It’s been a long journey to get here but the first inaugural Artastique has started.
It all started last year when at a Creative coﬀee get together, Frank and Patricia from Studio Amsterdam mentioned the art-shop event back in their home town of Bergen in Holland. It seems that artists have been putting paintings in windows for 25 years and it had grown into a major event for that town.
After a lot of talking and no action, Frank, Patricia, Kate Muise and myself all decided to start meeting once a week on a Monday to see if we could bring this idea to Maitland.
At first it was just about canvasing interest, but pretty soon it started to get pretty real. We had to work out who would do what and when to do what. But the time we committed to having a go we only had six months to get this happening.
First up was getting shop owners on board and having some material to show the idea. Patricia and Kate were great at that. Then Frank and myself walked High Street introducing ourselves and the concept of an Art in Shop Window event.
We needed a name though. That took some debate but in the end as the idea came from Frank and Patrica at Studio Amsterdam, it was decided to let them name it.
Artastique was born!
So after a busy month of conversing with businesses on the high st we had 30 commitments which was enough to go to stage two.
We put a call out to artists.
I would have never thought that this would be such a hard part but after another month we had some applications.
The shop numbers had grown to 40 but the artists were only at 37. So after more searching and word of mouth we finally had more artists than shops.
The third stage was now to match artists to shops. Patricia and I did that over a 10 day period.
So when 2019 rolled around we finally could introduce artist to their shop window and business owner to their artist.
Finally the day came when it was time for set up. The most wonderful thing was the positive vibe that had on the high street as art arrived and Maitland saw what Artastique was all about for the first time.
I also had two shops to set up in. Be available for promotion and help so it was a crazy busy day but a satisfying one.
The interesting aspect of this venture is that around 80% of artists are women. Thats one reason I ended up with two shops. One a men’s wear shop the other a sport running shoe shop. My subject choices suited whereas everybody else’s didn’t. This I imagine will be only for this year.
Now the hope is that Artastique will be a recurring feature of Maitand’s event calendar.