Prep for an Art Swap
Oct 16
I keep postponing sending the invites for an art swap party. The date is picked, and the time, so why am I hesitating? Am I chicken? Do I not really want to host the party? No, that's not the issue.

An art swap party seems like a logical continuation of the genius minds that brought us garage sales, Naked Lady clothing swaps, and trading for services. We all buy things we regret, or that we grow out of. Remember that first art purchase you made after college? Have your tastes changed? Probably. Do you have art you've inherited from a relative - a relative whose taste is not your own? Do you wonder how to get rid of these art pieces stacked in a closet, the attic, or a spare room?

Well, an art swap is a logical answer. Trade your art. Don't try to sell it on Craigslist, don't give it away, swap it. Hells yeah - this might not work, but why not try? Art as salvage, salvage as art - this is my kind of thing. So why the reluctance to pull the trigger? In this instance, the devil is in the details. The details are killing me - as follows:

1. Whom do you invite? Most of my friends say they have art they would like to swap, but they are not all in the same category when it comes to buying art. Without going into taste (who can account for taste, after all?) they don't all spend the same amount of money on art. Would someone who spends beaucoup bucks want to come to a party where I'm swapping a couple of nudes I picked up for $400?
2. Continuing that theme, should I put a dollar limit on the art?
3. What kind of art do you tell people to bring? Just paintings / wall art? Or should glassware, pottery, fiber art, etc., also be included?
4. Should this be couples or GFs only? This seems silly, but a clothing swap is gals only (usually). But this ain't clothing.
5. Should there be number limits on the art? Should people be told to bring one piece, two pieces, or a maximum of ?
6. What if people don't have art to bring? This question has come up! People have asked if they can come without art.
7. Are people even interested? What if two people show up and they each hate the art of the other person? What if this happens a bigger scale? OK - this question obviously indicates some insecurity on my part!

Screw it - here's the plan:

I plan to invite people who like art. No assumptions about whether it's not their thing, or they wouldn't be interested, or some such ridiculous notion. Making assumptions about others is limiting. Rather than an Evite, I'm going to send a detailed email invitation with the guidelines. My friends can judge for themselves if it's their thing.

For a dollar limit, someone suggested categories. Good idea - we will have a $100 - $300 category, a $300 - $500 category, and a make-me-an-offer category. Regarding type of art, I'm going to suggest any type of art as long as it fits withing the three categories above (including the cost of framing). There will be a number limit - each person can bring two items. No swapping - obviously - if you don't bring anything. If you don't bring anything, you're in the make-me-an-offer category.

I am going to invite couples and singles. I'll just have to learn through experience who is interested. Also, since I'm a tad nervous this is going to be an "easy" part for the host and the invitees. It will be a Sunday afternoon with a specified time limit, allowing people to come after brunch and leave before dinner. I'll have (lots of) drinks and snacks. Music, friends, art, booze, and cheese dip. What could go wrong?

So much! So very much! I'll let you know how it goes.



I think it sounds fantastic!

By angreat on 17/10/2013

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