Karen Sullivan on fri 6 aug 10
I am planning a holiday studio/tour sale
With a group of local potters...
I wonder if anyone can direct me
To sources to aid in my organization
Of the event. Perhaps past
Tours that have been successful.
I wonder about advertising, shared
Expenses in advertising.
Whether a web presence is important?
My instinct is for each artist
To handle his/her sale independently
That I would just be providing
The structure for the event.
Advice for the number of days,
The distance traveled for the
Venues. How to provide maps.
I wonder if we need a group show/
Combined event to show what is
So I am going at this with a
Very limited background.
Any feedback would be appreciated....
Thanks in advance,
Lee Love on sat 7 aug 10
On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 9:21 PM, Snail Scott wro=
> Every participating artist pays $25, and is expected
> to do volunteer work contacting potential business
> sponsors, addressing bulk mailings, handing out
> bookmarks and postcards, etc
For our LOLA crawl, which we help start and is only in its second
year, each participant pays a $25.00 fee. It buys cards, maps,
posters and a website.
=3DA0Lee, a Mashiko potter in Minneapolis
=3D93Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel
the artistry moving through and be silent.=3D94 --Rumi
Snail Scott on sat 7 aug 10
On Aug 6, 2010, at 11:55 AM, Karen Sullivan wrote:
> I am planning a holiday studio/tour sale
> With a group of local potters...
Our local tour, ArtEast, has been running for
a while. You can find a link at arteasttour.com.
We advertise very heavily. We get free public
service announcements onto every radio station
that accepts them. We call radio stations that have
local-interest talk shows and get participants
interviewed in the week or two beforehand: more
free publicity. We also buy ads, and sponsor both
local NPR stations. We print full-color bookmarks,
which all participants hand out piles of to local
businesses to put next to the cash register - this
starts about three month in advance. Then we hand
out full-color posters with an image from each
participant starting a month beforehand, asking
local businesses to put one in their front window.
We used to print the map on the back of the posters,
but lately we've made that a separate handout to
cut printing costs. We also print postcards and every
artist takes as many as they need to cover their
own mailing list, and we send others to the county
arts organization's list and the ArtEast group list
as well. We offer businesses a weblink on the
official website for $25, and our site is linked to as
many others as we can manage, including the
county arts council site.
Every participating artist pays $25, and is expected
to do volunteer work contacting potential business
sponsors, addressing bulk mailings, handing out
bookmarks and postcards, etc. It is mainly a studio
tour, but a lot of local artists get together and have
small group shows in area businesses. There aren't
many galleries around here, but people show in
church basements, bank lobbies, law offices (lots of
those around here), and coffee houses as well as
private studios. We put the group exhibitions in a
separate section of the map listings, distinct from
the open studios. The Web presence is essential,
and we have downloadable PDF maps, a list of
all participants, and a link to the website of every
artist that lists one on their registration form. Having
a map that is legible when printed out 8-1/2 by 11
is critical. Do it as two pages or more if necessary.
Artists are responsible for their own sales and taxes,
though we ask for voluntary reporting of sales, and
provide all participants with tax forms to show good
faith. We also have sign-in sheets for every participant,
so we can track how many visitors there are. Both
sales numbers and visitor numbers are instrumental
in getting grant money for the following year, as they
show public interest and economic impact. A huge
amount of our funding comes from grants: from the
county arts council, the state arts council, several
city and town councils in the area and more, as well
as businesses. some in cash, some in kind. A few
graphic designers do the poster design and map
layout for free, the printing company gives us a
discount, and a vinyl sign company made up small
decals for sponsoring businesses that they can put
in their window saying 'We Support ArtEast'.
We also put together a small-works group show of all
participants (about 150 people in all media) which
serves as a preview of the tour itself, where people
come and often take notes about whose studios they
want to visit during the tour, and a local brewery
donates free beer for the reception. Another 'guide'
is the binders: we have every artist put together a one-
page blurb about themselves: a statement, a resume,
images, or whatever they want as their attention-getter.
Each artist supplies four copies, and we put these
into four ring binders and place them at the four most
heavily trafficked, centrally-located sites in the tour,
along with piles of spare maps. Every site also has
extra maps to hand out, and a list of sponsors to pin
to the wall as acknowledgement. (The list, not the
Models vary, though. The St. Louis Open Studios is
sponsored by a museum there, and though it costs
more to participate (I think), they don't have to work
nearly as hard to get grant money or lick envelopes
because the museum takes care of much of the
administrative stuff. They also offer bus tours for an
In Santa Fe, it cost $250 per artist to participate in
their tour. The idea, I think, was to keep it professional
and hold the hobbyists at bay. People expect that
sort of thing in Santa Fe, and would be unhappy if
the tour had amateur work. Here in rural Illinois, the
majority of the artists are hobbyists, and a lot of them
are really not terribly good, but we don't jury the tour.
Anyone can show for $25. It's up to the artist to find
a venue if they don't want to open their studio to the
public, but we try to act as a clearing house for people
seeking shared sites. We meet monthly starting in
April to coordinate and get the volunteer work done.
(The tour is in October.) Only about 1/3 of the artists
actually go to more than one meeting, but for those
that do, it's a chance to meet people and socialize,
and trade tips and advice. We move the meetings
around the county among the largest towns, wherever
someone has space to host the meeting that month.
As with many such organizations, it relies heavily on
a small group of core people who do most of the work,
and getting broad active support from other participating
artists is essential to sustaining the event for year to
year. Don't have one person doing all the work, even
if it's you and you really want to do it. That does not
make for continuing organizational health.
Ann Brink on sun 8 aug 10
Our local art assoc. had a studio tour last fall, for the first time. I was
one of the "host artists". There were about ten, I think, all in our town o=
Small booklets were printed. There was a page for each host, showing a
simple map and a self-written description of the artist's type of work, etc=
The booklet was sold for $5 and was the ticket for the tour. (If we do it
again, we will charge slightly more) The money goes to the art assoc.
scholarship fund, after expenses. In your situation, you might want to not
charge anything, just split the expenses of a booklet.
A poster was made, using the original art of one our participants, and
distributed around town, publicity put in the print media in the area, also
TV stations got publicity emails. The artwork on this poster was also used
on the front of the booklet.
Attendance was good! People really seemed to enjoy seeing our studios or
places of work. I was kept busy talking (hahaha) didn't have time to demo
Oh yes- sales. I had set up tables and shelves outdoors next to where I
work (half a garage) and quite a few people bought something.
Each participant had snacks and non-alcoholic beverage available. We had a
guest book too. Oh, one other thing. At each location, there were several
addition artists who brought a display of their work for sale, on tables or
easels. This way visitors had a lot to see at each location.
Hope this is helpful.
Ann Brink in Lompoc CA
(mostly about pottery)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karen Sullivan"
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 9:55 AM
Subject: Studio tour/sales question
>I am planning a holiday studio/tour sale
> With a group of local potters...
> I wonder if anyone can direct me
> To sources to aid in my organization
> Of the event. Perhaps past
> Tours that have been successful.
> I wonder about advertising, shared
> Expenses in advertising.
> Whether a web presence is important?
> My instinct is for each artist
> To handle his/her sale independently
> That I would just be providing
> The structure for the event.
> Advice for the number of days,
> The distance traveled for the
> Venues. How to provide maps.
> I wonder if we need a group show/
> Combined event to show what is
> So I am going at this with a
> Very limited background.
> Any feedback would be appreciated....
> Thanks in advance,
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