Thursday, August 29, 2013

MARKETING WALL ART

I've blogged several times about the lengthy preparations for my solo exhibit at the NC Arboretum.....which is finally now ongoing through October, 2013.  
I was so intent on getting the display up that I neglected to take photos of the stunning grounds.....except for this snap shot of a fountain in front of the educational building.  My bad!!!
 It was a good thing 'the husband' came with me because none of the hanging devices that are normally in place were up.  What should have taken no more than two hours, ended up taking well over four.  I'd still be there if I didn't have his help!
 The facility is not your typical gallery.....there is ample wall space but it's located in hallways...making photo taking difficult.  That's an advantage for viewers though, as they can get 'nose close' to the work and the lighting is quite good. 
 This grouping of 4 Seasons quilts ended up being much closer together than I would have liked.  It wasn't as much a space issue as the lack of functioning hanging devices.  Normally the quilts displayed are large, requiring far less equipment, however because most of my exhibit featured small quilts, we were scrambling for hangers.  In the end, all 28 pieces I brought got hung! 

I suspect many of you following this blog might be at a stage in your fiber lives, like me, where we've given everyone we know a quilt...at least twice. Yet, more ideas must be explored and our inventories continue to grow.  After 25+ years of workshops, books, magazine articles, cruise/tour projects, plus all my new work, well...you get the picture. Finding new homes for my wall art is a huge priority.  

Paying commissions for retail sales are a way of life.  It may surprise you that it's not uncommon for the retailer to charge 50%.  That can really bump up the price of the work!  Obviously, finding new ways for your pieces stand out in a crowd is helpful....
So....here's what I wanted to share in this post.  Do you know what a QR is??  It's that little black and white square containing a pattern of more squares that you see popping up on just about everything these days.  When a QR reader app is downloaded on your smart phone, a QR can be scanned to obtain more information about the product or service it represents.

STRK.IT is a new service offering stickers that can be applied to paper products, plus sew on and iron on squares.  I've added separate signage the higher priced quilts in the hopes that it will encourage the viewers to take more time studying and considering the pieces.

I chose to record 'the story behind the quilt', allowing the audio to run about 2 minutes each.  Services such as text, or video are other innovative options.  

I found it fast & easy to use....even for me who is not very techy.  I even added an iron on stkr. to a quilt that will be a gift....recording a message for the recipient to find when it's unwrapped. 

 You youngins' that read this blog may have already embraced this type of technology, but for me it was new and hopefully it will help to generate sales in this particular setting.  Maybe it will be helpful to you too!

12 comments:

The Idaho Beauty said...

Gotta say I just love your 4 seasons but agree it would have been nice to space them a bit more. This is the same kind of hanging apparatus POAC uses at the Panhandle Bank - and fortunately, they always hire someone to climb the ladder to slide the wires into place. Even so, these installations take so much time - hope this will be up for awhile.

I was very interested in your new fangled marketing ideas - my newest young art quilt friend has tried the QR and when she told me about it I thought it brilliant (even though I don't have a phone that could read one). I've passed on the other idea to her. She's much more serious about marketing her work than I can muster for my own. Thanks.

margaret said...

have a wonderful exhibition and best of luck with the sale of your quilts

Norma Schlager said...

First of all congrats on having a solo show! I think your work looks fabulous andI love those four seasons trees, even it they are a little close together. some of my work is currently at a group exhibit at the Town Hall and I thought they were hung much too high, but then I didn't get to hang them myself.
I recently downloaded that techy thing on my iPhone, but have never used it. Good for you for being so up to date on technology! I hope you sell a lot.

Linda M said...

The show looks wonderful, wish I was close enough to see it.

Is there a way to track how effective the QR codes are?

Nancy Bowron said...

Thanks for sharing the idea of the stir.it app! The idea of recording about your process is so cool! I started quilting while waiting for paint to dry on my artwork, so am familiar with the 50% commission thing. Some non-traditional galleries will allow you to hang your work and take less of a commission since they don't "push the sale" the way a gallery does. I look forward to hearing how the show goes for you. Hopefully you will sell some quilts!

Mary Stori said...

It's Mary here......I'll be sure to report whether or not the QR stickers have had any impact.....not only in direct sales but perhaps future contacts as well.

I actually feel like a dinosaur about technology...but I'm trying!!

landscapelady said...

Very interesting about the scanning thing. Ill be curious to hear any feedback that you get. What are those hanging devices? How do you hang your pieces? The triangle flaps dowel method? The sleeve? Or do you staple to stretchers? I've thought of trying the stretcher thing but haven't been able to bring myself to try it. I'm such a traditional binding girl, I guess.

Lisa said...

That is a great use of technology! And how wonderful to be able to hear the artists voice tell you all about their piece. Like to going to the opening any time of the week! I especially like the idea of having one on a gift so that they can hear your message.

Robbie said...

Your work is wonderful...lovin' the four seasons pieces! They look fantastic hung together!!!

Gwyned Trefethen said...

Your work looks as stunning as ever, Mary. I suspect many of us feel like dinosaurs trying to stay current with technology. You have quite a distance on me, which is both intimidating and inspiring.

I've really enjoyed being able to get a peek into how you have pulled together a solo show.

Let's here it for husbands (partners, significant others and BFFs) mine is photographer, shipping and packing department and turn to volunteer for hanging and taking down an exhibit.

Joanie's Trendy Quilts said...

Hi Mary! I am visiting from Crazy Mom Quilts. Your art quilts on display are breathtaking! If we happ en to come to Ashville from Charlotte we will have to come see them in the real!

nanette said...

I think I need to make another road trip. Congratulations, Mary!!