November 22nd proved to be an excellent day for a student arts market. Leading up to the event the five of us had worked hard to spread the word. Flyers had been posted all around campus and the community. Emails had been sent, Facebook posts were happening multiple times a day and our website gave the instant impression of a cozy fall day. We were interviewed and featured in the State Press and East Valley Tribune along with being included in Jeff McMahon’s cultural calendar. It took a few day’s after opening up to receive artist submissions before we got some response. All of our hypothesizing and data collecting had shown that student artists need a place to sell their work and someone else to organize the event. When we weren’t getting a strong response from artists to submit to sell their work at the student arts market we got nervous. It wasn’t long, however, until the theories from effectual entrepreneurship and the idea of lowering risk by canvasing and data gathering came to fruition. Our total artist submission reached 25. The market featured a wide variety of photography, knit scarves and hats, comics, piggy banks, duct tape bags and wallets, jewelry, dresses and paintings. I was able to do half of my Christmas shopping at the market! Casey Moore’s was an excellent location for the market and they were an incredible partner to have. They were extremely supportive and enthusiastic from the first pitch. They strongly support the arts and student endeavors. We felt happy to hear that they likewise greatly appreciated this partnership. Things were rolling and when the opening of the student arts market came around at 2 pm the sun was shinning, our artists were excited, our tables were ready and our signs and balloons were hung. By 2:10 our first three sales had been made! I loved walking around and seeing the student art and engaging in conversation with them about their work. I enjoyed some delicious fish and chips from Casey Moore’s. My biggest highlight was working with my fantastic classmates. Everyone contributed greatly and I was surrounded by incredible talent. Early on in the semester we had recognized that as a group we highly value helping artists support themselves. Seeing SAM happen gave us great satisfaction. It is easy to say that the first event of SAM was perfect. Our customers were happy and spent a lot of time getting to know the artists. Our artists were happy and able to sell their work. After everything was cleaned up and taken down we finalized the books. The result was that not only did we break even but we made a small profit. SAM was an absolute success! Thanks to Linda and her arts entrepreneurship class, classmates with vision and compassion, artists with drive, Casey Moore’s with extreme generosity and a community with a growing desire to support the arts I have come away from this experience with greater confidence in my ability to bring about success in the arts market. You can’t put a price on that!
After a great meeting with David at Casey Moore’s last Wednesday a date was set for our Student Arts Market. We are excited to announce that NOVEMBER 22 is the day! Mark your calendars! We’ve definitely marked ours and have jumped on this excellent opportunity. No more than 24 hours later we got our website, facebook and email up and running. Check us out at http://haveyouheardofsam.wix.com/sam2014 or go on facebook and find us at https://www.facebook.com/StudentArtMarket. This week has been exciting as we’ve been feeling the fruits of our labors. Our teamwork has reached a new level. Getting all of our media up so quickly required timely response, collaboration and support. Each of the five of us has offered unique talents and skills and we’ve been having a lot of fun. Along with developing our marketing plan we have also been sharing our good news with our potential student artist exhibitioners. We have also been careful to continue to brainstorm as a group all logistics so that the Student Arts Market will match our great vision. It is very rewarding to see how all of our preparation through research and filling out and keeping our business model poster updated has allowed us to bring things together quickly. There is definitely buzz around the Student Arts Market and anticipation for positive outcomes. We are very happy to have our venture hosted by Casey Moore’s. The parking lot opening from the restaurant will make for an excellent place to showcase our artists and provide a casual atmosphere for our community.
As a graduate student of dance responding to the question, “What is your creative practice?” becomes a daily conversation. In an effort toward authenticity and personal aesthetic many explorations ensue. In all of this investigation do I think about the audience? This question was really brought to my attention when Linda, my arts entrepreneurship professor, asked how different my art would look if I used effective entrepreneurship. Light bulb! To this question I would only be able to answer with assumptions. Beside my family fan club I have never canvassed a large group of potential audience members. This question was one of those questions where once I heard it I thought, “Why didn’t I think of that already!” The important aspect to remember is that this process of effective entrepreneurship is more than finding out what is trendy and replicating it. It would involve an inventory of my creative tools and resources and looking for connections that address the pains and/or gains of potential audience members. It would be a long conversation where my artistic vision and inspiration would be fed and directed by audience members. I have been to concerts where a feedback session breaks out right after the concert. This would be a feedback session before the concert. I imagine that many more profound and innovative new connections would be made in my work through this process. As I reflect I say to myself, “challenge accepted!” The next graduate show will be April 2015 and this business approach is what I will use in my process. Good things will be coming!