Monday, February 28, 2011

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Thanks for starting this dialog Ursula. As a local artist, I have been dealing with the realities of life as an artist in Asheville for decades. The most important thing an artists can do for themselves is get educated in the business of art. There are many programs available to local artists via the many professional art organizations in our area. Learn the specifics of your particular art field. Ask other respected vendors in your area what it takes to get to their level. In general you will find most artists are happy to share the tips and strategies of success but make no mistake, they will all tell you it’s a lot of hard work.

A few years ago I got tired of looking for good local opportunities to self represent my work as I was continually disappointed with the events I would attend. I decided to create a local market of ONLY professional art vendors. Asheville Art in the Park started in 2009 with its first 3 consecutive Saturday market. In the markets first 9 days of operation artists have earned more then $100,000 from market sales directly at the event. They have also donated more then $10,000 to local non-profits that help us directly in our cause of making it here as artists.

Let me give you some more direct data to add some clarity to this important issue of the economic survival of Asheville’s artists. The lowest earnings of a booth at the Saturday market was $0. The highest was almost $3000 and the average booth generated $580 in sales. This is data from a cross section of about 175 local and regional artists. In general artists should look for events that payback at least 10 times the booth fee. This information dose not include wholesale orders, special orders or sales after then event hours.

Please check out for more information about this continuing local opportunity.