Art on Ashland was almost two weeks ago, but in some ways it is an ongoing project! I am in the process of analyzing some metrics from the event, such as foot traffic and art sales. Any of the organizations that participated in our event can use these figures in the future, either in collaboration with one another or individually. I’m hoping this data will help us more easily recruit partners and obtain grants.
I never thought I would hear myself use the word “metric”, but it is one of the many valuable pieces of knowledge I gained from being Lead Organizer for Art on Ashland. I learned so many new things, from writing and submitting press releases to coordinating the event planning of multiple organizations. All of us who participated, from organization leaders to artists, gained significant experience and exposure.
A couple examples: attendance estimates range from 50 to 80 people, averaging out at 68. All of us are thrilled to have introduced our spaces to 68 new potential customers! Artists at ChiPRC sold on average 1 piece each. I personally sold three: Immaculate Heart, The Blue Room and a new piece, The Chicagoan.
Beyond some of the raw numbers and lessons I learned, what sticks in my head are images. So I’m going to tell the rest of the story of Art on Ashland with pictures!
The only directive I gave artists in selecting which pieces to show was “less is more”. I wanted the displays to be clean and uncluttered. The artists really came through!
I not only presented art in this show — I purchased art as well! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to own this amazing piece, Judy (below), by Christopher Berry. The mixed media composition captures the talent and tragedy of one of my all-time favorite vocalists, Judy Garland.
Most people with whom I spoke, from visitors to organization leaders and artists, deemed the event a success. For a first-time art walk, it is amazing that we had the turnout we did, that we got a mention in the Redeye, and that we nurtured relationships between businesses, neighborhood organizations and residents. All around, we did a great job, and I personally commend every organization leader, staff member, volunteer and artist for their contributions.