Monday, June 30, 2008

Bottom of the Food Chain

I think artists are at the bottom of the food chain. Art is the one thing all consumers feel they can delete from their budgets in times of economic upheaval.

So we are frequently the first to know the economy is not strong like GW maintains. And the last to see the effects of any turnaround. I personally think everyone ought to give up ESPN before art.

At this last weeks big New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair there were a moderate amount of viewers but a dismal amount of buyers. Which means that us artists are returning home with empty fuel tanks, plenty of inventory and doubts about whether or not to continue to create.

We spent much of the slower moments of the show talking alternatives to art shows as a way to peddle our wares and other things to do to make money. Most of us have day jobs we have not quit but they are generally marginal and getting more so. I am thinking of putting on some workshops in my new studio. But do people have money to pay for art lessons and, heaven forbid, art supplies?

So I returned home to make an agonizing appraisal of expenses, delete two other possible shows from the calendar, and hope the next show is better.

I suppose any plea I made here to support your local artist would fall on deaf ears. But it is not just artists. Think of what you are deleting from your expenses and the people connected with that. I am not getting the house stained because of the poor show so the painter is probably not putting any money toward his kid's college fund. It is the trickle down theory at work.

Someone call Bill Gates and tell him to go out and buy art and have his houses painted.