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  • Writer's pictureDr. S

Confessions of a Traveling Artist - New York

Confessions of a traveling artist. Our trip to New York was an exciting Adventure. Since Mike could not go because of his duties at the fire station, I had the honor of traveling with my sisters. New York, as always was an exciting place. I realize some people do not like New York or any big city. But I am very much a city girl although I was raised as a country girl. The architecture, the history, and the city lights always inspires my heart. Actually, I am not only inspired by the history and architecture, I am also inspired by the people, and the Arts in the big city. And when I say the arts, I mean the visual arts, the performing arts, the music and the stories. it is all to be explored and appreciated.

The New York Expo was much like the major art events in Miami that we had the privilege of participating in last November. In many ways. It was similar in that some of the same artists were present. I found this to be exciting because one of my personal goals is to make more connections with other artists in the professional art world. We all need connection and coming from a background in mental health, I am actually more isolated than the average person. So many rules govern how we have relationships in the mental health world. The ethical codes dictate our professional relationship with coworkers, as well as mandating we do not have dual relationships with our clients. And of course keeping the personal life completely separate. However in the art world it can all overlap and blend together. Dual relationships are encouraged. I can actually be friends with artists, art buyers, and art collectors as well as have professional and business reciprocity. So seeing the same artists inspired me, after all there's a lot of distance between Miami and New York. Seeing the same logistical protocols was also inspiring, after all consistency pays off. The organizations responsible for putting these events together have this down to a science. Almost perfection. People were friendly and excited to be there not like the stereotypical New York where people are rude. It was also similar in that a variety and diverse culture of art was exhibited. Some of the art that I have seen in the professional art world puzzles me; however apparently a market exists for it, so who am I to judge?

The Expo was located on Pier 36 just outside of Manhattan about 5 to 6 miles. Or I should say from Times Square where we were staying it was approximately five to six miles. While driving to the expo I was also inspired as I find the lifestyle interesting. If you pay attention you get a glance inside the lives and the lifestyle of people who live around New York. One driver was telling us that luxury apartments and condos on Park Avenue in New York New York average rent of $20,000 a month. Other apartments that he pointed out along the river average between $7,000 and 10,000 per month. In my best southern slang I joked and said, "well guess we got to sell a lot of art if I ever want to live there." Quite honestly, the reality is we all want to experience the rich lifestyle, however that does not bring true happiness. After all TMZ is full of celebrity drama that proves money does not buy happiness. And the mental health field is full of people who have reached financial success to a level that I will never achieve ( I cannot count that high), however many suffer with depression, anxiety, and the lack of marital and/or life satisfaction.

While walking around the Expo I was also able to see creatives and how they express themselves in their dress. This is always fascinating because as we adult, we learn that we have our own personal style and we learn to be confident in expressing our true selves. Some people never outgrow the clickish "got to dress like my group" mentality and that is why an event like this is so exciting. You are able to see people dressed conservatively as well as histrionically, and basic comfortable dress etc etc. This was also similar with the event in Miami however I noticed one difference. I noticed in Miami there were many more skirts and high heels. New York seem to be more leather pants and comfortable heels. After all people in New York are used to walking more than we are in the South so the comfortable shoes made perfect sense.

I also noticed other differences. A main difference was the traffic. It seemed a bit smaller and have less people traffic. Part of this could have been the weather because it did rain couple of days while we were there. And it was colder, and of course this is just an observation because I have no way of knowing how many people truly came to the exhibit. The marketers claim thousands of people come through to view the art. Thousands of people also visited the Miami event. Either way the idea that thousands of people was able to view my artwork implodes me with excitement. We do get a lot of traffic in our gallery and at the events at our studio location in Atlanta, however we have not had thousands of people at an event.

Another difference was the dimensions of the paintings. At the New York Expo, paintings seemed to be smaller in dimensions and the sculpture or 3D artworks were much larger. At the Miami events there were many large 2D artworks or paintings and the sculptures were smaller. As an appraiser I also enjoy walking through and observing the asking price of artworks versus what I believe it would appraise for in value. Obviously coming from experience and observation versus actually doing the research that would be required on each piece is very subjective. But I found this to be entertaining. After all, artists price their own works and when we pour our heart and soul into a piece we all believe our artwork should be worth millions of dollars. And should the right buyer came along, that artwork could speak to the buyer and they may actually pay millions of dollars. Yes, this is possible but not probable. This is part of dreaming though and dreaming is important. It is what motivates us to continue to create.

Other experiences worth mentioning about the New York trip have to include the Broadway shows. In the past we have seen Phantom of the Opera more than once and Phantom of the Opera never disappoints! This trip I was able to see Wicked for the first time. I did not know the story line before seeing the show and I did not know the history behind the creation or the preparation for the show. Wicked was a show worth seeing again. I actually think not knowing the story line actually made the experience even better simply because I didn't know what to expect, and so I was hanging on to every word and following the story much like a child following a bedtime story, anxious to know how the story ends. We saw ads for other shows and I would very much like to go back and see them. I have added to my bucket list. The Performing Arts is always intriguing and inspiring. Performing artists pour their heart and soul into their gifts just like a visual artist pours his or her heart and into a visual artwork. This Is Why We Believe performing artists deserve to be included in our VIA artist Awards annually. And of course, the performing arts would not be possible without the written Arts. So we believe authors playwrights songwriters and son on should also be recognized and honored.

Back to New York. Another exciting experience is going to Fifth Avenue and window shopping. Now I'm one of those people who will spend and indulge when purchasing a car. Especially a sports car, and in the past I've owned my share which got me into trouble with speeding tickets hahaha, (one of the reasons why I currently drive a cute little convertible 4-cylinder Mazda miata). However I have never been one to spend a lot of money on clothing and I am not a shopper. So it's interesting to window shop to look at ticket prices, laugh, and walk away. It's also very interesting to see how crowded these high dollar stores become. Are these people window shopping and role playing the part like I am? Or are these people residents of New York and they truly are paying these prices? It's all relative obviously to your culture and social economic status. If I lived this lifestyle I may have a different perspective. Shopping in New York is so different than shopping at the Mall of Georgia.

Another art form that must be mentioned is of course is the food. A chef pours his or her heart and soul into creating a dish entree much more than the average person would. Food is one of the primary pleasures in life. We all have to eat to live but most of us live to eat. Experiencing the culture of food in New York or experiencing entrees that are not available to us in Georgia is an experience worth talking about. We had to experience New York Pizza for certain. After all one sister traveling with me had never been to New York, and so obviously this was a must. We asked the concierge for a recommendation and had a New York style pizza delivered to our hotel. The pizza actually cost $100. At first this sounded like a lot of money for a pizza but let's put this into perspective. When ordering a pizza from Domino's, a pizza or pizzas large enough for three people quite often averages 30 to $40. The pizza we ordered in New York was twice the size of a Dominos pizza and the toppings were twice as much. This pizza provided enough food for two meals for three people. That is an average of $16 per person per meal. And the taste was much better then what we would be accustomed to receiving in Georgia. So was the experience worth the price tag? Absolutely!

Future confessions of a traveling artist? For now the travels of this artist will be closer to home. We have many events coming up at our gallery and most of the trips planned are more personal than business. However I have a list of major art events coming up in 2023 and 2024 that look very inviting. I am confident that in the near future plans will be made for those events as well. After all I very much enjoy traveling to these Major Art events, even small art events, even Gallery hopping while in the smallest city or the major cities. After all I love art! And we are preparing for the trip to top all trips. We are planning to travel to Paris France and experience where many of my favorite artists worked. I look forward to seeing world famous art, experience their food and culture, and continue this adventure called life.

I am so very thankful for the blessings our heavenly father has bestowed upon us. If not for him, I would be nothing, and I would accomplish nothing.

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