A wine and cheese reception in an art museum. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? Networking with professionals with interests and challenges similar to your own. It was a great idea and a very successful event, attracting IABC-LI members new and old and a few guests, too. But in addition to being a productive and enjoyable evening for IABC members, the event was remarkable public awareness-raiser for the Art League of Long Island. It was striking how many attendees’ eyes opened wide at the stunning exhibit of watercolors and oil paintings, and even more so during a tour of the studios and classrooms. It was beyond ‘nice.’ It was a true testament to the power of a genuine, in-person, interesting event.
Art is a form of communication. Communication is a form of art. It was a perfect pair. And the enthusiasm in the air was a terrific demonstration of the power of experiential marketing. Men and women in this business communicators group followed Executive Director Charlee Miller and Chief Preparator Zachiah Krugman attentively from one studio to the next, lingering among the smells of paint and clay, asking questions and reminiscing about their own experiences in the arts. In the pottery room, there were large stations for throwing and rolling and spinning on the potters’ wheels. In the sculpture studio, electric air compressors sat below a bench with large stone forms, ready to power the mini-jack hammers and power chisels used to sculpt the amorphous forms into works of art, one chip at a time. In a painting studio, an artist/instructor talked about laying canvas on the floor and encouraging students to throw brightly colored paint, Jackson Pollock style.
In the gallery, while guests sipped wine and nibbled on cheese and crackers and crudité, another artist/instructor described allaying students’ fears of watercolors. And in the jewelry-making studio, custom wooden workstations with many little drawers for beads and baubles elicited questions about class schedules.
IABC-LI extends a hearty thank you to the Art League of Long Island for a truly compelling event and many members look forward to seeing one another at classes and events at the Art League in the coming months!