Swanton's Got Art

Nicole Gadouas, Project Leader
This project was made possible by a grant from the Vermont Arts Council

Celebrative Our Creative Community
Swanton’s Got Art Show & Sale
Show Details:
·         Opening Reception: Friday, November 3rd from 5-9PM
·         Exhibit Hours: Saturday, November 4th 10AM – 2PM
·         Location: Swanton Municipal Complex, 120 First Street, Swanton, VT 05488
·         35 artists displaying a total of 85 pieces of 2D and 3D art

Overall community response:
·         We observed a steady stream of people during the show times.  It was much heavier during daylight hours and during the beginning of the opening reception.
·         Few people signed in, however, we estimate the total number of people attending as 120. 
·         The majority of attendees made comments on the amazing talent and diversity of the artists living in our community. 
·         Many were shocked that their friends and neighbors had pieces in the show. 

What we’ve discovered:
·         Several people commented on the prices of the artwork.
·         Very few people came to buy, more to look. 
·         This show was a challenge to some artists who have previously not participated in a show, or had limited show experience.  We feel this was a great first step to prepare for bigger shows.
·         A local salon is starting a gallery and used this art show to select 3 artists to follow up with to display work in her emerging gallery.
·         Several artists used this opportunity to network and share other aspects of their art.
·         The location of this show, while accessible (and free to us) was not conducive to creating an intimate setting that would set an atmosphere for artwork sales. The Pop-Up Galleries that we trialed during the late summer months allowed us to create a better ambiance where people came looking to buy.  We feel the venue we used for the Swanton’s Got Art Show is best served for a community event or display of work, but not for gallery level sales.  This space may work for an artisan type craft show.
·         Foot traffic in November is not heavy in Swanton due to the limited daylight hours, multiple school events and crazy weather.  We feel this show would have had a better attendance if held earlier in the year.

Next Steps:
·         We plan on using this space for our 3rd Annual Youth Art Show in March.  This location has been successful for this specific event. 
·         We will continue to look for spaces that are more suitable for a gallery style setting for art sales in the Swanton area.  We believe that a show of a longer duration would increase the sales potential dramatically. 
·         We will continue to create opportunities for local artists to display their work – and continue to evaluate which opportunities serve them best for their individual type of work.
·         The Swanton Chamber of Commerce has offered us the use of their small (really small) welcome center for our use and we hope to have individual artists showcased.
·         One young artist has scheduled her first individual art show to be held in April 2018 following the response she received from her artwork. 
·         We are committed to keeping the presence of art in our community and educating the community on its importance in our economy.
·         Through this event we have created an opportunity for our local artists to network with each other and created a positive relationships.

Video interview of artists and show overview created by Northwest Access TV.  This video aired on our local public access station, was shared on the SAC Facebook page and will be archived on the SAC website.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwC_GZzdvf5lXG0Rg5Djx-w

St. Albans Messenger Article following the show (Monday, November 6th)

Artist Survey Responses
What is your biggest take-away from participating in this show?
·         “Biggest take-away is getting to meet new artists and visit with current known artists.”
·         “My work is ok. And artists understand art”
·         “I feel we should have had a weekend where a lot of arts/craft sales were not going on in the area.  Of course I don't think this was known when the event was being planned.  It seems like as soon as Halloween is over the focus is on these arts and crafts.  Maybe next time we try to have this before Halloween to get a jump on all the events that follow.  Also, Swanton has to get more acclimated with the price of art, this will take time.  I think some people have sticker shock and don’t realize what goes into each piece.  However, I think everyone enjoys SAC presence and the things we do.”
·         “The SAC truly is committed to bringing art to the community.”
·         “It was awesome”
·         “There’s a lot of unrecognized talent in the area.  Thanks for putting this together.”
·         “You all did a wonderful job decorating the hall.”
·         “I learned what it was like to participate in a “real show” and that is the next step to establishing myself as an artist - and to find out how I want to proceed on this crazy journey of sharing my artwork.”

How long have you been associated with the Swanton Arts Council and what do you think of us?
·         “Associated with SAC since inception (founding member). SAC is providing opportunities for local artists to showcase their artwork.”
·         “First time. Very nice group of people with a love of all things art.”
·         “I have been with this group since the beginning and they feel like my other family.  It is great to be with like-minded people.  We manage to get things done and have fun.  I feel some great friendships have been formed through this group.”
·         “Since its inception”
·         “I’m not formally associated.  I think you are doing a lot to promote the arts in the community.”
·         “I believe it was the year after the SAC was organized.  As usual any organization has a core group and the SAC is no different, however, our core group is extremely dedicated and no effort is spared to promote art in the community.”
·         “I am one of the founders (2.75 years)  SAC people are the most amazing group of people I have ever had the pleasure to work, play and create with.  Every new member changes the color and shape of our overall mix and it makes it even more stunningly beautiful.”

What do you feel would be the most helpful to you as an artist?
·         “SUPPORT … by members of the community and from within the SAC!”
·         “Connections to other local artists.”
·         “I would like to learn how to appropriately price my work. At the same time, I am working on developing my art as this spark has been recently reignited, which for various reasons, I abandoned during my teens.”
·         “To continue receiving inspiration and a myriad of ways to be involved with my artistic tribe from SAC.”
·         “I don’t think of myself as an artist and don’t have any marketing aspirations.  I just consider it a hobby for myself.”
·         “More information on what to consider when pricing your artwork, finding more ways to sell, and how to keep your self-confidence in the process.”

Special thanks to:
·         Nicole Gadouas – additional hours work for graphic creation, publicity, follow up
·         Nicole Draper - discount on cost of catering
·         Northwest Access TV - for coverage of event and archival video
·         Katie Foster – additional hours of videography as a personal donation (not included in above)
·         Anita Michele Parah –  volunteered as curator assistant
·         Mike Barkyoumb – show set up
·         David Winchester & Adam Paxman– clean up
·         Faith Dubois– show set up assistance 
·         Flowers By Debbie – reception area centerpiece 
·         Hannafords Supermarket – cider, paper products and balloons
·         The Village of Swanton & Village Employees – 5 days of rent free use of the Village Complex Auditorium 

·         Judy Paxman – administrative support