and Open Studios
When I was living in Ottawa, Canada, I took part in several Open Studio events and art festivals. I really liked the Open Studio format. I opened my home and showed my art in a normal house setting as opposed to a formal gallery environment. People really enjoy seeing art this way. They get to see inside someone's house or studio, see art, and meet the artist. I like going to them too for the same reasons. The Ottawa event I took part in was exceptionally nice. There were about fourteen artists and the tour was walkable as I lived in a fantastic inner city neighbourhood. I have had people ask me why I would do Open Studios as surely I would run the risk of being robbed or how could I enjoy having people snoop into my house. I have always found that people who are interested in art are not generally likely to rob me and are in fact extremely respectful of my home. I actually find it very enjoyable thing to do. I did several Open Studios in the UK when I was living there. They are a fairly new idea in the UK but seem to be spreading. My house there was ideal for holding such an event as it was very open and bright and had a gallery like feeling. At the second event I did there I asked a friend who was an amazing potter to join me. That made it really nice as our work complimented each others. In the photo above you can see her work, which has sea colors and applied shell shapes, and my painting of shells.
I also took part in a couple of art festivals in Ottawa one of which was "Art in the Park". It was started up by a local artist, a real character called Bhat Boy, and I was one of the organizers for a couple of years. It was a very laid back event and pretty basic but I believe that in the six or so years since I left Ottawa it has grown very large.
Here in the US art festivals are a big thing and there seem to be several going on most weekends. I have decided it's time for me to put up a tent and become part of them although it's not actually a good time to start with the economic climate being what it is. My first one is the "Seven Springs Arts Festival" in Powder Springs near Atlanta. This is the first year the event has been held and so I have no idea what it will be like however it is close by and I need to have somewhere to try out all the new gear that doing a festival requires. I live in a condo so I don't have anywhere to set up the tent and try it out at home so I hope I don't look too silly the first time I put it up at the festival. It's a one day event on October 18th. Details. I am now getting organized to apply for more events in 2009.