With Second Saturday events on hold for the time being, River Arts District (RAD) artists continue to find innovative ways to share their creativity and hone their talents virtually. Galleries as physical spaces may not be open yet, but online sales, exhibitions and demonstrations abound.
Many RAD artists are selling works for $200 and less under the auspices of the Artist Support Pledge program, an initiative that has spread around the world, creating its own online marketplace. Artists’ works are available on social media by searching individual artist pages, #artistsupportpledge or #artistsupportpledgerad.
Jacqui Fehl is among the RAD artists taking advantage of this pandemic-inspired way to do business. “I have found that most folks are purchasing smaller paintings and prints which I have been offering through Facebook and Instagram,” she says. “I feel very fortunate that I have been able to make some online sales and also pay it forward by purchasing art from both local artists and some abroad.”
As an artist just emerging from freelance graphic design into the fine art market, Catherine Cervas Heaton finds social media a boon. “I have found it an avenue to get more exposure of my art to my social media contacts,” she says. Those discovering her art include her fellow RAD artists. “Other artists here may not have even heard of me until now,” she says. “It is a great boost in morale and sales.”
Sarah Faulkner has an online exhibition, Uplifted, planned for June. “The collection is a new body of work celebrating the beautiful connections and positive transformations that are happening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she says. “The collection will be available for viewing and for sale on my website (SarahFaulkner.com).” In addition, she offers free shipping on all sales from the exhibition.
Virtual learning opportunities abound for artists as they do for others, a silver lining in this time of disconnectedness. “I have joined two out-of-state sketch groups who Zoom or post images from models that we draw while at home,” Heaton says. “To me, it is a completely exciting way to do art and to see other artists’ works that I would not have been exposed to without this pandemic.”
To learn more, visit RiverArtsDistrict.com, where you can find links to artists’ individual websites and a listing of upcoming virtual events.