The Portland Saturday Market is a special place. In a time where art is being pulled out of public schools, the market is a place that people can see real art and craft made by real people. You can go to an art or cultural museum and see wonderful art from years past, but its not the same as seeing that people here and now are still making quality art with their hands. The Portland Saturday Market juries their crafters rather harshly on the basis of everything being handmade and well made no matter the medium. They are rather meticulous too, so you know when you are looking at the art that it isn't just one filter in Photoshop added to a photo - but that the artist created the image themselves.
I am finding that people love the handmade aspect of the market and that aspect of my art as well. In the past when approaching galleries I've felt embarrassed that I work in colored pencil, but I have found a new pride in the medium because of the market. People first come in my booth because a certain image catches their eye, the old phone perhaps, but when they look around the booth more and realize that it is all colored pencil they light up and get excited. There is something about picturing the artist creating that image with a simple tool like a pencil, and only pencil, that is really exciting. So now I am going to wear the pencil pride instead of hiding from it.
Digital art also has a place at the market which I am really happy about. I think the digital artists are juried more rigorously, partly because its a new medium and partly because of the Market's focus on handmade items. The digital artists have to prove that the images are their own and there is a process or craft involved. I love this because we get the best digital artists with skill and creativity.
Here are some pics of my booth this last weekend. I keep on making changes every week to better my booth and I have a feeling I will always being doing that. The next thing I add is going to be bold signs about it being pencil art. :-)
Behind the scenes pic.