© Phillip D Breske Photography — pdbreske@mac.com — 352-615-7166

Some thoughts on art shows

 Forgive me while I rant a bit....


In the past, I've been involved in a few regional and local art shows where I would pay up to several hundred dollars to display a tent full of printed and framed photos over a weekend. The first time I did this was the Ocala Arts Festival back in 2013. I did really well at that event and thought at the time that I would love to do many more shows in the future. 


Over the years, I've done the Ocala show three or four times, a few shows in Gainesville and Orlando, and I have been a regular in the Ocala First Friday ArtWalk for may years with the exception of the 2014-15 season and the current season. 


I've found that while the crowds at all of these shows were usually the same and enthusiastic, the art patrons seem to be spending less and less on art in general, and on photography more specifically. 


I don't know if it's the economy (which seems otherwise to be nice and strong), or if so many people have a pretty decent camera on their phone now that they don't see the value of buying someone else's work. Or maybe the proliferation of Instagram and Facebook and any one of a dozen other photo-sharing sites have turned photography into a "disposable" medium. Either way, there is little money to be made at art shows now. And it's not just me; I've spoken to other artists of other mediums and they mostly agree with this assessment. 


I still am hired for the occasional private client who wants specific photos or portraiture, but the likelihood of selling portfolio work at a show is so low that it really doesn't pay for me to spend hundreds of dollars on printing, framing, and booth fees just to greet people at a weekend show. 


If I do another show, it will likely be my last and I will probably reduce the prices of my existing stock to near-cost, just to clean out my office of all the work I have made that hasn't sold. I simply don't have enough wall space at home to put it all up around the house, and I'd like to be able to see the floor in my office. 

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