Last week the thought occurred to me, “Hey, I wonder if there are any local artists groups around here?” I live in the Kansas City Metro Area, specifically Olathe, KS. While that isn’t a metropolis on the scale of New York or Chicago, that’s still a decent-sized community. There are art galleries, an art school, art courses at all the community colleges, and the local SCBWI group meets in the area. There are artists here, so I wondered if there were any groups for us.
So, I did what anyone does in this day and age. I Googled it. And, to my surprise, not only was there an Olathe Visual Artists Association, but it met every fourth Thursday at a church just a block away from my house. I can literally ride my bike there in 10 minutes. There aren’t even any big hills between here and there.
I figured if the universe was conspiring to make it that easy for me, I really should show up and see what sort of group it is.
Last night was the meeting. I printed off some of my recent work, stuck it in a portfolio, and rode my bike right over there. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I’d never find out if I didn’t show up.
They were primarily discussing the upcoming 2012 Downtown Olathe Arts Festival which will be June 9th and 10th this year. That’s two weeks from now. They were discussing who was going to be in which tents (Don’t put a photographer in the same tent as a painter!), when to show up, what prizes to offer for second and third prize, how much to pay for a judge, and all that. I’m afraid I wasn’t paying close attention to it all for the simple reason that, because the event was coming up so soon, I sensibly assumed that it was too late for me to participate in it. I was mostly trying to figure out what the group was.
Then they asked if I wanted to participate. It was too late for an unaffiliated artist to get space at the festival, but the group already had 4 tents and were a little short on artists to fill them. My artistic genre was definitely different than everyone else, but they thought that some of them might sell as prints for kids’ rooms.
They gave me the name and contact info for someone to contact to make prints relatively inexpensively (about $5 for an 8 by 10 from EPG Imaging) and where to get the plastic sleeves to sell them in if I’m not going to frame them (Coldsnows). Everything I need to know.
So, now I have to decide if I want to participate in an art fair in two weeks. I’ll have to pay for prints and $40 to join the OVA group. I’ll have to spend the whole weekend at the booth, but I’ll get local exposure and maybe a few sales. I can always bring my promo postcards and fill out addresses to pass the time.
It does seem oddly like the stars have aligned to set this series of events in motion.
What do you all think? Should I take advantage of the opportunity?