Friday, June 27, 2014

Thank You from the Atlanta Dogwood Festival

If you scroll down, there is a nice little feature about my new studio and classes. Join me if you can!

Can we be so bold as to say that this was the best Atlanta Dogwood Festival ever? With three days of perfect weather, a park filled with blooming dogwoods and some of the world's most incredible artists, the 78th annual festival topped all of our expectations. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who brought this three-day event to life.

Mark your calendars now for the
79th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival
in Piedmont Park April 10-12, 2015!

Artist Market Artists 

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is the city's oldest fine arts festival, and it is made possible thanks to the hundreds of superb artists who comprise the Artist Market each year. This spring, we welcomed 260 fine artists from all over the country, including many from the Atlanta area. The Artist Market jurors received more than 1,100 entries this year and selected the top artists in a variety of categories. Be sure to check out our Artist Winners who are literally the best of the best! 
Corporate Sponsors

After 78 years, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is still a free event. This would not be possible without the generous support provided by our corporate sponsors. From providing financial support to creating interesting activation onsite, sponsors including:


...and many more truly make this festival happen.
Please patronize them and thank them for their support of the arts in our community!

Main Stage Live Music Performers

Did you find a favorite new band on the Main Stage this year? We love filling the air with live music all weekend. From performers of rock to country to blues and jazz, the festival appreciates the many musicians who visit the stage each year to play old favorite and introduce audiences to new tunes. You can still find all of the weekend's performers on the festival website

Backyard Barbecue & Brews Participants 

This year, we launched a new ticketed event during the festival, Backyard Barbecue & Brews. You might have heard that both days of the BBQ throw-down sold out, and ticket holders were thrilled with the variety of barbecue and craft beer offerings. We would like to give a huge thank you to the restaurants, chefs, wine and spirits companies and breweries who participated in this event and helped us make it such a success!

International Stage Performers and Cultural Exchange Partners

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is proud to present the award-winning International Stage & Village each year. Held on the Lake Clara Meer Dock, the International Stage welcomes hundreds of performers representing countries around the world. Nearby, international organizations and consulates set up Cultural Exchange Pavilions where visitors can learn about the culture of different countries. This year, we had participants from Canada, France, Germany, Hungary and Taiwan. Thanks to these performers and organizations for bringing the world to the festival each year. 

Media Partners

How did you find out about the Atlanta Dogwood Festival? Perhaps it was from one of our media partners! Each year, the festival works with a range of tv, radio, print and online media partners who generously donate their airtime and space to help us spread the word about the festival and its many offerings. 

Vendors, Staff, Volunteers and Board

Putting on such a large festival and making sure it runs smoothly is no easy task! It requires the help of many, many volunteers throughout the weekend. The festival also has an amazing working Board of Directors who are hands-on, assisting in every area of the production. Throughout the year, the festival staff members work hard planning each of the aspects brought to the park in the spring, and support from TRRU Event ManagementPremier EventsMixIt MarketingLiveThriveLaunch Atlanta, the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition and Frey Art & Design brings it all together! 

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 78th, the best Atlanta Dogwood Festival in history! 

Take Art Classes from Festival Artist 

"Enjoy the Journey" 36 x 36 oil on canvas. Dawn Kinney Martin

Isn't it time to get painting? Atlanta Dogwood Festival artist Dawn Kinney Martin is excited to announce a series of classes at her new studio. Several weekend workshops and a Tuesday night painting studio class are available beginning in July. This fall, she will add plein air workshops. We are thrilled for Dawn as she begins this new journey and hope that Dogwood Festival art lovers will become art creators.

Retrospective of AHSAE Best of Show Winners

This summer, revisit the best of the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition (AHSAE) at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art! "Retrospective of AHSAE Best of Show Winners" will be on view June 28-August 31 in the Hallway Gallery.

Each year, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival sponsors the AHSAE, an art competition for talented young artists from throughout Atlanta and Georgia. This vital exhibition and competition provides winners with nearly $40,000 in scholarships and prizes and has received national recognition for its impact on young artists. AHSAE helps to fill a growing gap in creative opportunities for youth while highlighting the breadth and variety of young artistic talent.


Our mailing address is:
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
887 West Marietta Street, 
Studio S-105

Atlanta, GA 30318

Phone: 404-817-6642

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tips from an artists/gallery owner

Here is an interesting article I can across this morning and thought I would share it. As artists we are always trying to find a balance between creating and the business side. Michael Soltis shares his experience as an artists and a gallery owner.

Artsy Shark


Posted: 24 Jun 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Guest blogger Michael Soltis, an artist who has also owned a gallery, shares his insights and experience. This article is reprinted from the current special issue of Mixed Media Art Magazine.

Michael Soltis
Artist Michael Soltis with his work.
Being a gallery owner was rewarding, exciting, challenging and fulfilled my desire for creativity in ways that nothing else in my life ever has. I loved that my time, energy and resources were being used to promote art and artists and that my contribution to the world was one in which creativity and beauty was shared.
However, I learned that making money in the art business is very difficult. Most people who came into my gallery would say wonderful things about the work, but the percentage of art buyers was very low.
Not only do the buyers need to find a piece that they like but it also has to be the right size and dimensions and most importantly, they have to have a place to put it. And art buyers buy lots of art – so they usually don't. So you need to reach more people by marketing your business.
You have to spend  money on advertising and spend lots of time out in the community, attending events, meeting with people and becoming a well-known (and well-liked) art professional. The ongoing operational costs are massive and if you have employees the costs skyrocket. Art fairs are becoming an industry standard to reach collectors these days and the fees and costs to get you and the art there is not even within reach of many galleries. So I found it very difficult to survive and I have immense respect and admiration for those who do.
Stark + Kent Gallery
Artwork at Stark + Kent Gallery in Palm Springs, CA
Gallery owners are running a business and they need art that sells in order to remain viable. So if they like an artist's work and it fits in well with their roster and they think it will sell, they will want it in their gallery.
If they like the work, gallery owners will want artists who are professional, who are constantly creating, constantly learning, constantly working and who have a clear vision. They also want an artist who has several pieces ready to ship that are part of a consistent and cohesive body of work that represents who the artist is. So while it's great to explore different ideas and techniques and I would never discourage that, when a gallerist wants to see your work, make sure you present them with pieces that are part of collection and/or that are in a particular style.
I think the gallery owners that ended up representing me decided to do so because they liked my work and thought it was marketable but also because I was pleasant, professional, and didn't push myself on them. I presented a singular vision for what I was trying to accomplish. They noticed that I was someone who took my art career seriously, would do what I said I would do, was kind, polite and had a good understanding of their business, and realistic expectations.
As a gallery owner, these are the types of artists I chose, and I typically found them because they were showing their work and it was available for me to find. Getting noticed by a gallery owner requires that you look for as many opportunities as you can to get your work out there.
But always be aware of the environment and context in which your art is shown; it will affect people's perception. Each artist needs to decide what that means for themselves, but if it doesn't feel right and you don't think it puts your work in the best light, don't do it. It is absolutely crucial to have a good website and online presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) Be simple, clean, consistent and professional. You must promote yourself this way – these are invaluable tools and they create a perception.
Michael Soltis art studio
Michael Soltis art studio
I have to add that while galleries can generate some sales, I have become incredibly inspired by artists who are able to build their business on their own. I have a good friend who has been painting for over 12 years. She has been approached by several galleries, but has opted to continue to do her own thing. She sets her pricing, she offers reductions when it makes sense, chooses certain design/home decor stores that hold a few pieces and works with an art consultant that represents her to collectors and designers. For the most part, she pockets 100% of her sales and she makes over $100,000 a year out of her studio.
This didn't happen overnight and she puts in the work – the work of creating and the work of selling. I am really encouraged to see that it is possible to do it on your own. That's where I would put my focus if I was a newer artist or had a desire to make art a full time job. If you are working hard, getting better and putting the work out there, you will get noticed. But you must be patient.
I was actually with a large online gallery for a year and my work was featured on a site that has daily online art auctions. I didn't find it effective for my work. Online shopping is a huge business, but I question it's validity for selling original art. For lower priced works or reproductions, absolutely. But if you're selling a piece of art for $1,000 – $5,000, unless the buyer is already familiar with the artist, or really trusts the curator, no matter how many pictures you take in different angles, most buyers are still going to want to see it in person.
I know of a few galleries who have opted not to have a brick and mortar space and instead spend their money on art fairs and working directly with designers and art consultants, and the online component supports that. In my opinion, that is a good option and if I were to open another gallery or be represented by another gallery, I would really consider this.
Michael Soltis
The artist Michael Soltis
My final thought: I have been an actor and an artist for over 13 years. I've had many successes and many failures, and my psyche bears the scars of countless rejection. But every time I go to another audition or face another blank canvas I am convinced that it is my tenacity that will win out. My desire has always been and will continue to be that I am able to support myself and my family through my art exclusively. I know this is a rarity in today's world but I will never give up. Ever.
If that is your desire, I hope you don't either.  Whether your work is in a gallery or online or in your studio or at an art fair or hanging in a coffee shop, keep creating it. Keep sharing it. Keep getting better. Because it's just a matter of time. Those who stick to it, succeed. It is possible. Our dreams are possible.

Hope you found this useful. 
Happy painting!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dawn Kinney Martin shows and newsletter

DawnArt  - 2 art opening this weekend
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Join us for Plein air Thursday, No cost just fun

Momentum 10
Opening reception this Friday
Friday, June 13, 5pm - 8pm

Stop by and help us celebrate 10 years of painting and show our work together
Click here for full list of galleries and art openings

Arts Gone Wild at Zoo Atlanta

Art sale and silent auction this Saturday 6 - 9
Announcing the Zoo’s first-annual plein air event, “Art Gone Wild,” Over 30 artists have spent the week capture the zoo on canvas. Stop by this Saturday to see  what we've created. An art show and silent auction will take place on Saturday, June 14. Check out the website

Upcoming classes, workshops, and events

 Tuesday Night Painting Studio 
July 8 - July 29 

Tues evenings 6:30 - 9:30   4 week session
As an ongoing class you have lots of flexibility and can always make up classes.
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Palette Knife Workshop: Vibrant Skys, 1 Day 
July 19, Sat 10 - 3:00

Spruill Art Center
Dunwoody GA

Color 1 - Color Confidence  1Day
July 20, Sun 10 - 3:00 
Dawn Art Studios
Atlanta GA

Palette Knife Workshop: Trees, 1 Day 
July 26, Sat 10-3:00
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Atlanta Ga

Color 2 -  Controlling  Your Mixtures
July 27, Sun 10 - 4:00 1 Day workshop 
Dawn Art Studios
180 11th St Ne, Atlanta GA


Fall ScheduleStill in works but here's what's scheduled so far:

Tuesday Night Painting Studio
Sept 23 -  Nov  18
Tues evenings 6:30 - 9:30
DawnArt Studios

Palette Knife Workshop: Fall Trees 
September 27  @Spruill  Art Center

Plein air workshop: Weekend workshop
Parker Ranch in Clayton GA
Oct 10 - 12

Palette  knife workshop
Nov 1 @ Callanwolde Fine ArtsCenter

Capture the Light: One day workshop 
Dec 13 @ Spruill Art Center