|Autumn Grasses 12 x 16 Oil on clayboard|
I would love to have a show back in NJ again sometime. It is becoming more and more frustrating to show work in the Upper Valley -- my artist colleagues and I love living and creating in this wonderful place, but by and large we find that we need to sell our work elsewhere. All too often up here in deep Yankee-land, art is viewed as frivolous or elitist, and certainly an unaffordable luxury. As artists, we and our work seem to be widely appreciated in our home areas, but just about the only demographic groups with expendible income here who purchase serious art are docs at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, alums/second-home owners, and retirees -- and most of the retirees are not in a buying mode, long-ago having purchased everything they need in their homes. The economic downturn has not helped, with so many of the few galleries that we have/had in the area closing right and left.
In an Artist Profile which was written about me in 2009 in a local arts newspaper, The Complete Hoot, I said " How can artists connect with the local communities and attempt to broaden local horizons and bring aesthetic meaning to the lives of rural inhabitants, and at the same time maintain the integrity of their work? How can they create work that resonates with a local audience, but which is also in sync with the urban, national or larger community? How does an artist create and sell work in such a conflicted community? In the greater Upper Valley environment, these questions are simply unavoidable."
So I look to places like Nantucket, and now New Jersey. Cross your fingers.