Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Otane Arts and Crafts Exhibition 2009

I was up until late Wednesday last week printing and packaging cards for our exhibition at Otane which opened the following Thursday afternoon (28th May 2009). Quite a crowd attended the opening, many invited guests and friends of the members. They were intrigued by the Mr MacGregor's Garden display that the Herb and Garden group had been working on for several weeks.

The first sale I took was in the first few minutes when an envelope was handed to me with a cheque to buy one member's painting worth $550. Within that first hour another painting sold plus a few cards and some of my stuff. Within two hours we'd sold $712.50 worth of work. Came home buzzing. So much for the recession. I didn't go to the centre for the next two days but heard all about it from other people. A reporter from a local radio station went among the crowd and did short interviews which were broadcast on Central FM throughout the weekend. That publicity really helped and over those days another four paintings sold plus three from the cash and carry bin. I had a phone message that all my soaps had sold out so sat up until late Saturday night painting more.

Then the cold snap hit. When I got up Sunday morning the sky was steely grey. I was trying to finish pricing my stuff when Glenys arrived at 9.15am so she finished doing that while I slapped on some war paint and changed into my tidy artist uniform. We got to Otane just 10 minutes before the centre was due to open. Our group was on kitchen and raffle duty and I sat in the art room with another artist fully expecting the crowds to rush through as they had been doing. However as the day wore on it became colder and colder and apparently people's fingers became too frozen to open their wallets as I only took $31 that day and $24 was for my work!

Although I was sitting there figuratively twiddling my thumbs it did give me an opportunity to listen to the comments about the paintings. Most people were drawn to the photo realistic pictures and I even heard one guy say "Well you can tell it's a good picture because of the high price on it". Works with more artistic value were overlooked. This was reflected in the "People's Choice" voting as well.

We left Sunday at 4pm in semi darkness and by the time I got home it was beginning to snow. I fed the animals and headed inside to get the fire going before snuggling down for the evening and nodding off on the sofa. When I woke up I kept rushing to the front door and turning on the outside lights so I could watch the snowflakes landing on the lawn. Yeah big kid!

I had a relaxed Monday morning before Glenys and I headed back down to Otane for the afternoon. We sat and drank tea and ate dark chocolate to keep our spirits up as by 3pm we'd only taken $17. Then in the last hour a lady came with cash and bought a painting worth $350.00 (done by a very talented artist in our group so I was thrilled for her). I toted up the cash and Glenys and I had all the bank deposit forms filled in for her to take in today. At 4pm the doors were closed and we packed up and moved tables back into place for art on Wednesday.

I sold so many things over the weekend, all small but perfectly formed. Enough to cover the phone bill anyway. Definitely the way to go in these hard times although perhaps I should be painting some photo realist pictures for our next exhibition!

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