My 1 year with Covid, concerning my career as an artist:
The closing of the 440 Gallery (or Art Pharm co-op) put a definite stop to selling and marketing chances for us artists, as it was on Main Street, and the success to this place could have been so great.
So, when Covid hit, everything stopped, and we had to reinvent ourselves. I advertised on Facebook (on my profile and on Lyons Happening) so I could keep in contact with the public in town.
I relocated my studio in my home. In the summer, I organized an Open Art Visit at my house (with mask wearing, and social distancing). While I made a few sales, it was from people who actually knew me in town, to support me and help me going through this difficult time.
My January 2020 painting exhibit was going to be held at the Fork Restaurant through May. It closed due to covid, and did not reopen. Wayne and Debbie Anderson allowed me to leave my paintings there for the time being; so I was allowed to open the place on weekends. Unfortunately, visitors and tourists passing through Lyons did not stop as almost all the stores were closed down.
However, I managed to make a few sales from the exhibit to people I knew in town and friends. I’m so grateful to the Andersons to let me exhibit my art and use their restaurant. Their intention and idea were amazing and so generous.
During Winter, Chrystal DeCoster from Western Stars Gallery offered me a space for two special events: her Opening for Christmas and St Valentine’s Day. As was with the Fork, this has been so nice and supportive of her.
As for now, I think Covid has definitely marked a change in our society, cutting tremendously the human aspects, but improving very much the communication through technology. I started a professional Facebook page, and I’m working on an e-commerce website. Clients are finding me online, and I am selling work. Unfortunately, sales are not paying all the bills. Like many artists right now, my art business is aided by a job outside of the art world.
So, in the end, I probably missed some spontaneous sales from in-person visitors, but I have realized the virtual world is growing so big and could be as important. For instance, my sales during my Open Art Visit in my house were all sales done before the buyers came to look at the paintings in person.
So I’ve survived thanks to the help and support of people of Lyons who knew me. Thank you!