The Wonders of Technology, Part II; Art Fair Season!

I am so excited to say that I have been accepted to my first outdoor art fairs this summer!

The first was Art in the Park in Eden Prairie May 18th. It was great practice, being my first ever. I learned a lot and am already working on new equipment for my tent. Here was my set up:

booth

I have a lot of ideas to improve for my upcoming shows, including hanging more originals and making a nice table cloth!

The next fair I will be in is the Art at St.Kate’s show on July 13th, 2013.

My third and largest is the Loring Park Art Festival August 3rd and 4th.

Then of course I am participating in the LoLa Art Crawl for my third year in a row August 24th and 25th.

I am honored and a little nervous to be accepted into these shows. I have been working on some smaller original pieces just for the fairs. I have quite a few originals available, but they are all large and therefore expensive. Each one of my signature large pieces takes anywhere from weeks to months to make, while these smaller pieces take three days to a week to complete.

On the other hand, I am also happy to make prints of my larger artworks. I love my Epson giclee printer. It makes very accurate, saturated images that will last for 100 years and more. They are so great looking that I mistook a framed print for an original, and it’s my own work!

It disappoints me when in my extensive research on how to approach an art fair that many artists do not like prints. Many artists say they HATE prints, that they undermine their work. I am confused. I think it’s really fun to see everyone who truly likes an art piece be able to have a copy of that artwork. Not everyone can afford an original that has taken so much time to complete.

I don’t feel like a giclee print undermines the original. They are two different things. My original works have different textures a scanner could never see. The pencil strokes are all there. The finished piece is an object that the artist has spent hours and hours with intimately and basically just cannot be reproduced. Therefore, a print of the work is no threat. Sure giclees are great at reproduction, but there are sensations of three-dimension and of textures that simply can not be scanned. You can’t scan the smell of an oil painting and the softness of each particle of pastel will never show through on a print.

I will never do a “limited edition” giclee; my prints are all open editions. Setting an arbitrary number to print goes against my traditional hand-pulled printmaking background. So are giclees worth buying, then? What is their value if they can be unlimited? Their value is that they are a piece of art that you love whose colors will last longer than you will. They are a piece of art that makes you happy, and isn’t that a great reason to have a piece of art?

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