Great news! I was accepted as a featured “Emerging Artist” at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival on March 19-21, 2010! There are quite a few perks to this distinction, as well as making my first outdoor art festival a success. At 350,000 visitors, this is one of the largest and most prestigious shows in Florida!
While my latest photography and blogging has focused mostly on family portraits, engagements, and weddings, I still trek and photograph the Florida Wilderness in my spare time, continuing to build my Florida Noir Nature Series; which I’ll start blogging about soon. As this is my most developed and respected art series, I’m looking forward to showing it off in the art show circuit. Galleries have a fun introductory reception, but I’m excited to give buyers a more personal, one-on-one buying experience. Further, I’m using this opportunity to fine-tune my photography customer relations skills.
Each year, about 1200 artists apply to this event, with only 220 allowed to participate. Normally, you need to submit a photo of your booth from a prior art show, pay $400 just to show up, as well as buy your own $1000 display setup; not to mention that your have to set-up, break-down, and incur other costs. For someone with no festival experience, this can be quite intimidating, not only as an investment, but of what to buy – there are way to many options to choose, with no local stores selling them.
However, just three artists are chosen by the judges as an “Emerging Artist” – those defined as never attending an outdoor art festival, but with a great portfolio of promising work. While I’ve displayed many indoor galleries in the past, I had never ventured into the art shows. Not only is the event free for those chosen, but they setup a booth for you and pay all your travel expenses! And I’ll be featured in the art festival’s publications! Jean, the emerging artist chair, has been very helpful in getting me setup for the event; now I can just focus on printing and matting my artwork, just like in a gallery.
Also, I was accepted to three other art festivals that I applied – costing $400 each, taking place before March 19, 2010; and requiring me to purchase a display booth. Further, they were located in other Florida cities, requiring massive hotel and travel costs. As I’m provided an opportunity, locally, at a much larger show – for free – I have had to decline the other shows in Jupiter, FL and Boca Raton, FL.
Later, I’ll blog again more about my Florida Noir Series, where I get my inspiration, and some photo philosophy.
Please visit my R.J. Auger Photography, Inc. facebook fan-page and RSVP if you can make the event.