There is a festival held in Richardson, Texas twice a year known as Cottonwood Art Festival. Artist line up rows upon rows of tents and pavilions in Cottonwood Park for the public to come and see, buy and experience fine art.
This festival is a wonderful chance for artists to meet collectors face to face without the usual art gallery atmosphere. The artists have to send their work through a juried selection process so every year you find new artists and different media. While the festival is an excellent place to buy art, it’s also a great place to watch people.
Dallas is an international city and you will find all forms of cultures mixed together in one place to enjoy the art. In fact, one of the big draws to this event is not only the fine art, but the ability to people watch. People watching is a neat sport that allows you to see what people wear, how they act, and learn about culture. It is not unusual to see people in sarees, hajibs, slacks and polo shirts and even a kilt. I walked past two women in a full dress and hajib talking next to an artist wearing a knee cut sundress and a pair of cowboy boots. It is always a neat experience when cultures can blend together and enjoy each others company.
People are not the only ones who get to enjoy the art. The park is also dog friendly and you will see all sorts of breeds from tiny toys to Great Danes. There are even whippets adopted after their dog racing careers end.
There is a serious side to the festival. Some people go to Cottonwood to complete or add to their art collection. It is in this atmosphere that I heard a lady learn that all too important lesson of fine art. The valuable lessons of “if you like it; buy it.” She was telling her husband, or friend, that the piece of art she had wanted to buy was already gone when she had gone back later to buy it. As the saying goes “Don’t say there is still time.” or “I’ll get it later”. Because there is the concept of “It’s too late”.
People who buy and sell art, or even your average collector often learn this painful lesson and do their best to avoid it. As a photographer/artist I have often heard, “Well can’t you just print off another?” Sometimes, that is possible. But, even in photography, there are occasions where an artist archives a picture to make room for another. Or a picture is part of a limited printing such as a private commission. This causes the lesson to ring true even in the photographic art world. Whenever you buy any art, all three people win. You win, the gallery wins, and so does the artist.
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