Tuesday, July 5, 2011
6x6 Summer Blog Tour!
When I first heard about 6x6, I was excited, in awe of two women that could put together such an amazing project...and of course, I wanted to learn more. I got a chance to ask Kesha Bruce, co-director of Baang and Burne Contemporary Art a few questions about the business of art in general and 6x6 specifically. A common theme was relationships between artists, their art, and audiences. Here's what she shared:
Nyela: You say selling art is about building relationships...but with whom? How?
Kesha: I always tell my consulting clients: “Stop hunting Unicorns!” By that I mean--understand that most “art collectors” don’t walk around calling themselves “art collectors”. It’s not a job title. Just think about the last 3 people who bought one of your artworks. Were they rich celebrity “art collectors” that sit on museum boards and give thousands of dollars each year to art foundations? If so, great! But most likely it was a person who really liked the work, and really liked you, and decided to buy your work. They are an art collector.
Artists need to make a habit of consistently staying in touch my e-mail and by snail mail with people that show interest in their work. Every artist should constantly be adding new people to their mailing list. These people are your collector base!
Nyela: How can artists work together to promote their work?
Kesha: Obviously, I think more artists should get together and produce their own exhibitions. It doesn’t have to be a big production or even a formal, tradition exhibition for that matter. It could be as simple as 3 artists getting together and each hanging 5 pieces of artwork in someone’s living room for an evening. These type of smaller intimate events are a great way to invite people to see your new work in a more laid back fun way.
I say this all the time: Other artists aren’t your competition. They’re your greatest allies. Always remember that.
Nyela: How did you pick the group of artists that would be exhibiting in 6x6? Do they have any particular thing in common in terms of style or theme?
Kesha: There’s a lot of truth to the saying “It’s all about who you know.” When Charlie Grosso and I formed Baang and Burne we picked a group of artists that not only made work we loved, but who we already knew and trusted. The artists I brought on, I had met when I was an Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center. I had worked with them day in and day out over the course of a month so I knew their work well and I knew they would be easy to work with personality wise. In the end, I chose people I already had great relationships with. In the end it always comes back to relationships!
To read more about 6x6, read Kesha’s weekly articles on art, art marketing, and creativity and to download a free copy of her guide “The 5 Step Art Career Make-Over” visit her blog at www.keshabrucestudio.com.