Art Tour Event Hosted by PACE
Where do I start?
It’s always good to thank those who help you in whatever you may be doing in life. Lisa Haney Lima, thank you for reaching out to me in regards to participating in the Art Tour event. Also, huge thanks go to the entire Pottawattamie Arts Culture Entertainment (PACE) team for putting together this event in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
To Danna Kehm PACE’s Member of the Board of Directors and Judy Davis, PACE’s interim director thank you for coordinating the event along with your entire team it was a pleasant experience.
Learn more about PACE’s mission to develop and grow the arts and entertainment community in the Pottawattamie County by visiting their website.
The Importance of Doing Art Tours As Artists
Now, let’s talk about why art tour events are important and why the event coordinated by PACE was a great experience.
As an artist doing art tours, shows, and exhibitions are important because it’s the traditional way of exposing your creative works. Doing events like this provides the opportunity to network with other artists, patrons of the arts, and art connoisseurs.
The art tour I believe gave the guests that attended the event a creative and great experience unlike what they have experienced this year. The event was held at the Harvester Artist Lofts in Council Bluffs. The Harvester Artist Lofts was developed by Artspace, a non-profit organization that renovates buildings to house artists of all sorts.
What Happened At the Event?
The event allowed the visitors to take a journey through the building’s four floors to enter open lofts certain artists participated in doing. The units are art lofts and studios habited by photographers, visual artists, musicians and more. While visiting, the building guests experienced paintings and drawings on the walls of each floor as well as tables set on each floor showcasing artists’ works.
One of these artists was me. Below are photos of how my area was set… very simple.
Table Setup for The Drawings At The Art Tour
Benefits of an Art Tour
The art tour provided guests along with the artists the chance to interact with one another. Over the past years, since I begin participating in art events as an artist I learned it’s crucial to engage in conversation with the people that come to view your work. Although, they may not have come to the art tour or event only for you; nevertheless, they did come to experience something that they would hope would be fun.
Next to my table was also another artist Emily McGarr Sneller, seen in the photo earlier with Patty Talbert. Below are photos I took of her table and her working.
Engaging With Guests
Engaging in a conversation about why they came to the event or what inspired you to create your art are great conversation starters. Being a creative person I’ve interacted with artists and those who are not artists. Not everyone can always articulate themselves clearly regarding these thoughts, but the fun is in trying.
Living in the Midwest, I would assume even in a big city like New York, that not everyone who attends shows in the city is an art critique.
Along with the event, guests had to chance to get some fresh pour over coffee at Drips. Below are photos I took with my phone of the coolest shop/coffee spot in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Drips is a record store and art gallery with well-crafted manual pour over coffee served by Très Johnson. Follow Drips on Facebook where Très shares upcoming events, cool pics, and art. Drips is also one of the commercial spaces attached to the Harvester Artist Lofts building where the Southwest Iowa Art Tour took place.
More Photos from Drips
The Location of the Southwest Iowa Art Tour in 2016
Council Bluffs is like the little city next to the big city… or growing city of Omaha. There are not as many arts and entertainment events one can participate in living in the city. PACE is working on developing an arts center in Council Bluffs.
The arts and entertainment center would include a 245-seat live theater, rehearsal space, classrooms, a café, exhibit space and more. You can read more about the plan for the arts center project on the Omaha World-Herald.
What Artworks Sold? What Helped Me Sell The Artworks?
All together I sold eight original artworks from the art series during the Southwest Iowa Art Tour event. Each piece attracted the guests who attended the event and the ones I connected with the most purchased the following artworks.
Artist’s Role At Events
I believe as an artist it’s not a matter of being a salesman or saleswoman, but making a connection with the viewer. Although we create art for the majority of the time as a form or expression and as a therapy for ourselves, we still have to be able to connect with others. The artwork not only should attract the viewer seeing it, but we must be able to speak to them about what inspired us to produce the work.
These drawings were inspired by a stream of thoughts, free-thought, and the things that I find attractive as well as love. Two of the sub-series I’ve created were done out of my love for fashion and the complexity of the human heart. The idea of how fragile our lives are is a great way to visually try to illustrate this metaphor.
The Learning Experience from The Art Tour
Whenever I participate in an art event, I take mental notes of what people react to the best from the body of works that I showcase. From this event, I noticed a lot of people enjoyed the high heel series I’ve been developing. The human heart drawings I’ve also been creating were also well received.
Again, even though artists create work for their reasoning, I think it’s good to create art that other people can also enjoy. I can’t imagine keeping every single artwork that I create locked up in a box in my basement or stored somewhere. I believe people should see the art you create. It’s sort of like a musician writing, recording and producing music to only leave it in a collection locked up somewhere. No one will ever hear it if it’s not published; no one will be inspired by the art of the music.
I learned from the recent art tour that I need to capture emails and the importance of staying connected with the guests. Whether they purchased an artwork or simply grabbed one of my business cards from the table. Being able to reach out to them and let them know when I have new artwork is vital to building an identity/brand as an artist.
The Total Experience of The Southwest Iowa Art Tour
All in all, the art event was delightful. I was inspired by the guests and the fellow artists that took part in the event. I also saw a bright future for the arts community in the city of Council Bluffs. The energy and passion the PACE organization put into making the event a successful one is promising.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Feel free to take a look through my creative portfolio online as well as the art store. Prints are available of all of the original artworks I’ve included in this post. Contact me through the contact page for any commission work.
Follow me on instagram.com/kenallouis to see the artworks I create in progress.
Like the PACE website by visiting the link below.