Paula, Ellen,.....I am so with you on this topic, wouldn't it be fantastic if there was a fair purely for high
end artist bears, that was free from retailers, bear memorabilia etc. where the bears could shine, and the
collector could be assured of quality work. A museum sounds great....or a gallery. I think venue is very
important, our collectors are decerning people, who are looking for an enjoyable day out in a pleasent
Anyway, sadly, it seems Ally Pallys days are numbered for us, as I read in the paper yesterday that it is about
to be sold, and redeveloped, as an upmarket leisure centre!!!!!
I think we all love the idea of being in a magical, beautiful place for a bear show, to highlight that bear artists can offer exquisite works of art.
Then reality sets in
I wonder perhaps if we are discussing two different things. The "average" bear show vs. a star-studded spectacular bear show that would happen once a year. Magical, beautiful venues always come with a high price tag. Always. If every "good" bear show were at such a high-priced setting, the majority of bear artists would either (1) never be able to attend (2) rarely be able to attend or (3) be able to attend, but perhaps only do a show or two a year. Is that really the goal?
It really isn't all about the venue. The most beautiful show venue that I've attended was in a drop-dead gorgeous ballroom at a hotel. The collectors did not show up. I think every artist went home with a loss for the day. Compare this, for example, to this year's show at Bristol, CT, in a high school cafeteria. It was bright, open and clean, and many enthusiastic collectors showed up. Give me a cafeteria and a crowd any day over a pristine ballroom with nobody in it. The venues definitely did NOT matter in these two cases, but everything else that goes into making a show a flop or a success did.
The thought of an art gallery hosting a bear show scares the living daylights out of me. Fine art galleries typically take a commission of 50-80% when a painting sells out of them. I'd sell out of the trunk of my car first, in all honesty.