Monday, November 2, 2020

Selling Art Tomorrow

by Patricia Frischer

(clockwise: Linda Mariano, Erik Smith, Craig Kausen


RAVE Art Fair Exhibitor Series: #2 Selling Art Tomorrow– second of 4 invitation only sessions produced by Redwood Art Group

Because the SD Art Prize has shown at Art San Diego since its inception, I keep track of all the progress made by this international art fair company. They offered a series of discussion about the future of the art market in a set of 4 panel discussion. Here is my summary of the second session but you can view all the archived session once they are complete. They also come with a valuable set of tools for artists and gallerist from writing an artist’s statement to engaging social media supplied by the Art Business News.

Linda Mariano, Redwood Art Group managing director of marketing, reminds us that Content is King. You need to be able to talk about your art work. Tell your story and that behind the art. Visually show the artist in his/her studio. Create an experience for the viewer online. It is OK to test out new things and don’t worry about being perfect. Get comfortable being uncomfortable in front of a camera.

Eric SmithPresident Redwood Media Group, is exploring new option since the onsite art fair had to halt.
In the first session many out of the box idea were discussed including such as small, select home shows with your collectors, 30 pieces in 30 days to create excitement, getting artists together for a pop up perhaps an outdoor restaurant venue. He notes that virtual events are starting slow but will build and be ongoing. He is starting to see super stars involved which will build and attract more people. People are not going to want to travel right away, but collectors are still wanting to buy. There are large savings to be had right now since virtual fairs are much less expensive i.e. a RAVE virtual booth starts at $495. Virtual includes all sorts of communications including zoom type meetings, but also Instagram Facebook and utube groups.  In this context virtual means the viewer can stay home and participate.

RAVE (Redwood Arts Virtual Events) are not just a viewing room, but a real experiential platform where you can meet and talk to artists and gallerists, attend unique events, and have an art buying experience from wherever you are virtually. The 2-day events have lots going on at the same time and is well priced for exhibitors. You have access to 100,000 on the Redwood mailing list plus all the exhibitors sending out notices to their mailing list. This is new and planned but it is still an experiment. Even when the live events are back, then there will be live streaming. The first RAVE is RAVE Miami Dec 4 and 5th

Next year live events when they come back could be better than was first thought as the statistics just came out that flying is very safe as COVID cases are only 1 in 27 million flyers.  

Craig Kausen, President & CEO of Linda Jones Enterprises and Chuck Jones Galleries, also the Chairman of the Board of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity,  shuttered all 3 galleries and their non-profit took a breath and now has free programs through the Center for Creativity with Creative side chats. Jones Family Gatherings is a weekend event that is usually a way to connect with collection Very intimate studio tours with artists capable of exciting people about their work. This year they went virtual and he shared some advice about how to do this.

Not many in the arts used digital zoom, or created virtual art galleries, but since the pandemic closed everything down, we need to be prepared, educate ourselves and move forward with all things digital.  Visuals, text messages, video, online sales, shipping learn it all. Get out there and try something new as the old gallery viewing is not available. He suggests about 30 minutes - 1-hour total for an event with a presentation or two and time for questions and answers. Choose what is appropriate for the people that you can attract. Make sure there is interaction between panelists and the viewers. Record it all and archive it. If you include a pre-recorded video it should be no longer than 5-6 minutes. Then break it down to 30 seconds to a minute for Instagram and other social media as a teaser. Remember hatch tag #s.

A virtual event can be in any size space and with only one smart phone, but multiple cameras are better and some basic editing is important. Ear pods mean the artist can hear the questions. They did no rehearsal, but had a plan of how the event would be presented. He believes the key is you are doing this yourself is to try to have someone else running the tech. The big question is how you are going to connect with the collector. What is the story about the artist?  You can’t sit back and wait for the sale; you have to present a greeting and an emotional bond of some kind. The collector needs a story to tell people when they see the work in their own home once they acquire it. It has to be interesting and attractive and engaging.

Brick and Mortar is on the way down or at the best staying level. People are clamoring for something to do. How do you create the emotional bond between artist and collector online? Maybe this starts with a simple outreach to find out about them and how they are doing. The more dialogue between you and people with a real interest the better. Get good at telling your story.   A virtual art fair brings lots of collectors into one place just like the real thing so get involved with RAVE.

You can view the first session and there are 2 more session: You must RSVP to access the Series. All confirmed participants will be sent calendar invitations prior to each event. Please RSVP by November 2 to participate.

Session #3: Next Level Strategies for a Successful Art Fair on Thursday, November 5 | 1:00 pm Eastern 

Session #4: Creating a Business Plan for Today and the Future on Thursday, November 12 | 1:00 pm Eastern  with Crista Cloutier

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