The end of the year is a time for reflections, and looking back at 2005 gives me a feeling of having accomplished a lot this year. Anne and I have done so many interesting things it has become a blur, and it's hard to remember just when we did what.
Looking back at my 2005 Calendar brings back many fond memories because it's covered with red notes and circled dates representing activities connected not just with the LPA, but also Allied Arts (AVAAA), the Lakes and Valleys Art Guild ( LVAG), and the Lancaster Museum Art Gallery (LMAG). We have become members of these organizations over the years, and support their programs because they all have a common goal of supporting and promoting various art activities in the antelope Valley. It may appear to some that we live in an area where the signs of art and literature are scarce, but when I look at the programs being sponsored by each of the above organizations, and the functions that LPA has become involved in with them I'm glad I live here. It's fun to be involved with so many fine people as friends and mentors.
Opportunities abound with low cost membership in the above organizations as a starting point for people interested in almost any kind of art. Several businesses display and sell fine art, and art exhibits are popular at Galleries, the Museum, several Festivals, and the AV Fair. These are also supplemented by Music, Ballet, and Drama programs at the Performing Art Center. From advanced programs at Antelope Valley College to the basic programs sponsored by the city parks and recreation departments there is a way to participate in art programs for all citizens. There's a small market for good art here, and the need for it grows as the cities undergo expansion and the valley's population increases. I think our reputation is growing too, and that we'll see more response to the club through our activities and programs. We've started the ball rolling, now we have to keep it going with participation in every venue that we can find.
It has now been demonstrated that many of us can produce fine art photography, and it is a well established concept that competition improves a product and results in higher quality. Each contest we enter, and each exhibit we hang in improves our ability to critically evaluate the quality of our work. It's amazing how a new piece that looks so perfect hanging in our living room loses it's status as our “darling” when hung with work of higher quality. That's a crucial part of the education process, and each one of us must realize the importance of learning to objectively judge our work, separate from any emotional or sentimental attachment we may feel.
Getting into shows like The Coconut Grove Art Festival or the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, that have attendance in the hundreds of thousands, is the ultimate event for many artists. The end result is that it attracts Art Collectors, Art Consultants, and Buyers searching for pieces that will appeal to Decorators and Collectors they are accustomed to working with. Knowing what their customers want, and finding it, is their specialty. For us, if we have learned the “craft” of photography, finding out where those shows will be held, and getting our work accepted there (sometimes months ahead of the show date) is quite often the most important action we can take in creating a marketing plan that has a good chance of succeeding. Not everyone wants or needs to sell their work. It's fun when it happens though, and the friends it creates is rewarding in itself. I really enjoy it when someone hangs one of my pictures in their home. I enjoy it even more if they pay me a good price for it.