Local Love Spring Art Festival

Project Review

Report, Review Text, and Art Curation by: Justin Young
Local Love Project and Exhibit Design by: Musepop

This report is prepared to give people an overview of the festival and the artists’ projects. It is also prepared to review some of the methods used to produce the festival for both transparency and a document for people to potentially learn from. Photo documentation of the exhibit is below the report. You can contact me here with any questions or comments, or to request access to any additional documentation.

Read below for the full report on the numbers and production methods.
TL;DR We raised $11952.79 for the 30 participating exhibit artists, and sold $34,467.87 in tickets over the 10 day festival. The revenue split was 1/3 between production, the artists, and the venue.

The goal of this festival was to give all of the local artists a museum quality exhibition after more than a year in quarantine and also get them paid doing it. We provided free technical hardware, large format printing, build materials, transportation, installation assistants and access to a build space and tools for larger projects. We professionally documented the exhibit and paid for all of the artists that were available to be interviewed by a video crew. We also wanted to give local vendor artists a free place to sell their work.

The Local Love project was born out of the pandemic in March 2020. It started as a weekly online exhibition platform to build community and help provide some positivity and support for local creatives during a very stressful and uncertain time. This initial effort provided a fairly large group of creatives that were interested in participating in these types of projects. Additional artists were found through open calls posted on social media, blogs, through word of mouth via friends, other artists and curators. The exhibit was open to any artist or group based in the 9 counties of the San Francisco Bay Area and we tried to work with as many artists as possible.

The Spring Art Festival was originally envisioned as a holiday art festival to support local artists during a time when people might be willing to spend money to support local artists for holiday gifts and to support installation artists through a ticketed museum style exhibition. The show was initially planned in late October of 2020 with a scheduled December exhibit run. Covid cases began to ramp up again through the end of fall and into winter and we were unable to produce the show because of health closures.

We got very lucky on two fronts for this exhibit. One, Terra Gallery let us reschedule the event as things began opening up and two, the city of San Francisco went into the yellow tier the day before the exhibit began which allowed us to have much less restrictions and in turn made the overall vibe very positive. Many people were ready to go out and experience things in person and Terra Gallery was a perfect environment for this as they have such a large open space with an additional outdoor area for music, vending and food.

Credits + Thanks

This festival was a collaboration of more than 70 amazing, thoughtful and creative people. Thank you to everyone who participated and attended. I want to thank the whole team at Terra Gallery, particularly managing partner David Boyle for opening their space to the Local Love project and supporting local artists. Having a space and getting the economics right for a project like this is always the biggest hurdle. Without the support of Terra Gallery, this festival would have not been possible. Bravo Terra Gallery for being such an amazing part of the San Francisco Bay Area community! Terra Gallery is located at 511 Harrison St. in San Francisco. They have 24,000 square feet of exhibition and event space on two floors with an additional 6000+ square ft. of exterior space. It's a fantastic venue. Please support this amazing local business.

Collaborators

Thank you to all of the participating artists, musicians, preparators, and others that brought their creativity to this project. The list is mighty long, but here are the core collaborators & contributors: Ana Rivero Rossi, Anna Landa, Asmara Marek, Aynur Girgin Westen, Aziza Sikstar & Whish, Barbara Boissevain, Capacitor, Jodi Lomask, Maggie Power, Charles Gadeken and crew, Chris Constantine, Christina Klein, Crystal Vielula, Duser, Emily Weil, Grant Patterson, Kiana Honarmand, Marina Polakoff, Mark Hellar, Masha Manahi, Phil Spitler and Omar Rodriguez, Rafael Saenz, Raylene Gorum, Reenie Charriere, Renée DeCarlo, Rikki List, Roya Ebtehaj, Sydney Powell, Todd Hanson, Txutxo Perez, Victoria Mara Heilweil, Yasmin Hussein, Micah Byrnes, Golden Ticket SF, Absinthia, Xzist, Discordia Game Show, Anne Reeb, Earth Circus Productions, Everything Audio Visual, Conan Matteson, Brad Bergman, Chris Fischer, Jerome Joyce, Chris Idiom, Demian Becerra, Power Quevedo, Jessica Hoff, Super Sugar RayRay, Monica Fine, The Seasonal Apothecary, Gigi Moll, Michiko Thompson, Erous Artesenias, Haute Mess, Gavin Hardkiss, Elz, Conandrum, Don Gordo, Justin Credible, Rafa S. DJ Cole, Space Cowboys, 8-Ball, Brad Robinson, Deckard, Haute Mess, Kapt'n Kirk, Mancub, Leyl Master Black, Sol, Tamo, Wrkr, Janky Barge, Jaime James, Phleck, ILL Alien, Brother Gabriel, S-TiER, Big Seth, Kitten on the Keys.

Thank you to all others that helped support the individual artists and their projects, and thank you to the more than 1500 people that attended the festival.

Click here to view the participating artist list which contains links to explore and follow the participating artists.

The Numbers

Event Dates: May 7-16, 2021
Paid Exhibit Tickets Sold ($30): 1102
Festival Passes Sold: (Anytime / All Days $89): 13
Free Area Adults Tickets Reserved: 312
Free Children Tickets: 111
Total Net Ticket Sales: $34,467.87
Artist Donation Tickets Sold ($30): 26
Artist Donation Tickets Amount: $695.25
Money Raised for Exhibit Artists: $11952.79
Number of Participating Installation Artists: 30
Minimum Artist Payment: $348.14
Maximum Artist Payment: $556.45
Production Budget: $8,366.14
Technical Hardware: $561.18
Promotions: $895.55
Trucking / Transportation: $434.18
Build Materials: $1001.52
Installation: $2792.07
Documentation: $1300.00
Music & Performance: $1020.00
Food: $362.53

The Methods

We created a $30 ticket for the exhibition with a revenue sharing model of 1/3 to the venue who provided a complimentary drink with each ticket, 1/3 to production, and 1/3 to all of the exhibition artists. We also created a donation ticket for those who wanted to donate or could not attend in person. 100% of the donation ticket went to the artists. The festival had a free area to support the venue's cafe and for the vendor and musical artists to be able to invite people without making their guests feel like they had to buy a ticket.

We used Eventbrite for ticketing and their affiliate system for tracking artist promotional links. Each artist received a custom local love redirect to their Eventbrite ticket link which we tracked with their system. Artists that promoted the event and sold tickets through their link received 1/6 of the ticket price or $5 for general admission. This provided a way for us to encourage artists to promote the event and an equitable way to reward artists that helped promote. We raised $11952.79 for the 30 participating artists. Each artist received a minimum payment of $348.14. The artist who promoted the most received $556.45. Artists were not required to promote or sell tickets but it was encouraged and part of the promotion strategy.

Other Methods and Curatorial Notes

I have been producing art installations, events and exhibits in the Bay Area and beyond for more than 20 years. A project like this is a massive amount of work that can’t really be quantified in hours. I do these curatorial projects out of passion for people, creativity, community, and a general respect for the power of creating opportunities for others. Opportunities are so very important in life. Each one leads to the next and they help define people. We are very much a product of our opportunities. This is a statement that should resonate across all organized activities, especially free quality education for all. I’ve created so many things that I would have never thought of before just based on the opportunity. This often leads to wonderful creative discoveries, life long friendships and more.

The art world can be wrought with many barriers and restrictions to the opportunities. I try to remove as many of those barriers as possible when producing these types of projects. I try to be very inclusive and work with as many people as I can. I feel my power and skill in being an arts advocate and curator is organizing and creating the opportunities, and to engage with the artists and their vision, and to be available to help them with their projects in any way I can. My caveats in working with others is that they are highly creative, thoughtful, professional, responsive, and fairly organized with their presentations and proposals.

In regards to the amount of money raised for the artists and the strategy: While I do think it is noble to spend the time and effort to produce this exhibit and raise this money for the participating artists, I would have liked to see this amount be more. In my experience, it is very rare to be paid for group art exhibitions, especially local ones. I would like to see more of this in our culture, and for systems to be developed to make that work on a larger scale. Exhibits like this could obviously be assisted with grants and/or sponsorships but within the current climate of COVID-19, that was very difficult to obtain. The grant and sponsorship model also adds a whole other layer of work to an already laborious management process. My overall goal was to raise $500 for each participating artist or $15,000. We came very close to that goal, and I am definitely happy with the outcome. Thank you again to everyone that attended and supported the artists.

I am very proud of this project and it was a honor to produce this with such a great group of artists and collaborators. I love working on the organizational systems and structures for helping artists, creating community and producing complex events. I’m also a dedicated creative who has done hundreds of projects and exhibitions. If you have any questions, or would like to collaborate on a project, please get in touch here. If you would like to support my creative and curatorial endeavors and the Local Love project, you can do so here on Patreon.