Last weekend I got to be a part of Artclectic in Nashville; quite possibly THE best looking show I’ve ever been lucky enough to be a part of. This event is an annual fund raiser for a private school adjacent to the Vanderbuilt University campus and you can tell the administration and parents support the heck out of it.
To get ready they completely transform the school gym into a black backdrop for the included artists’ work. Though each space allotted is potentially pretty small – being only 4 to 8 feet wide and flat – in fact the walls extend way up towards the high ceiling as much as 20 feet? Maybe more. The result is this soaring display that literally elevates what’s on it to new heights. Great for viewing, great for selling!
To hang our work we needed the 15′ ladders they had throughout the space to clamber up and attach some pieces up in the sky. There were all sorts of volunteers helping us install shelves and hang work. Wonderful, friendly people one and all.
The have a competitive jury process and select only about 60 artists to showcase work. I could tell they were careful to choose work that was complementary to the whole vision of the show and that wouldn’t cross compete. This is rare and very supportive of the artists. Nice, eh? The quality of every single individual artist was impressive. In every medium from painters to potters there was seasoned accomplishment. Professionalism abounded. I was surrounded by very good company.
They planned an unfolding series of events that harnessed excitement and helped shepherd potential sales opportunities starting with their “Patron’s Party” then moving on to the “Community Party” interspersed with demo-day and a regular open weekend set of hours. The Patrons got first selection, the Community supporters got second choice and the community was invited to peruse from there. Just about every artist there enjoyed sales from each of the events and throughout the weekend. Some did outstandingly well. One almost completely sold out! Mind you, she’s a teacher there and had something of a captive audience, lol.
They wined and dined us, the artists. We were never without available refreshments. The booth Fee? None. We paid by allowing the organizers to have a 30% commission in each and every sold work. To some that may sound like a lot. To me it’s it well worth it. Because they’ve taken great care in creating this event – the result is it’s very well supported by their community. Because of that sales appear to be almost a forgone conclusion. I can’t say that about every other prestigious show I was included in this past season. Even with the 30% commission – this turned out to be my second best total for a show so far this whole year.
The show launches Thursday evening with the Patron’s Party and runs through Sunday at 3pm. There’s a wonderful facility adjacent to the school named Scarritt Bennett Center that is a retreat center that rents rooms dormitory style (small with a shared bathroom in between) at very reasonable rates.
Some of My Faves
As I was getting ready for the show I checked their website to get a feel for who I would be showing with. I was getting excited because the jurors seem to have hand picked artists that seem to float in an orbit similar to mine.
Below are some of my all-time faves from the show:
Tim Hooper. His paintings are folk-arty with a twist. Here’s his site.
Roger Clayton, shown here with his bubble-riffic partner Rie’ was another favorite. What I so appreciate about Roger’s art is its simplicity. There is a strong message in this for me. I went home with a piece. See more of his work here. Click the photo below to see his drawings and current blog posts.
I was set up across the aisle from Justin Robinson from Alabama. He calls his work mixed media 2D. These are wonderfully upbeat and smart pieces.
Besides the art show in the gym – the University School of Nashville also offerred a series a classroom visits to meet the artists and learn about their work as well as open art studio time in their art rooms for those interested to make some art! These two girls took them up on their Robot Making supplies. I was impressed. Aren’t you?
Kinda makes you wonder what inspired them:
I love his robots made from found materials:
Finally, I have to mention that completely from out of the blue the Artclectic juror chose my work as the best in its category – a complete and totally delightful surprise! Wow. What this means is I’m invited back next year. A great honor and a guaranteed fun time to come! Thank you to the entire Artclectic scene: volunteers, staff, parents, community and fellow artists for creating such an artist-friendly event. This will be a hard show to beat – and may just be my favorite all-time!