Wednesday, June 4, 2014

our ARTventure in NYCity

A busy month for us with two trips to New York for our art~!

Claudia & Annie,
another of the artists represented by Parcai Designs

The first time we went, was to visit Surtex- the annual *trade show* for art licensing.

Since I only signed on with my agents 

Parcai Design in February, we thought it would be important to attend the show and get a first hand glimpse of what "art licensing" is all about.

The show began on a Sunday, so when I happened upon a "call for artists and crafts people" for the Saturday, I thought it would be a great time to do a "practice" set up with our tent and art in New York as we were scheduled to participate in the Washington Square Art Market two weeks later.

On the right, you can see some of my whimsical drawings for Halloween themed art licensing!

Our trial run was interesting. 

Sales were basically the same as we have on a Saturday at our local Farmers/Indie Market here in the Washington DC area.... still, we had to subtract expenses from that (travel, tolls etc.)- but again, more than anything, we wanted to get a "feel" for showing in NY.
Both of us have exhibited in NY in the past, but they have been gallery shows.... selling on the street is so different, and we have found that everything changes from one place to  another-even within the same city.

During our first weekend in the streets of NY, we overheard many comments such as:

"Oh look, Mexican art!"
(never have heard people saying that before.. and it was said many times and both weekends... funny, I guess here in Washington DC everything is a bit more politically correct and we may hear: "Latino Art" or "Colorful art")

we also heard:
"Religious stuff... keep walking" 
 and reactions to my "Dia de los Muertos"/Day of the Dead: "how macabre!" "how weird" 
(both of which we have not heard here in the DC area- which is admittedly more "religious" than NY, although we are not certain why the reaction to Day of the Dead art, as NY has many Mexican immigrants too).

We came back home

~unloaded our car.... and a week later re-loaded with different art. 
Deciding *what art* to take with us
the second time to NYCity

No retablos (reproductions we make on small pieces of wood), only three angels, and only a couple of "Dia de los Muertos" pieces in the "bins" not the walls.

The second weekend led us into some misadventures involving our lodging and transit to and fro the event ....
(we left our car in NYC and commuted to an affordable rental in NJ--the adage: "you get what you pay for" came true!).

The Washington Square Art Market was started by Jackson Pollock.....

"one balmy spring day in 1931, in the midst of the Depression Era. Jackson Pollock, desperately in need of funds to pay the rent on his Greenwich Village studio that also served as his home, took a few of his iconoclastic paintings down several flights of stairs and set them up on the sidewalk near Washington Square Park. His friend and fellow Village artist, Willem DeKooning, in equally desperate financial straits, soon joined him.."

As far as sales, the first day was horrible for all the artists, but the second day was profitable (though again, we need to subtract the travel & lodging expenses from it all);  nonetheless we did make a profit and we were able to take our art to a wider audience, in short, we are very pleased overall!

It was again underlined to me how different the public in NY is to DC metro area...
This time around, with only three paintings of angels, we still heard comments that the art was "too religious" ....
One woman was *very tempted to buy an angel* she came back three times- but said she felt "like a hypocrite because I am not religious" .... (she did not buy it)

You can see our booth set up in NYCity here.

One of the BEST parts of the show

~the other artists we met who were exhibiting nearby: a Portuguese potter, a Chinese photographer, Jamaican painter and a native New Jersey couple who paint Americana folk art.  

The interactions we had with them were fluid and natural and just truly amazing... it felt like "home" to us...  not only wonderful people, they are all full time artists, which is what we aspire to....*hoping* that soon Sergio can let go of his day job as an assistant teacher...

One of the artists, a Jamaican artist, I am quite sure must have known my father as he was exhibiting in the UN in the late 70's and 80's which is when my dad was at the UN and as a side assignment, he would help with curating the UN exhibitions where this artist exhibited often at that time and also they both knew the Ivory Coast ruler/later: president 
Boigny who I remember having dinner with at my Papa's place in NYC.
It is always touching for me to meet someone who may have known my father... 

We have exchanged phone numbers with the group and have already made dinner plans for when we return in September! 

We came home absolutely exhausted... part of it was the "not sleeping" the couple of nights before the trip as we had so much to get ready for... part of it was not sleeping when we arrived because other guests at the place we stayed at were making sooooo much noise all night... 

On our way home, Sunday, when we were only about 20 minutes from home, we came upon a HUGE traffic accident. It was after 2:00am... and we arrived upon the accident only minutes after it happened- ambulances and police began to arrive after we did.

Then, a second accident (a van that slipped in the oil spill of the first)- it was all very chaotic... and cars were playing *bumper cars* all around... we watched as the car in front of us hit the one right in front of them as that driver was standing outside his car looking at the chaos... it was awful... but we could not help but be thankful that we had not arrived there minutes earlier ... and pray for the victims.

We arrived home at 4 a.m.   
It is now Wednesday, and I am only now recovering from all the travel and sleepless nights *whew*

BUT, it was all well worth it and we both look forward to doing it again for Labor day weekend in September!

Our space was in front of a Mexican Restaurant.... the owner not only bought a piece the last day of the show... he gifted us frozen Margaritas! 


Jess said...

Good to hear you both came home safely and that it went well. I feel sorry for the people who made such narrow minded comments about your subject matter. On the other hand, the more they see other types of art that they wouldn't normally be exposed to, can only be a good thing! Yours would have been my favourite stall! :)
Jess xx

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Thank you so much Jess!
I agree and do hope that the exposure to it has opened some minds :)

Thank you for the accolades <3