SHOPPING LOCAL EVERYWHERE YOU GO
Your Art Purchases Mean So Much
As many of you may know, I went to Morocco this October. It felt good to be on vacation somewhere where one could tell that you were definitely not in Kansas anymore. It was a broadening and l think life changing trip. I have devoted a bit of time thinking about why that was--I went with my sister and a traveling group who were mostly new people to me.
I think I rather enjoyed being completely out of my comfort zone, and yet, I still managed to find people who were able to deliver hand made goods, and I was drawn to the other travelers that have eclectic tastes and a design aesthetic that appreciates an artisan object, and beauty in all its many forms. Our little group partook of the Souk in Marrakech, but also found the independent artists in our own little part of the Kasbah near the Riad where we stayed. Here is a weaver who made incredible scarves, throws, and bedding.
My sister Kimberley and I in the desert in Morocco.
The weaver with our travel planner's husband Daryl.
There was also a painter near this gentleman. Naoufal Abanji sold many paintings to our group! He was right down the street from where we stayed but had odd hours (which I totally respect.) Once we had all seen his work, several of us bought a piece to take home--I love (and so do most of our clients) to be in an artist's studio and watch them work, meet them, and see a little of their process. This is pretty much my job after all! But it was really fun to be on the art buyer side.
Naoufal Abanji in his studio in the Kasbah.
Did you know that the average salary for someone in Marrakech is equivalent to 11000 a year in dollars? Our supporting the local economy is vital. And one person represents a family.
I don't have a grip on Wilmington artists' average salaries, but I can tell you many of them live frugally and from sale to sale. Don't underestimate your contribution every time you purchase art locally you give money to the local economy, helping a family pay rent, mortgage, real bills. Here are some great art sources here in our town:
Art in Bloom Gallery has relocated to Mayfaire Town Center. Please stop in during this season and pay a visit to Amy Grant. I can't think of a bigger advocate of art and community.
Come see the ACES Gallery, the Arts Council of Wilmington right down from New Elements Gallery on Front Street. Purchase a piece to support the artist as well as keep our Arts Council in great shape under the fantastic leadership of Rhonda Bellamy.
Blue Moon and Eclipse Gallery on Racine is another great destination for art. My son and I shop there for gifts during this time.
If you are interested in planning a fantastic excursion but aren't crazy about making all the arrangements, check out my friend Elizabeth's website: Cairn Travels.
I loved what this artist said about the piece he sold to me. He pointed to a window in the painting and said "One window, one family. Many windows of a city, big family." And truly that is what I loved about Morocco and why I love what I do. When art speaks to someone-it tells them a story, gives them connection to their own experience and the artists. That is why during this season it is so important to support local artists and businesses wherever you are. Because we are one big family. So buy some art for art's sake!
My Marrakech painting by Abanji-"One City, Big Family."