Artists need to figure out good ways to sell their work, especially when they chose to live in the country. When I started my art career about 35 years ago, after moving back to my home region of Chautauqua County, New York, I quickly came to realize I had to get creative with marketing as well as with creating my work. One of my first things for me to do was to meet and make friends with other regional artists. I did a few of the local shows where Ifound many wonderful regional artists, many of whom are still friends 35 years later.
A few of us got together and started the Chautauqua Crafts Alliance Shows that occur bi-annually at Bestor Plaza, set in the center of the world class Chautauqua Institution. It is still very much an active show of top quality juried fine crafts. I can write a whole blog on it alone and I will in the future!
Shortly after helping to get that show going, my husband and I left the cabin we had built back in the woods with just a chainsaw and a VW van, to purchase a 1840s Greek Revival Gallery Home on Portage Hill Road in the area. There we started Portage Hill Art Gallery, which is now in its 34th year. I will write a follow up blob just about the gallery and what we have learned from running it in the future.
After completing a teaching career, I am now adding entering juried regional and national shows with paintings, mixed media and one of a kind ceramic art. I have been very successful having my work accepted into these shows by jurors. I also have gotten some of my ceramic pieces and mixed media pieces published: Lark books, "500 Vases", a mixed media piece in "UU World" magazine, and one of my one of a kind vases in the Potter's Council's Vases Calendars (2015), for example.
Today I delivered some pieces to the Juror/Founders Show for Women Create which opens this Friday night at 5PM in Jamestown NY. In the afternoon I threw some porcelain pots and now in the evening I am editing my Portage Hill Gallery website and now I am writing this blog.
The rural artists's life is full of finding ways to thrive! At least mine has been!