The Starving Pandemic Artist
I was beyond excited when The Town Of Davidson asked me to go forward and start planning the previously cancelled Fall Arts Festival now back on for October 17, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. It was quite timely as I’ve been wondering in the wake of this awful virus, and the closures of so many businesses, how our local artists have been making ends meet. I know, being an artist myself, the shops and galleries that carry my work have not been doing well, evidenced by the pitiful little checks I receive at the end of the month, if there are any checks at all. It’s a scary time to be in business, for sure. And, as an artist, a profession that’s usually scary to be in at any time, virus or no virus, it’s downright terrifying.
One of the greatest joys of my life is buying handmade. Sounds silly but I’m not joking. There is something magical and satisfying in purchasing something that I know is one of a kind, created with soul and passion and love. There’s this great quote that says,
“When you buy from an independent artist you are buying more than just a painting or a novel or a song. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures. You are buying days, weeks, months, years of frustration and moments of pure joy…You aren’t just buying a thing. You are buying a piece of heart, part of a soul, a private moment in someone’s life. Most importantly, you are buying that artist more time to do something they are truly passionate about; something that puts life in the living.”
Again…cheesy? Maybe. But, true? Yes. I am living proof of that. Every painting I’ve created, every folksy sculpture, every poem and short story written, it includes a part of my life. I have painted thousands of paintings and I remember them all. I can tell you the story behind each and every one of them. They are part of who I am.
The same is true of every artist, I would believe. We spend years honing our craft, underselling our expertise, and struggling through the minefield of trying to advertise ourselves. Traveling miles from home to set up tents and tables and displaying our whole heart on them in hopes of finding each piece a new home where folks will find joy and love in them. It’s the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We put so much of ourselves into our work that we can’t help but see our successes and rejections as a reflection of who we are. We are so tied into our work that it’s nearly impossible to separate the art from the artist.
So, for probably the first time in 2020, we local artists have an avenue to show our hearts to the little world we love – Davidson. A night to step out, breath some quarantine air (fully masked, of course) and present our creations. To say we are excited is an understatement.
I hope you will join us on October 17, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for The Downtown Davidson Fall Arts Festival. The show will be spread throughout Main Street from the Historic District to The Southend. Thirty wonderful artists will be showcasing their talents, along with live music from Humbolt and the Holy Smokes at The Crazy Pig and guitarist Troy Conn on the porch of Lake Norman Realty. And for our younger crowd, free interactive art projects will be provided on the Southend Patio by The Casual Creative, Hearts on Fiber, and AR Workshop. And as an extra special treat, select shops and artists will be offering candy to kiddos in costume, ages 0 – 12 years, from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Come breathe some artistic air with us, say ‘Hi’ to some neighbors and enjoy the show. And, as always, don’t forget to wear your mask!
Kristen Feighery is a self-taught folk artist, originally from southeastern Kentucky. She spends her days painting anything not nailed down (and some things that are), chauffeuring one daughter to sporting events, having tea parties with the other, and writing a blog. She's also married to a rather large Irishman and has a pub in her house. Really.