Thursday, August 14, 2014

Willow Walk (was a bust again)

Playing a little catch-up on the neglected blog. The following photos are from Willow Walk in Burlington NC. This is a biannual outdoor sculpture show that features 30-some sculptors. This fine art exhibit occurred this past June 6-8 weekend and I left for Interlochen the Tuesday afterwards. Teaching at Interlochen is such a whirlwind that I didn't have time to post this.

Also I wasn't sure about posting this because it didn't go all that well for me. Hate to post a "negative" story, but hey, this happened. This is the second time I've participated in Willow Walk and the second time that I didn't sell a damn thing. The nice people at Alamance County Arts Council do a fine job! I don't blame them. They sold something over $80K. Some in the form of purchase awards that are fairly spread out among the sculptures, so the chances seem pretty good that if you bring some decent sculptures that at least one will move. My main complaint is that even though some of the pieces that were selected were excellent....some of them were really less than excellent. So I packed up my sculptures with a real feeling of exasperation.

Here's a list of possible reasons for my failure:

  • I don't have a good eye for art. ie: my art sucks
  • My work was priced too high....or too low.
  • Not shiney enough.
  • Too abstract.
  • Too representational.
  • I scared people away with my desperation.
  • I didn't sell them hard enough.

Planking like a fool before the drive out.

Ghost Queen. 10 feet high, painted steel and ceramic

Transformation Revisited, 10 feet high, aluminum

India Ink depiction I did while waiting for nothing to happen.

They did get some attention.

My sculpture buddies: Matt Amante, Jordan Krutch, Tripp, and J. Bowling. 
Last time I went with sculptures that have since won awards and been accepted into juried exhibitons. No sales. This year I went with three new works. Two big ones (pictured) and one garden sized one that doubles as a planter, my attempt to pander to the masses.

Pretty sure I'm not attending this type of outdoor sculpture market again. There's another one coming up in Lenior called the "Sculpture Celebration". I did that one too a few years back and failed to move the people with my award-winning Balasana With Deer. What was great about Alamance County's Willow Walk was that they gave out honorariums of $100 to cover gas. I'm grateful for that, but it doesn't add up to a hotel room for 2 nights and a weekend of sitting around watching the public walk by.

I did enjoy spending time with some of my sculptor colleagues. ECU was represented very well with about 10 participants all from the same program. Some of them had success at the show and I honestly feel like their work deserved the attention it got.

But it sure makes you wonder if you are in the right business when you come away empty-handed. So I guess I'll keep shouldering on. I shall continue to believe in my art and believe in myself.

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