2015 The Letter to Artists Explaining the Changes this Year

Plein Air Shorewood 2015
March 18, 2015
Dear Artists,

Please know that you are very important to the Public Art Committee and the community of Shorewood. The Public Art Committee is a committee of the Village charged with raising awareness of public art. I am writing because I would like to explain the new hybrid format of our event, and encourage you to apply. As in the past, our care and focus is on you and your career has guided our every decision. Shorewood wants you here, our community prides itself on hosting you, cheering you on, and purchasing your work.

The Nitty Gritty

I would like to take the opportunity to explain the planning process that led to us organize Plein Air Shorewood 2015 in the fashion we did. Plein Air 2015 will again be funded by sponsorships, donations, volunteer time, and artist contributions. That budget needs to include many events, a mailing to all households in the village with your name and contact information ($6,000), artist benefits and community outreach to expand attendance. Plein Air Shorewood, though a committee of the Village, maintains year-round responsive website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, and more.
This event benefits the community, celebrates the profession of art, celebrates Plein Air artists, provides education, and gives the community a dazzling show of art. We even have a festive, community-oriented central focus on our artists this year – what we think will be a wonderful solution to welcoming many more people than the Library was able to hold.
We have grown very attached to you all and want you to return. In spades. That’s why the volunteers are working hard already to find homes for every one of our artists from beginning to end – four nights – so you can enjoy the walkable community we have here, bordered by the Lake and the River. We provide a parking pass so you are free from 2 Hr limit woes as well, should you want to take the car.
Calculating the Fee: Value

The fee calculation was very seriously considered. The actual average commission paid per artist to Plein Air (35%) from sales in 2014 was $229.69. We realize not everyone sold exactly that number – but many sold much more than that. And we realize that like in years past, this is a donation for public art – we just built it into the budget at the start instead of the finish. We also trust that this year you will make more than $240 in sales, based higher attendance and more pieces shown/sold. The larger scale of the final show, and sheer visibility of a 40 foot by 80 foot three-pointed tent on the largest green space in the 1.5 square mile Village will generate curiosity, excitement and sales.

Specific Value to You – What your $240 Brings:

Specifically, the dollar value of the participation in Plein Air Shorewood 2015 will far exceed your $240 and three-day commitment.

2015 Artist Benefits                                                                                 

    Dollar Value per Artist:

Artists Hosted by Community Residents      $600
*Small painting is asked as payment – can be prior painting
Printing and Mailing of Direct Mail, Posters ($6,000)  $100
Features on Social Media and Website     $100
TV Visibility and Live Media Opportunities
No commission    $229.69 to $1,190
Gallery Space Provided in a Tented Environment    $600
Each Artist having a named, lit wall for hanging work
Artist Daily Coffee and Snacks     $50
Artist Dinner at Beer Garden    $20
Artist Goodie Bag            $50
$7,350 in Artist Prizes
Winners Circle at Shorewood Public Library & Reception   $100

Total Artist Fee $240 Covers Cash Benefit to Artist outside of sales/awards: $1,849.69 to $2,810

New Hybrid Structure Provides Many Solutions
1) No Silent Auction Eliminates Confusion: Community members sometimes thought artists had donated their work to a silent auction – and this was a fundraiser for the Village.
This year, they will understand this is an art event and not fundraiser, and that they can come to you directly – there is no middle entity to answer to. We will have many volunteers to help and facilitate sales for you.
2) No Line, No Wait. You had to wait to get your checks and the Village managed stacks of paperwork, commission percentages, had checks cut, double-checked the paperwork, and had to garner Board approval for all payments in the weeks following the event. Any further sales of artwork had to navigate this process separately, causing even more delays.
In the new format, you make the deal and keep the money.
3) Artists often painted works of art that could not be shown in the final exhibit because of the piece # limitation.
Now all works you create can have a place and can be sold. You will get a 8’x10’ wall with your name on it, lit, in a beautiful tented environment – you can sell all the work you painted here. If you paint someone’s home, we stay out of it but can provide you a card that says “I painted your house – see me Saturday at the event”
4) Artists will receive prize money at the Awards Event and not weeks later.
5) Free Beer. It’s true! The traditional dinner at Hubbard Lodge is morphing into a fun outdoor Beer Garden event with dinner on Friday night for you, and music provided, in the beautiful Hubbard Park.
Did we mention the money?
PRIZES – $7,850 in prize money awarded to artists (not purchase awards):

BEST OF SHOW – $2,000
1st Place – Quick Paint Cityscape $1,000
1st Place – Quick Paint Schools $1,000
1st Place – $1,000
2nd Place – $750
3rd Place – $500
3rd Place – $500
Honorable Mention – $200 (NEW)
Honorable Mention – $200 (NEW)
Peoples’ Choice Award – $500
Historical Society Award – $200

Connect with us
In sum, dear artists, please know that you are very important to the Public Art Committee and the community of Shorewood. Shorewood wants you here, our community prides itself on hosting you, cheering you on, and purchasing your work. Hope to hear from you soon.
If you need another copy of the application, it’s here.

And so are we. Call or email me – Jenny Heyden –

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