Supporting Local Artists

On June 30th I had the pleasure of attending Kingston’s annual ArtFest. 

ArtFest is a 3 day event that spans Canada Day weekend, where vendors from local towns and cities come to set up booths displaying creations such as jewellery, art prints, leather bags, and sculptures. There are also live music performances and poetry readings, which add to the event’s attraction.

Besides it being a fun couple of hours spent with friends and family, ArtFest gives the community a chance to discover new artists that they otherwise would not have known about, and support their work.

The event helps prove the point that local artists are some of the most important individuals in your community to support.

An event like ArtFest gets people to take some time out of their busy lives to collectively enjoy art, showing that it truly can bring communities together. Often artists’ work reflect these communities that they come from, as many seek inspiration from the people, land, and culture that surrounds them. This makes their creations more unique compared to those of mass producers, as you would be able to find your favourite landmarks and attractions reimagined in their creations.

By supporting local artists you also get the unique human-to-artist connection, that is not entirely present when purchasing from mass producers and companies. Buying local art also benefits the local economy, as you know any money you spend will be going to the individual (the artist) and eventually back into that community through their creations. Support at events like ArtFest shows officials that the arts are worthy of funding, and that will translate in more programs and initiatives that community members can take part in and enjoy.

Now that you know why you should support local artists, here are some ways how you can support them: 

1. Buy their art, and pay full price.

Many artists put a large amount of time and effort into each of their creations, and for some this is their main source of income or job. By paying the full price they are asking for, you ensure that they are being justly compensated and will help them to continue producing art.

2. If you are unable to actually purchase their products, help promote them!

Artists understand that not everyone can drop (for example) 300 dollars on a painting, and so money is definitely not the only way you can support them. Promoting their work on social media and by word of mouth will increase their visibility. This is super important as smaller, local artists tend to have a harder time getting noticed and being appreciated for the work they put out in the community and online.

3. Show your support on social media and at events!

This ties into my previous point regarding promotion. If you are unable to purchase their work, showing your support on social media platforms by leaving likes and comments still helps, along with showing your support by being present at events like ArtFest and other shows or exhibitions. This is showing not only to the artist that you care about their work, but also the general public that it is something worth caring about.

I hope these tips help, and that you use this knowledge to actively help out and support some smaller, local artists in your own community!

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