Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Preparing for the Boston Gift Show

In one month (yikes!) I'll be exhibiting at the Boston Gift Show, my first official wholesale show, and over the past few months I've been figuring out my game plan so: A. my head doesn't explode, and B. the show goes smoothly... as well as the days and months following the show!  To my delight, an item of mine was selected for inclusion in the 15-page brochure and I've already received a few calls as a result. yay! 
I'm exhibiting in the handmade section (versus one of the other larger sections: Made in New England, Souvenirs, etc) and it'll be interesting to see what other exhibitors are defining as handmade product.  I'm noticing that "handmade" is a term that's thrown around a lot.  For the record, handmade is defined as something made by hand rather than by a machine, and in the context of Art/Craft, I believe the handmade label is even more specific and should be applied to an item only if an artist both designs and creates his/her items. In other words, the individual artist actually had his/her hand involved in the process from start to finish.  Those with assistants or helpers, yes, you fall into this category too as long as the artist is present and involved.  Where I have the problem is when a particular item is designed by an artist and then manufactured in bulk by someone else entirely, possibly in another country on the cheap. Handmade? Really?  That's just a big bag of BS.  (Oh, and I have nothing against the process I just mentioned... please just don't call it handmade by artist so and so.)
On a painterly note, I visited my friend and fellow artist Sean Flood in his awesome studio in Abington yesterday.  He's working on several large scale, what I'll call 'urban landscape' paintings and I gave him some pointers...just kidding!  Sean is super talented and needs no help from me! Anyway I hear that his building which is filling up quickly with a variety of talented artists will be having a group show in a few months.  Go Abington! I'll keep you posted with the dates.