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How To Use Tourism to Attract Art Buyers

How To Use Tourism to Attract Art Buyers

Eric Maisel

There are five other constituencies who have a vested interest in seeing this gap bridged. Government officials, whose help artists will want to enlist, will also have their say, because they have the power to announce upcoming events, the power to support artists’ initiatives, and also the power to prevent the use of public spaces. Also involved are tourist industry professionals, who can trumpet the fact that artists are transforming their city into a creative hotbed or who can ignore those efforts. Also in the mix are local businessmen and women, the hotel managers, restaurant owners, and the like, who count on tourist dollars and who want to see tourism increase. Another constituency is made up of art industry professionals: gallery owners, theater directors, museum officials, publishers, and so on. Last but not least are a locale’s residents: the other people who live in your community and who may benefit or who may be harmed by the activities of visitors—and by your activities as well.

These, then, are the seven groups who have a stake in the matter: artists, visitors, government officials, tourist industry professionals, business owners, art marketplace players, and local residents. All need to stretch if the artists in a given locale are to make real contact with the tourists in a given locale. But even if all the constituencies aren’t on board, you, the individual artist came make an effort. Here’s one example of such a concrete effort.

Mary, a visual artist in Toronto, explained: “Recently a new farmer’s market formed in my neighborhood. Before finding this out, I had wanted to create an art/community event in this underutilized park to showcase some of the creativity that exists in this neighborhood. I knew that the manager, who seemed open to imaginative programming, had indicated that interactive art might be a great addition to the market, especially because of the large number of children who come with their parents. So I decided to approach him.

“At our meeting I proposed doing art workshops that tied into what the market was advocating, namely greenbelt local produce, and extending that idea into an art form that created linkage among the ideas of creativity, agriculture, community and support. It struck me that this would allow me the chance to gain more experience in facilitating workshops and working with children. I would also be putting myself out to my community as an artist whose art life included supporting local industry and who practiced sustainable art by using recycled materials and by incorporating planting as art. I proposed the workshops, they were accepted, and we’ve already begun creating market banners hand-painted on canvas. I’m not 100% certain yet what this means to my artwork or my business, but I feel that this is a good personality fit and a great way to gain facilitation experience.”

Making this effort can really serve you! What might you try?

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