Friday, August 21, 2009

South Portland Art in the Park

Art in the Park was waaaaay back on the 8th, but as soon as we got back, we both had to dive straight back into work and this is my first chance to finally share what happened.

The event was about 500 feet from my family's home in South Portland, so we had free housing during the weekend. My mother happened to be in a store while we were driving north from Boston and found a white EZ-up tent for less than half I've ever seen it, so I got her to nab it for us. Now I had a great white tent, which, unfortunately, has been proven to attract more people to your work than a blue tent. Weird.

Anyway, on Friday we had to frame the 19 pieces that still needed framing before the show the next day, so that took nearly the entire day but came out great! We also had the opportunity to borrow 8 segments of grid wall to hang the heaviest pieces (thanks Harriet!)

The day of the show went incredibly smoothly. Most of my family was there to help set up the tent, and the rest were able to stop by throughout the day.Weird story- My sister had been on a whale watch tour in Portland the week before the show, and it turns out the boat she was on, was the same boat featured in my piece, Odyssey. She called the number on the brochure for the tour and got a hold of the woman who used to own the boat and invited them to the show with out me knowing. Soon after the show started she arrived, introduced herself and told me she used to own the boat and loved the piece. After leaving, she apparently called the current owner of the boat, who came to the show soon after, and purchased the piece! I'm so happy the piece will really be appreciated!

So after that great start, tons of people stopped by to view my work, and were incredibly kind and supportive. We had a great time. Jen told me that at one point there were 19 people in the 10x10 tent! Not bad considering there were 184 other artist at the same show!

Ten smaller pieces went home after Odyssey was purchased.

At the very end of the show, many people started breaking down about a half hour early and I refused since there were so many people that expressed interest in pieces that were still remaining. Literally five minutes before the end of the show, my mom, who was helping break down the display,grabbed the largest piece, Hand, off the wall and began carrying it out to the truck.

A woman and her daughter stopped her and asked if someone had purchased the piece as they were interested in buying it.

Turns out the daughter is completely redesigning her bedroom and wanted a piece of art for it. Her mother agreed and out of the 185 artist there, she chose my piece for her room! I was incredibly excited. Two of my largest pieces found great homes that day.

In the end, 12 pieces went home, and I sold most of the remaining 2008 Christmas ornaments (have to start designing the 2009 ones soon!) The weather was perfect, the people were great, the other artist were kind and had incredible work on display. Didn't go home with any prizes, but my stuff is too "not-a-painting" to get much interest by judges, but I bet I sold more than almost anyone at the show.

Now, as a somewhat odd consequence, I have to really crank out some new pieces for the Boston show. It's three days long, so I really need to pack the tent incase stuff sells as well as it did at the Art and the Park. Wouldn't want an empty tent on the third day. Acutally, that would be nice:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Support Papercuts by Joe!

Hi everyone, I'm nominated for the Shine A Light competition through American Express and NBC. I would greatly appreciate it if you read the story below and voted for me! Your endorsements get me to the next stage, so I greatly appreciate your support. Winners receive $100,000 and marketing service from American Express

From the nomination:

Each year 2.2 million couples marry in the US. This means there are approximately 4.4 million people looking for a first anniversary gift each year. Paper is the traditional first anniversary gift. Joe Bagley and his wife, Jen, found a perfect way to use Joe’s talents as a paper artist to create unique and personal gifts for these couples.

Facing a double layoff in the fall of 2008, Joe and Jen had a choice, enter a competitive job market with dwindling openings, or get creative. Joe had been dabbling in the art of papercutting for several years as a hobby, but the sudden explosion of free time allowed him and his wife to explore the possibility of creating a career from his art.

Joe creates his art by hand-cutting hundreds to thousands of holes in a single sheet of black paper. His art has been shown in museums and galleries along the east coast. Papercutting, as an art form, has existed as a folk art around the world for over 5,000 years.

Jen found, online, that paper is the traditional gift for first anniversaries. With this inspiration, they together set up an online business where Joe works directly with his clients to create papercuttings for couples celebrating their first anniversary together.

One year later, Jen has found work in her field of expertise, and Joe has a successful online business that he runs out of his small home studio in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. Using the most cost-effective forms of marketing and advertising (online ads, word of mouth, and the hand-made goods website Joe and Jen have managed to create and grow their business from scratch during these tough economic times.

Papercuts by Joe Bagley now adorn the homes of happy couples in almost every state in the US, and eight countries abroad. By far one of the most rewarding aspects of the business is hearing the stories of couples receiving their Papercut and knowing the piece will be passed down for generations.

Along with his art, Joe has volunteered with the Boys and Girls club teaching children the ancient art of papercutting. He has toured numerous local libraries presenting a lecture on the Art and History of Papercutting. Joe has also donated numerous pieces to local charity auctions.

Monday, August 3, 2009

30th Annual Art in the Park - South Portland, Maine

We're excited to be gearing up for our first art show of the summer! This is a big event for us for a couple of reasons:

Firstly because it is the 30th annual Art in the Park in South Portland (Maine supports the arts!).

Next because this event is less than a quarter mile from where Joe used to live.

And finally because a few years ago this was Joe's very first art show! The first go-around was a huge learning experience, but now that Joe's doing art full time I think we've fallen into a better groove. We're really excited to show off everything that he's been up to since he last presented at this art show.

The details:
Art in the Park
Mill Creek, South Portland, ME (directions)
Friday, August 8, 2009

Hope some of you can make it!