Looking Toward the Future
by Mike Ochonicky, President BOMH
Was this year's ArtSmart conference great or what! A round of applause to our fabulous conference chairs, and their committees!
No matter how many conferences I attend, I always come away feeling so invigorated, ready to approach my art with new eyes. Bruce Baker, our keynote speaker this year, shared his expertise in booth design, jury slides, and so much more. It was a very well-spent weekend and truly one of the best investments you can make in your business. Make plans now to attend next year's conference. You won't be disappointed!
Welcome to our new members! It is a pleasure to have you as part of BOMH. You are proof that we are a growing organization! Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any of us (officers and board members are listed in each newsletter.) We'll be happy to help you!
While we're on that subject, it is my hope to see even more growth in membership this year. That growth is up to each of us. We all know an artists, whether seasoned or just beginning, who could benefit from belonging to BOMH. The information in each newsletter alone is worth the price of membership! Add to that, our web site, the conference, the networking possibilities. So, take those applications with you to shows and invite other craftsmen to join us. Proudly wear your BOMH badge at shows, and please use those stickers (those of us who are juried members, that is). Identify yourself as a member of Missouri's premier organization of artists and craftsmen. We're all proud of you!
I'd like to take a moment to thank our "retired" president, Terry TenBrink, for his wonderful service to BOMH this past year. Thanks Terry! We wish you well as you move to sunny Florida.
Speaking of the BOMH's progress during the past year, the board determined at our last meeting that we are financially stable enough to consider the addition of a paid employee to handle some of the organization's day-to-day needs. This is a milestone in our history. So, we are now beginning the process of defining just what duties that person will have and when we can actively search for that first "staff." It's going to be an exciting time for BOMH! We'll keep you posted.
Have a great spring. Hope it inspires us all with fresh ideas.
ArtSmart 2001 a Grand Success!
by Cathy Evans
The reviews are in, the evaluations tallied and the response from nearly everyone who attended was summed up by one comment, "How do you top this" I'm not sure we can. For myself, this was the most useful information I've ever received in one weekend in my life. Many of the evaluations reflected the same feeling.
ArtSmart started off to a congenial start with the usual Friday Night Frolics, during which anyone who wanted could try their hand at the lathe, make their own mosaic stepping stone, create a bead ring with wire wrap, learn to felt and more. Dow the hall, other participants networked in the hospitality room enjoying free soft drinks and easy conversation.
Saturday morning, Bruce Baker added new light to the components of Booth Design and Construction in his keynote address, including some concrete advice about use of materials that are simple, fast, lightweight, portable and help make a lasting impression. Veering more toward trade show than retail, he stressed that your booth should work for both types of shows, be modular and fit the space of the moment.
The Power Workshops Saturday afternoon included a range of topics for How to Grow a Business to a panel on Regional Retail Shows, a popular presentation about How to Unblock Creative Blocks, another on Time Management, a panel on Press Kits and an enlightening panel on Community Networks to Further Your Art Career. They were all very successful according to the evaluations. Comments included, "Great speaker, very encouraging!" and "Dynamic! Challenges me to think in a new way!" "As a first time attendee, I am very impressed!" And so on. The chief complaint was, "There wasn't enough time." And that complaint was echoed in evaluation after evaluation across all presentations and topics covered.
Saturday evening, Bruce Baker gave his famous presentation, "Be a Dynamic Craft Seller." Mirroring his audio cassette by the same name, Bruce gave tips that included actual phrases to use when working with customers, how to interact with them and how to use your story to help sell your product. With just the amount of wit and humor, he shared his own experiences and those of other crafts people to drive home his key points. Now it's up to us to practice what he preached to increase all our sales in 2001.
Sunday morning was, for many, the most beneficial of all. Bruce stayed later than the allotted time to help us all experience the jury process of big national shows through a mini workshop that usually takes all day. In spite of a mix-up on slide projectors with less than optimum equipment, everyone who wished (about 35 total) got feedback from everyone else and from Bruce about their jury slides. We learned how many elements go into the split second decision-making process that gets you accepted or rejected from the bigger, better shows.
Besides the excellent presentations and the return of some old favorites (like the Table Topic discussions over lunch), other items were new this year. A raffle was added to The Beast to collect needed scholarship funds. The Artisan Showcase enjoyed larger facilities, better publicity and a paid employee to collect the money from sales. The Hospitality Suite gave everyone a cozy environment in which to network and socialize during breaks and after-hours. And an updated database of names promises to streamline mailing for next year's conference brochure and other information to share with crafts people, artists and gallery owners statewide.
This is an exciting time to be a part of Best of Missouri Hands and this growing industry. There were lots of great comments and suggestions for next year and in answer to the problem of "not enough time." Come again next year for another whole weekend jammed full of information to help us all get "Art Smart."
The Best of Missouri Hands
MACAA Wants You!
The Missouri Association of Community Arts Agencies (MACAA) is in the process of collecting information to create a comprehensive directory of individuals and groups working in the arts and arts related services within Missouri. The overall goal is to increase the awareness and use of more Missouri artists in more communities.
They are currently in phase one, the data collection phase. Ideas for future uses of the data include creating an online directory, pairing artists and communities to create art projects, providing networking and workshops for artists, and creating a touring roster. Data collection will continue through the fall, and they hope to have the preliminary directory completed by the end of 2001. Participation in the initial directory is free, though they state that "future uses may require some fees."
For more information, contact Kristi Kittleson, Project Coordinator, or .
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Many thanks to all who helped make ArtSmart 2001 such a fantastic success! A special tribute and gold stars go to Mary Benjamin for arranging for Bruce Baker to come to Misosuri and for coordinating all of the Power Workshop presenters.
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