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How Did The Art Walk Go?

What’s a little rain among artists?

Friday it sprinkled on and off all day, but no worries I had a tent. Many of the artists without a tent left as soon as the first rain started.
Saturday it was cloudy but no rain all day which was excellent, so I did not have to pack up a wet tent.


Sunday, usually the best sales day I was so sick I could not get out of bed, I missed the whole day. What I found out later was that it poured at the Art Walk (torrential downpour) all day. At home we only had one afternoon shower, quite heavy, but not as bad as across the river. So even though I was very sad, I was also glad because packing up soaking wet tent and gear and then spending 2 days drying everything out is not the funnest way to do things.

It’s been a few years since I last took part in the Edmonton Art Walk

Things I learned this year:
1.       I do not enjoy sitting outside all day, even in a tent
2.       It is a lot of work to set up and take down a display every day.  I think I may have mentioned that I was too old for this sh#t!
3.       This is not how I want to connect with my tribe.
4.       I personally think I need a quieter, smaller group setting to connect. That could be my Asperger's, could be that I’m an introvert. The great thing is there is no one way to connect to your tribe to sell/share your art. 

In future I will enjoy visiting the art walk and will look to smaller venues/galleries and such to sell and share my art

This does not mean I think the Art Walk is no good, no,  I think it is wonderful. I love attending the Art Walk, I just realized it is not how I want to run my art business for me. I love the act of creation. I don’t love the act of selling. I do love talking to people about my art and how it was created and why.

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My most favourite part this year was that I took my installation piece “Power and oppression” and asked for feedback. I had some amazing conversations with people. Some people hated it, many loved it. It had really polarizing effects on people. Many men got angry, I was told I was a “man hater”, that “I obviously had a lot of anger” (I’m assuming he meant at men), and yet there were a lot of men that got it, many that apologized for their gender. The most common comment I got from women was “powerful” and a lot of tears.

One of the volunteers even brought me an article he had seen in the paper that very day. Some of the most amazing moments were young boys 10-14 years old (and there were a few different ones) that started to read it and really look at it and were shocked that these things happened. These people gave me hope. So many women thanked me and encouraged me to continue on with my series. One  (20 something) young man wished he could buy it, he said he used to be one of those guys that thought nothing of acting like an ignorant jerk (his words). He grew up in an abusive home and was going in that direction until a couple of friends told him he needed to smarten up and he got help. His girlfriend says he is an amazing person now.

To me the piece is my take on the last 50 years of the masculine and feminine energies in our culture, our society (mostly North America, as that is what I know). I didn't really think about it as being men vs women per se, but it seems that is where the distinction is for many. There are newspaper headlines about men and women, but they are real headlines, not my comments on those headlines. Which to me was again those societal/cultural norms. I do not hate men or think that men are bad, I think our society has different expectations of men then of women and we all play a part in those "norms".

Many men who walked by, stopped when they saw the word “Power” to watch them was so interesting, they puffed up a bit and as they kept reading you could see their expressions change. And many stormed away, seemingly angry. A few left angry written comments (I had a sheet out and was asking for comments).

I can’t wait to finish the other two pieces in the series and put a show together for them. I love having those conversations with people. Maybe I don’t even need to create to sell, maybe  I only need to create for the sake of creation.

It’s exciting selling pieces and you feel like you are getting return on your (art supply) investment. But, for me it was a bigger thrill to talk about my piece and how it made people feel, positive and negative.

Have an Amazingly Creative Day,
Larissa 

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