This year I have invited Lorna Meaden (above) Dan Murphy (below) plus Brian Jensen, Shane Christensen and Joe Singewald to be part of our Holiday Sale. Some folks have wondered why I would invite other potters to join me for this sale as it provides further competition for a limited customer base. Here's why;
1. Community. I really enjoy being around creative and smart people. My life is enriched when these artists are around for two days telling their stories and interacting with my children. When my kids are at the table listening to stories and sharing their own, I hope that their future choices are influenced by these engaging conversations.
2.Education. The area that I live is popular among tourists. That means there are a lot of galleries that cater to the tourist market where the Kokopeli reigns supreme. The artists that come to the Holiday Sale are making work with an artistic vision, they are following their artistic path. I'm much more interested in living with art that has the personal voice of the artist rather than being pandered to by what someone thinks I might like. I want to show the local community that an artist can make personal work and still find an audience that values it.
3. Money. In the short term, I might make less money by dividing the pie between so many artists, but in the long run I hope that my personal values will pay off. Also, I'm always flattered when people come here and part with their money.
All of the artists that come here usually hold an MFA from various Universites around the country. Not that a Master of Fine Art degree is a prerequisite to making thoughtful art, but it sure helps. At University, MFA candidates are exposed to so much, from art history, guest artists, to the ambitions of fellow students. Also, the commitment to the arts displayed by going to gradschool to be an artist has value. As an MFA holder myself, I remember all too well the strain I put my wife through, and the family stress that resulted from 19 hour days in the studio. These artists have shown a commitment to personal artistic growth by sacrificing. I believe that sometimes one has to burn their bridges and damn the torpedos to make art. I want to show case artists that haven't hedged their bets by playing it safe with a day job and treating art making as a hobbie.