This week the store hosted our first Visual Arts Fayre, it was to enable students across the disciplines in higher education to showcase and sell their work. With it being so close to Christmas some of us decided to create work specifically themed around the holiday whilst other submitted work within other themes. As Fine Art Students it was our job to curate this show, we decided to use the bottom floor gallery space in the Store for this event and on Thursday as a group we cleared out all previous work, moved the furniture and cleaned the area in preparation.
We then began to bring down a selection of everybodys work and arranged potential compositions that would be showcase the work, for example the art pieces in frames were to go on the boards in the gallery space or on a selection of shelves, christmas novelties made by graphics were to go on a shelving unit by our “till” desk and some pieces would be displayed in the windows in order to draw in customers.
we took note of everyones work and what price it was to be sold for and kept a list so that the graphics students working in the shop knew the prices and how to record sales efficiently. Some of the problems we faced whilst curating was ensuring that everyones work was equally represented, that all of the items were visible and displayed a way that looked like a professional shop set up rather than a school craft fair. We also had to ensure everything was displayed safely, so we checked the boards were secure, the shelves were well attached to the walls and that nothing could be tripped over on the floor such as the easel holding linda’s painting had to be moved so that the legs faced the wall.
i think the space itself with the artwork looked very professional and clean cut, next time i would prefer that the shelving unit displaying graphics work was also white so perhaps we could paint it so everything matched, also i think advertising the event could have been done much better because we only had a few black and white print outs of the poster to use in A4 size but now that we have had a sale from the show that money can be used to procure larger and more eye catching posters for the next sale 🙂
This first visual arts fayre was quite the success in terms of the amount of money we made, around £300 if I recall correctly and I sold both of my gingerbread houses and took orders for two more which I was very pleased with. That led to me making £60 minus the commission taken from the college, this was a very good amount for the first show for me and I was happy with the results. The curating of the show looked good, each course was well represented except for photography, but the arrangement looked modern and clean but there was plenty for potential buyers to look at. Karen and I also worked the shop during the day, which gave us a chance to upsell the smaller products like James’s Santa hats and Christmas cupcakes, we also got to see what products sold and which were more popular than others. The food products sold well, because these are cheaper and are a form of instant gratification. The art work sold less well, which was a shame but we are a small show in a town that isn’t particularly arty, I think if we were to advertise more next time we could have more success. The curating involved getting to college early, we got there at 8:30 am to set up the pieces in the show, and then Karen and I took a selection of pieces to the main building reception where we set up a table in order to draw people over to the store and entice them to the main sale area. I think for the next arts fayre, I just hope it is as successful as this one and even better, I think christmas will be the more popular one though because its more commercialized and people buy things for the sake of presents at christmas over other holidays.