Friday, October 14, 2005

lagging but catching up

The past few weeks have been really busy and, consequently, I also haven't been keeping up with posting here. I'm going to try and get caught up soon.

In the meantime, there's the second week of the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours happening this weekend. This is the third year that I've participated and also the first time that I'm not really looking forward to doing it. I like opening my studio and have people come in and experience a working studio, but the excitement I had the first couple of times isn't quite there this time. I think this bit of reality began last year when attendance was way down over both days from the year before. Part of that was due to bad weather on Saturday and on Sunday, there were a couple of other big events going on in the city, which left fewer people walking around Old City, where my studio is.

My expectations about attendance had a lot to do with it, also. This year, I'm not doing as much preparation as I've done in the past. I'll still have snacks and drinks, only less of both. I'm not worried about painting the walls, although I may fill in some of the nail holes. I'm also concerned about being basically the only artist in the area participating. There are a couple of other people kind of close, but they are still blocks away.

My feeling is, unless people are planning to be in the Old City area, I'm not going to get many visitors. There just isn't a cluster of other working artists in Old City any more, and I think the interest in going over there is going to be pretty low. Then, people just walking by generally just won't come in. I think a lot of them look at the poster, balloons and other materials I've had on the outside door and think they have to pay to get in or something. Some people are simply intimidated by art and artists and feel they will be intruding, even though the public is being invited to come in.

Also, more people seem to know about the artist building at915 Spring Garden Street than any other artist space around. I've done a lot of promotion on the 'net and in real life by talking to people and handing out brochures. As anyone who has attempted to promote anything knows, you can shout from the rooftops and the public will still not give it a second thought. Well, POST is becoming more well-known, and the studio tours are getting more media exposure, so the only thing to do is to see what happens.

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