been, a luxury item. When an economy is down, purchases of fine art are probably the first thing to drop off the budget as not a necessary expense. When fine art sales return then you can finally say that the economy is on the mend.

SUNSET HORIZON, © Karen Cruce, 2012
All rights reserved by the artist
Here's looking to next year's Texas Hill Country Invitational– may it build upon the successes of this year, and add robust sales to boot!

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