What is art worth to you? This could be addressed in a multitude of ways: cultural, emotional, financial. Right now, I am referring to the money worth of art. Not the elite objects that are enshrined in museums, I want to focus on the art and fine craft made by the many creative individuals that produce and sell for the most part on a local or regional basis and travel around to sell their work directly to buyers.
I returned this year to two art sales fairs that I attended regularly some 20+ years ago: the Boston Mills Art Fest and Winterfair. I was inspired by both shows, and they confirmed my thoughts that I if work hard at what I love, I could eventually support myself with my creative endeavors. However, some other recent incidents that I have observed make me concerned for the future of the local arts markets.
These two ceramic boxes were made by Rob Wiedmaier, The one on the right, I purchased from the artist at Boston Mills in the early 1990s. The one on the left, I rescued from an estate auction earlier this year. I do not recall the purchase price of my original box. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I bought the other one for all of two dollars. (By the way, Mr. Wiedmaier, if you happen to see this, I treasure both of these lovely boxes!)
This black walnut bowl, made by a local woodworker, was purchased recently at a local benefit for a school. The high bid was only $15, and sadly, plastic made-in-China toy trucks (likely from a certain national discount retailer) were selling for over $70 each. How did this happen? Why aren't the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind items; crafted locally with skill and love, valued more?
To be continued...