Friday, November 7, 2014

Starkville Area Arts Council Holiday Showcase 2014 –HUGE SUCCESS

Last night from 5:30-7 PM we had the opening reception for the 2014 Holiday Showcase exhibition here in Starkville, MS. The event was again held at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership office, which the Starkville Area Arts Council uses for gallery space currently. We featured a diverse array of works by local artists. Attendance at last night's reception was SPECTACULAR! Wonderful! Thanks to all who came out. Wall to wall people. This was by far the largest attendance I have ever seen at a show at this venue. And, I believe we sold at least 10 pieces of art! Stephanie Jackson performed amazing classical guitar music in the background, which really lent a beautiful musical atmosphere to the evening. Erin Davies did a wonderful job decorating the area and taking care of food for the reception. Erin even invited some lovely sorority girls clad in festive red dresses to greet people as they came in.  That was a nice touch I thought. And, the winning design of the 2015 Cotton District Arts Festival Poster was unveiled with the winner being Paige Cannon.

This was the first show with the new co-chairs (me and Briar Jones) for arts in public places (AIPP) here in Starkville. One of our goals was to shake things up a bit, as shows the last few years had become "stale" with relatively poor attendance, generally with artists and members of the AIPP committee being the main attendees. Obviously, that greatly defeats the point of having a reception for an art show. So, basically we wanted to invite a wider variety of artists and do a better job about getting the word out there to the public. Inviting more and more artists will give us the ability to be more selective when picking art out for shows, making it more competitive and pushing artists to only submit quality works. In this area, we are headed in the right direction I think. Also, we are now requiring earlier deadlines for submissions so we can have images available for promotional use. This is critical. And, I believe this was key to the huge success of last night's reception. We had material to post on blogs, Facebook event pages, Twitter feeds, Google, for newspapers, mailing cards, posters, and other material. Lots of folks helped such as Mark Wood at Chalet Arts (printing of cards and posters, framing lots of the art), Erin Davies and Jim Turner, who both helped me distribute posters and cards in the community, and the entire AIPP committee who helped with the reception and the hanging of the show. Thanks to everyone who helped put this fantastic show and reception together.

Great show. And, a learning experience. The next ones will be even better. Enjoy these photos from the show.

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