One of the very best aspects of Scranton is its dedication to supporting local artists like myself. With the monthly event, First Friday, local businesses and galleries all over downtown Scranton allow artists of all kinds to display their work in their shops in order for your work to gain some exposure with the public! I’ve participated a number of times and I strongly encourage all Marywood art students to do so as well! Just this past Friday I had the opportunity to display and sell several paintings at The Giving Tree Wellness Center on Penn Ave for their First Friday event, work that will remain up in their shop through out the whole month of September. with this post id like to share with you what you need to know about participating in Scranton’s First Friday event should you ever have the great opportunity to do so yourself!
First off, its important to note that every business is different in how that want to work with you, just simple guidelines they present you with in regards of how many pieces they’d like you to display. Sometimes, if they’re allowing you to sell you work (mostly if you’ll be featured all month long), they’ll take a percentage of the money you make off a painting. This may seem outrageous, but depending on what percentage they take, it really does make sense. these businesses are featuring your work to the whole public, giving you great exposure which can open a lot of doors for you along in the future! Some business will even encourage you to attend their events that night to engage with the public as they admire your artwork. a lot of the time the business owners will invite local musicians to entertain the crowd. The entire event is just all around supporting the arts which is incredibly refreshing to see.
When it comes to picking out what pieces you’d like to display the most important thing to remember as a painter is to choose pieces that sort of ‘gel’ with one another. think of it as a conversation your art can have with each other, any good conversation requires some relation to be had with the individuals involved. It could also be that you want to keep with a theme, so pick artwork that goes along with that. You’re also tasked with writing a quick bio about yourself and have a title for your show which is either gonna be the most fun part or the most stressful part! I always struggle with coming up with a title, usually I settle for something basic so i would like to have more fun with that in future shows.
When it comes to pricing, should you like to sell some art work, that is sorta tricky since its hard to quantify the value of art with dollars and cents. So usually the formula goes something like so; the price of the materials used+ time spent on the piece+ the quality of the piece. I know. My hair is turning grey just thinking about it! The most important thing to remember don’t under sell yourself and don’t bust people’s chops! there is a fair middle ground I swear!
Every First Friday I have participated in I learn something new. I’ve had great experiences and I’ve had not so great experiences, but thats what being a young painter trying to make a name for yourself is all about, learning the ropes! Always take the opportunity to take a first Friday spot should the opportunity be given to you. Overall first Friday is a LOT of fun, even the stressful parts about getting your stuff together in preparation are fun! I believe every single artist at Marywood should participate at least once!