Show Director Profile:
The Independent Artist recently interviewed Patty Narozny (above, left, with Elise Richey, her associate and right-hand woman for all the shows) of Hot Works, LLC, which currently mounts several events around the country.
How long have you been the Show Director for Hot Works?
Hot Works, LLC began in 2002, and its flagship show, the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show, was implemented in 2003. Since then, Hot Works has expanded to other events including the indoor Charlotte Fine Art Show in North Carolina, the biannual Estero Fine Art Show, near the Bonita/Naples area in Florida, the North Oakland County Art Festival in Lake Orion, Michigan, and the Boca Raton Fine Art Show in Florida. I am the owner of Hot Works and its events producer and director.
What brought you to work in the arts and arts event production?
I started out with a corporate finance degree from Wayne State University and went to work in Detroit for an alternative publication, the Metro Times, as its Controller. I became a little bored and then went into advertising sales at the paper. After six years at the paper, I worked at an NBC affiliate. Again, bored with the job, I reached out to one of my best customers, a nationwide retail event company, and was hired on the spot.
In seven years, I implemented 50 shows in the southeast of the United States and was instrumental in working on a total of 350 retail indoor shows a year. The compny went out of business in 2001 and I began working for several major events in Detroit such as Comerica TasteFest (now CityFest) and the Royal Oak Clay and Glass show.
In the long run, I became frustrated dealing with working for other eventsmany times they dont treat people well and I could not put myself in the middle any longer. In 2002, Hot Works was implemented and the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show was off to a start. Two years ago we went out of state, adding shows in North Carolina and Florida.
How many shows do you produce?
Six a year.
Do you have any statistics or interesting figures to report in relation to your shows?
We work on all the events year roundevery dayall the time.
What makes the Hot Works events special or unique?
We know how to professionally produce our events and understand how to properly promote them. Our event crew is there to help.
Why should an artist want to apply for your shows?
They are high quality, juried events, professionally run and advertised.
What do you feel are the advantages of professionally produced events vs. those run by non-profit organizations staffed by volunteers?
We dont have the issues with volunteers not showing; we have the same professional event crew who shows up each time and personally meets the artists. Some non-profit events do not advertise or they charge admission, etc. People dont realize that salaries of many non-profit organizations are very high. Every year, with non-profit events, artists do not realize that there is often a change-over with new people, so such shows should be considered first-time events.
What is the level of support for the festival in the communities where you are located?
Excellentwe know how to work with the media in every market and know how to draw the right people to the show. In every market, we work with local non-profits to have more community involvement.
What marketing strategies do you use to draw the crowd to your show?
Allbroadcast TV, several radio stations, several print media, post cards, posters, word of mouth, press releases, phone calls, very large street banners within the community, etc. For every single show we produce, there is a heavy media campaign behind it.
How do you and the Institute for the Arts and Education, Inc. partner to inform or educate art fair customers?
Institute for the Arts and Education, Inc., a 501(c)(3), is a non-profit charitable organization to educate and promote fine arts and crafts among artists, students and the general public. An essential component of Institute for the Arts & Education is the invitation to local young artists from the schools to have their art work displayed and judged by the same art professionals as the events. Furthermore, local colleges are encouraged to have students display an Emerging Artists section. Also, there are ongoing demonstrations by artists at work in their specialized mediums. For the Youth and Teen Art Competition programs there are four cash prizes totaling $250! These programs provide youth and teens a good lesson for becoming professional artists. In addition to the competition/cash awards, they have guidelines similar to the professional artists.
What is your proudest accomplishment for the Hot Works events?
Our flagship show, the Orchard Lake Fine Art Show, has been voted in the top 100 art shows in the country the last three years in a rowit was only in its fourth, fifth, and sixth years during Michigans most hard timesthat is an accomplishment! The quality of the show is beautiful; the community loves it!
What is the most challenging aspect of mounting your season?
Making sure we deliver the highest quality product we can.
What makes your shows artist-friendly?
We treat artists with respect, people are greeted with a smile, we offer flexibility, provide them with complimentary cold bottled water at all shows, offer booth sitters, provide them with an artist awards breakfast, complimentary coffee in the morning. All our shows are drive in and drive out. We are onsite during the entire event to help out where needed. We have even put ourselves in the artists shoestraveling, set up of booth, selling and tear down. We learn a lot from the artists.
What is the most important amenity any art fair can offer to the artists?
Respect, to provide them with a venue to make money.
Is there something you wish that artists understood better about producing an art fair?
There is a tremendous amount of time, energy, and investment involved with producing events. Know that we can not sell the artists work. It is up to the artist to do that.
NAIA Conference: 2009
Directors and Artists Summit
The NAIA sponsored the 9th Directors Conference on September 24th and 25th in Peoria, Illinois in conjunction with the Peoria Art Guilds 47th Annual Fine Art Fair. This year it was decided that it was important to give artists and show representatives the opportunity to meet together to address issues concerning the art show business. With the problem economy in mind and a desire to stimulate public education at art shows (with the goal of increasing awarenessand salesof American treasures), we presented the NAIA 2009 Stimulus Plan: Project ART (Acquiring Real Treasures). An outline of all of the topics and conference speakers is presented below.
Day 1: Thursday, September 24
The morning of Day 1 of the conference was a joint meeting with show represenatives and artists.
The morning started with a Keynote Address by Mike Corbin who spoke about An Art Renaissance: Applying Art to Everyday Lives. Mike first addressed the NAIA conference as a keynote speaker for the 2005 Artist Conference in Maumee, Ohio, where he delighted the audience with his appreciation of art and artists and the creative process. Since that time, NAIA has shared a number of his articles with you in past issues of the Independent Artist. Mike was just the person to open this conference on an inspiring note. A dynamic and engaging speaker, Mike LOVES art, LOVES to collect art, LOVES anything to do with art, and NEEDS art in his life. His enthusiasm is infectious, and we are grateful for his willingness toperform a return engagement as a keynote speaker for NAIA.
Don Ament followed with his presentation on The True Skinny on Monitor Calibration for Digital Jurying. Don provided a visual demonstration to underpin his discussion on the differences between calibrated and uncalibrated monitors. This graphic display helped attendees understand that new out-of-the-box monitors do not necessarily produce images good enough for viewing by an art fair jury. He showed artists as well as directors how easy it is to calibrate monitors to insure that jurors see the applicants images clearly and accurately.
We are all acutely aware of the problems with imports and buy/sell at shows. We are also aware that it is difficult to understand how to identify such vendors and how to effectively deal with them. With those issues in mind, NAIA is working to establish a relationship with the Department of Commerce so that we may know the rules, regulations, and laws concerning imports and those who sell work which includes imported components. Eve Lerman of the U.S. Department of Commerce was able to shed some light when she delivered a talk on Battling Imports at Art Shows. Eve presented concrete steps that all can take to combat fraudulent importers at art shows so that show patrons can be assured of the authenticity of the work exhibited.
After lunch, the artists and show representatives split off for their own specially tailored sessions. Eve Lerman addressed the artist group about Art Without Borders: Helping artists sell their work beyond US borders. She provided information on assistance that the Department of Commerce can give artists in reaching out to new markets beyond our borders.
In another segment geared toward artists, Carla Fox, artist and director of Arts in the High Desert, and HC (Chris) Porter, artist and artistic director of Renaissance Fine Art Fair, spoke of Artists Organizing Shows: The Issues, Difficulties, and Pitfalls and REWARDS! Carla and Chris compared and contrasted their two artist-run shows in Oregon and Mississippi (respectively), including the approaches that give their shows their unique art stamps.
Especially in this day and age of the internet and PhotoShop, many have found their artwork on the pages of programs, magazines, and passed as original works by other artists. Artists heard Diane French speak to this issue in Copyright Infringement: Protecting Yourself Before an Issue Arises. Diane shared some of her personal experiences with copyright infringement and discussed how artists can prevent easily avoidable problems with a little foresight.
While the artists enjoyed the above presentations, the show representatives were hearing about issues pertinent to their concerns.
Artist and juror Les Slesnick and Karla Prickett, director of Smoky Hill River Festival Fine Art Show, jointly presented Sticky Wickets in the Art Show Prospectus: Digital, Production, Booth Images, and other Gooey Messes. Since the early days of the first NAIA Director Conferences, a major focus has been to help shows to clean up, clarify, and abide by their prospectuses. Great progress has been made over the years. However, sticky issues still remain, particularly as digital technology has exploded and many shows have experienced changes in personnel in recent years. Les and Karla returned to this subject to examine new concerns, re-clarify ongoing issues and lead a discussion of the prospectus as a policy guideline and contract between shows and artists.
NAIA Board member Holly Olinger is on a crusade. She was inspired by work of the Handmade in America group and is leading the movement forward through the NAIA, urging art shows to support and promote the many talented artists in the U.S. Holly presented Handmade in America to showcase ideas that could be incorporated into shows to promote pride and enthusiasm for the talents of U.S. artists as their handiwork helps to stimulate the economybuying American puts money back into our system. Its a win/win for everyone.
The directors had their own breakout sessions with three concurrent presentations:
EMERGENCY!! Dealing with the UnexpectedVic Gutman of the Omaha Summer Art Fair described how the Omaha show responded quickly and effectively to horrible storms in the spring of 2009. Vic shared his experience with real show emergencies and how advance planning can prevent disasters and save a show.
Patron Programs: Making Them SuccessfulKim Armstrong, Peoria Fine Art Fair, and Rona Katz, artist, spoke of how the development of successful patron programs is an art in itself.
Providing Jury Feedback to ArtistsCarla Fox, Art in the High Desert Festival, described an easy method of feedback used by her show to provide artists with information they are looking for. Carla explains how this helped improve the show overall, as the information was used to strengthen future applications.
Day 2 of the conference was given over to show representatives.
Holly Olinger and Connie Mettler, ArtFairCalendar.com, presented Tech Culture: Using Social Networking to Promote Your Show. Connie and Holly took on Twitter, texting, Facebook, My Space, and other social networking methods, demystified them, and showed how beneficial and FREE these methods could be in promoting and advertising shows.
Three presenters spoke of how shows could effectively Forge Ahead in a Healing Economy.
Kim Armstrong discussed What Do You Do When the Money Dries Up? Learning To Do a Lot With a Little. The Peoria Fine Arts show is a small show that does a wonderful job on a shoestring budget. Kim shared their experience on the subject with attendees.
Artist and NAIA Board Chairman Sally Bright teamed with Sara Shamberger of Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff (St. Joseph, Michigan) to describe the Home Hosting Options for Artists program beginning to be used by some shows to help artists save money on lodging during shows, make new friends, and promote good will and ambassadorship between artists and shows.
In Make New Friends, but Keep the Old: Sponsor Retention Patty Gregory of Art on the Square in Belleville, Illinois, addressed how, when times are tough, shows can retain sponsorship even when companies try to rein in spending to concentrate on cash flow.
The afternoon session began by addressing digital jurying.
Kim Armstrong kicked off with The Honest Truth about Digital Jurying and the Bottom Line. Kim addressed the question: does an increase in the number of artist applications really result in more money to shows who participate in the two major digital jurying services? Check the NAIA website to read some of the discussion of a topic which is the subject of much speculation.
In The Independent Jurythe rewards and consequences of making your own way in the world Jay Snyder of By Hand Festivals and Its a Bird! Its a Plane! No, WaitIts an Entry Thingy! Chris Ritke of Entry Thingy discussed the alternatives shows have to ZAPPlication and Juried Art Services. They presented show representatives with entry system options which may be a better fit for their shows. These systes employ digital image formatting that artists use for other services.
In order to continue the vitality of art, new generations are needed to keep the blood fresh. In The Next Generation: Reaching Out to Emerging Artists, Rick Bryant, Pam Lautsch, and James Thurman of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts told how art students at Penn State University are learning about the opportunities within art shows through a professional practice class. The class features outside speakers who talk about displays, retail etiquette, taxes, and other show matters. Students then apply to help man a special student group booth at the Central Pennsylvania Festival by submitting work through the regular ZAPP jury process. Thus, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts learns as much from the students as the students learn about the show, and a new generation of art show artists begins to emerge.
The conference began with a presentation on Project ART (Acquiring Real Treasures), suggesting some idea of how shows can use brochures, pamphlets, and other materials to promote their shows and to educate the public concerning the art and artists appearing in the shows. The theme continued throughout the conference, with show directors encouraged to add ideas to flipcharts and boards.
The conference wrapped up with Cindy Lerick of the St. Louis Art Fair. In Tying the Ends Together and Making Sense of it all: Project ART!, Cindy took the suggestions that were contributed during the past two days and dicussed how shows could take different ideas and tailor them to fit their individual ev
ents. She helped to construct a template of a common project in order to promote their show, educate, and contribute to the economybenefitting all and used to create a stronger national art show business.
NAIA emerged from the conference with a large task and an imperativeto take all initiatives and programs started at the conference and follow up on them. Toward that end, well utilize the various social networking venues to facilitate discussion and input, encouraging artists and shows to get involved in the programs and movements. As the networks are established, NAIA will be your go to place for information gathering and dissemination.
Look for more information at
To be more thoroughly informed and if you want to get involved, please join NAIA. Were always looking for new ideas and energy!
At the time this article went to press, the conference had not yet taken place. Look for a follow-up article in the Spring 2010 issue of the IA concerning the conference; you may also visit
https://NAIA-Artists.org/work/SummitResults/2009index.htm for updated news.