At the “Arlington Art Examiner” column there is the intersection of artists and patrons. Who are art patrons?
Patrons are people who appreciate an artist so much that they not only enjoy visiting artist’s exhibitions, but they actually buy paintings, and some even commission their work. It is a long tradition going back to Medieval times.
Wealthy persons began the trend, but today there is a broad demographic of patronage to artists.
Where there is art, there is culture. Where there are artists there is often economic development and a thriving community.
There has been a surge in support for artists in Arlington County, Virginia where there are a number of venues and initiatives, each with their own management and promotion teams. It isn’t always clear who is in charge of publicity, but there are enough candles burning that you can find the path to exhibits and events with a little effort.
The communal groups that cluster around various studios and non profit organizations operate under a shared community umbrella that extends to neighboring communities too.
This column reports about group shows, though readers indicate high interest in learning more about individual artists and their profiles. The trouble is that many if not most artists make no effort to tell us about their work. You see being an artist is more than creating the work. It includes packaging it and finding venues for sharing it. It includes keeping the audience informed.
Throwing up a website doesn’t cut it by itself. That is like planting a tree in the forest and asking patrons to come find it without a map or clue about how to get there.
One critical aspect is that artists often haven’t a clue about who their audience might be. They can start with friends, relatives, neighbors and people who have bought their work. Then, they need to get their email and mailing addresses as part of creating a database of patrons and prospective patrons.
When new work of significance is created, artists need to tell their audience about it. That requires sending such information as a bio, artist’s statement, and digital images of the subject work as well as links to websites where this may be found.
Who and where are the patrons in Arlington County, Virginia and neighboring market? One way to find out is for members of an art organization to plot the names and addresses of their patrons on a map to create the pattern where patrons live. That is an indication of where other like-kind individuals may also live. From that, participating artists may create campaigns to reach them.
The Arlington Art Examiner truly enjoys creating artists’ profiles and all artists have to do is send an email to share information. From that, studio and exhibit visits can be scheduled and articles produced.
This weekend during open studios, the Arlington Art Examiner will be covering the beat.