9/20/2010

The Importance of Place

Location has been on my mind a lot lately. No, really it's been on my mind for years. Location has been a huge factor in my college and career choices. And this year, with major school budget cuts and the take-what-you-can-get mentality in art education positions I relocated where I had to. This has taken me from Cleveland OH, to the smaller Rochester NY and now to the even smaller Geneseo NY. All along I have questioned what effect these moves would have on my artwork, from how I create it to how I share it.

Rings and earrings almost gone! And both large matchstick canvases gone!

Upstate NY is no art mecca in relation to NYC and other cities across the states like Austin and Portland, but I was pleasantly surprised at the Geneseo Art Stroll this past Friday. I'm not looking to be big, but just to bring some happiness with my art while earning extra cash. I had no idea that I would do better in the 3 hour stroll in Geneseo than I did in the 3 day Boulderfest show in Rochester and the other bigger markets I participated in last year.

New button maker fun with vintage mag ads

It seems like a combination of two things helped:
  1. Demographics: Geneseo is full of young, liberally educated men and women attending SUNY Geneseo. My work caters to that group in style, content and in the pocket. It is also a small town full of charm and art savvy locals who have the funds and desire to enjoy aesthetic luxuries.
  2. Fresh Ideas: There weren't any other 'upcyclers', 'repurposers', or altered object makers to be seen. Among mostly fine art and fiber work I stood out and had a green message beyond the items as beautiful objects.
These same factors are so important to Etsy as well and stick out now as goals I want to stress. How do I get out to that specific audience on Etsy? And how do I make my art stand out in a virtual world where upcycled work is already saturating?

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