On Sunday, December 18, the Owl’s Head wine bar will open during the afternoon to host its first Holiday Art Fair, which will feature work for sale by more than a dozen local artists and writers, with all the proceeds going to them. We spoke to artist, SAW co-founder and Owl’s Head co-owner John Avelluto about the event and local arts in general.
What’s the purpose of this event?
This event was put together to help our local visual artists and poets make some cash and gain exposure this holiday season. I am interested in finding more ways for artists to gain local support and engage the community without having a traditional gallery venue. The participating artists aren’t charged a fee and no commission is taken from them.
Are there enough local artists to sustain such a thing?
I think so. There is no “sustenance” needed per se. The Owl’s Head doesn’t require/expect a profit from this. Furthermore, I don’t like to think of the finite term “artist,” rather than “artistic practice.” I would like to imagine that there are enough individuals in this community, beyond those that consider themselves “artist,” that want to or are inspired to make something that relates to the world they experience and to translate it in new ways. I would hope that more outlets like this that open up in the neighborhood encourage more people to engage in that practice.
What other ways might artists, or artistic practices, in the community receive support?
Creating more physical platforms for them. Municipal funding would help with this. Our electeds need to do a better job of protecting its artists. Up until now, it has been only to the credit of the artists in our neighborhood that persevere in such dire conditions.
Do you still have space if people are interested in participating?
As we are a small venue, we filled up in within four hours of my initial posting on my personal Facebook page.
Anything else you want to say?
Get out and support artists. Purchasing is certainly a solid way to do so in this increasingly expensive borough, but also be there physically and interact with them and their work.