Thursday, April 12, 2012

Getting Ready for Art All Night

It's that time of year again - Art All Night is coming up on April 28th, and I can't wait! 

Fifteen years! See every Art All Night poster here!

For anyone who isn't familiar with Art All Night, it is an amazing twenty-four hour art show and performance event that takes place each year in Pittsburgh's wonderful Lawrenceville neighborhood. I was introduced to Art All Night by my parents, who moved to Lawrenceville five years ago and immediately started discovering the zillions of great things that constantly happen in the neighborhood. Everything about this event makes me incredibly happy!

The motto of Art All Night is "No Fees. No Jury. No Censorship," and the concept is that literally ANYONE can submit one piece of art and it will be accepted, no matter what medium or subject matter or size, no matter whether the person makes their living as an artist or creates collages after work just because it makes them happy.  The work is all displayed in a single giant venue for twenty four straight hours, along with live music performances of all varieties. Art All Night even manages to encourage participation by children while still sticking to its "no censorship" philosophy! A quote from their website:
"Art All Night debuted in 1998 with 101 pieces of art and 200 all night art lovers. It has gained a cult-like following over the years. In 1999, submissions grew to more than 200 pieces and attendance to more than 1,100 attendees. Art All Night drew even bigger crowds in 2000, with record attendees and over 300 artworks on display, and has continued growing steadily. In 2005, 868 artists displayed their work and more than 7000 guests attended. In 2007, 850 artists entered their work in the show which was seen be over 7,500 visitors.
Art All Night promotes artistic expression in all walks of life. The event particularly encourages children to be actively involved by contributing artwork and engaging in on-site arts activities. The show includes and attracts seniors, long-term residents, novice artists, educators, students, and seasoned professionals."
One aspect of Art All Night that I particularly love is the simple, streamlined system they have in place to allow participants to sell their work.  Prospective buyers can place bids which are given to the artist, who can then call to arrange the sale. I have shown work at Art All Night twice and did not receive any bids, but this year I think I may have learned what it takes to make my work sell at this event.

For Art All Night 13, I made the mistake of submitting a piece that I had literally just completed, and because I was still very attached to it I asked for quite a high price. Also, the small scale of my quilt meant that it ended up being lost in a sea of far larger, bolder works.
Ecology of a Semi-Aquatic Mythical Land
"Ecology of a Semi-Aquatic Mythical Land," my first ever Art All Night submission, only 9.5" by 13"
The next year I made a point to solve the high price problem by making a piece specifically for Art All Night, knowing that I would be able to give it a nice low price. This piece, though, was even smaller than the first one, so again, likely no one noticed it among all the larger, flashier works.

Monster portrait created on my scroll saw.  This one is even smaller than the quilt!
 This year, I hope to solve both of my earlier problems. My quilts continue to be small, but this time I'll find a way to present four of them as a single piece of art, so that instead of a tiny 13" by 9.5" single piece of artwork, I'll have a canvas or other background that will be white and crisp and noticeable and will hold four landscape-format quilts.  The whole thing will probably be around 35" by 25", and the quilts will be for sale either all together or separately. I still have to figure out pricing.

Here's a rough mock-up of what my quilts should look like together:

Four quilts on a white fabric background should look elegant and actually get noticed.  This looks rather mock-up-y but the real thing should be beautiful!
I hope to see some of you at Art All Night - keep an eye out for my quilts!  And, while you're there don't forget to look for a piece by super talented fiber artist Martha Ressler and photographer extraordinaire Jay Ressler as well as hundreds of other local artists!


  1. Such a cool thing. Have fun and good luck! Let us know if you get noticed.

  2. oo, I want a full report upon your return.

    1. You can rest assured there will be a full rundown with photos!


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