Lessons from the Phoenix 40Art Exhibit

Lessons from the Phoenix 40Art Exhibit

I spoke to someone in the know about the 40Art Exhibit, held this past weekend at Phoenix Art Supplies and Framing in Doylestown. This exhibit features all original art by local artists & illustrators, where each piece can be no larger than 5″ x 7″ in size, and is left unsigned – and each piece sells for $40.  It draws quite a crowd, especially the opening night, because there are any number of great deals to be had – some very accomplished artists put in pieces, and some art by unknowns shows delightful talent.

My friend indicated that, in general, the items that sold most were paintings on canvas and paintings and illustrations on board. Photos, works on (unbacked) paper, and abstract art, not so much. That’s not to say none of those types sold, but in general that was the trend this year.

It was suggested that artists for future shows, who wish to make more sales, consider the physical presentation of their art submissions, in addition to their artistic quality.  If you submit photos, mounting them on sturdy board makes them look like they are worth the $40 a customer would pay; likewise with drawings, prints or watercolors – an image on thin paper that is slightly warped from the humidity does not attract a second look from most attendees.  She also pointed out that Phoenix has in stock those very useful clear acetate sleeves that you can slip your originals into for display (very inexpensive, too), and the sleeves come in multiple sizes.  These protect your art as well as making them look more professional.

And for gallery goers and buyers, I have to add this recommendation: take a good look at the display near the register in Phoenix’s store – they have an absolutely wonderful arrangement of former submissions to 40Art, all gorgeously matted and framed.  You cannot believe what the artful addition of the right framing can add to the bargain you purchased at 40Art, and the folks at Phoenix are masters at matching the a great frame to your treasure.

Thanks to Dave Song for the photos from 40Art shown above!

–Pat Achilles

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