Conference 5

This was a big year for The Conference. International became part of the title, as in the Fifth International Encaustic Conference, acknowledging what has been true from the beginning. And we moved to Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill began to co-produce it with me, providing the administrative infrastructure that freed me to continue to ideate and schedule three full days of panels, talk, and demos.
Long an artists’ haven, Provincetown was the summer center for Abstract Expressionism in the Forties and Fifties—drawing such notables as Hans Hoffman (who opened his school here), Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock—as well as the home of the “white line print” and its primary exponent Blanche Lazzell; and residence for such disparate writers as Norman Mailer, who famously owned the only brick house on Commercial Street, and Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours. A few miles west, Edward Hopper captured the Outer Cape’s fabled light from his home in Truro. And that’s just the tip of the creative community at the tip of Cape Cod.

View of the harbor in the early evening

So into this cradle of cultural history with the fabulous light, we arrived, all 250 of us, the largest number of conferees to date.  Our venue was The Provincetown Inn, a hotel and conference center at One Commercial Street, located at the curled fingertips of the flexed arm of Massachusetts. Into the mix of 26 talks and demos, we added some new events: a Friday afternoon blowout—this year, a Monotype Marathon with three creative generations of practitioners—and a Sunday morning Hotel Fair, all set into a compound that offered views of Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  And did I mention that a short walk away in town there were five encaustic-focused exhibitions?

Starting off with a Monotype Marathon
We wanted to make the best possible use of our big conference room, the one with the 250 chairs, so we kicked off The Conference with the doyenne of monotypes, Dorothy Furlong-Gardner, her student and friend, Kathleen Lemoine, and Paula Roland's student, David A. Clark. (Paula is recovering from an illness; we expect her back next year.)

Kathleen Lemoine, Dorothy Furlong-Gardner and David A. Clark, talking shop before the Marathon began

Furlong-Gardner demonstrating

Clark demonstrating the use of stencils
Below: Sandra Quinn holds up a print that Clark has passed around

Kathleen Lemoine about to demonstrate dimensional monotypes

An Introduction and the Keynote
With a variety of activities designed to engage conferees from the moment they arrived on Friday, we didn’t convene as a full group—conferees (and partners), vendors, and visiting press and gallerists—until the Saturday evening keynote. I used that opportunity to talk about the Conference in economic terms. A condensed version of my remarks is at the end of this post, but this was the gist of it: To the statisticians we may be invisible as individual working artists. But what we’re doing here together is visible. And some aspect of this Conference has affected each of us for the better in some way. It’s an example of how artists can create changes big and small.

 Keynote speaker Jackie Battenfield

The Keynote
Our keynote speaker was Jackie Battenfield, acclaimed painter and printmaker, and author of the best-selling The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love. In a low-tech talk—just Jackie and a mic, with a screen projecting her image—she held the audience’s rapt attention with a combination of encouragement, snap-to-it advice (and some snap-out-of-it advice as well).

Battenfield speaking to a packed room

 “Your talent is tender,” Battenfield told the assembled group.  “Everything in your life will conspire against you being a creative person—the people you love, your dog, your cat, Netflix. You need to figure out a way to protect it.”
More from Battenfield: 
. “What do you want? Who is your audience? What are people saying about your work? Where are you getting the most support?"
. “What is it you really want to accomplish? We’re not taught to dream like that.”
. "There are many kinds of art worlds and you need to know the players. Do your homework.”
.”Paint is the passion. This [holding up her book, a symbol for organization and promotion] is the job.”
. “Artists are underfunded because we don’t ask for enough. Take advantage of every grant opportunity. Frame your studio work as a project.”
. “Rejection is just a piece of information. If you’re not being regularly rejected, you’re not going after opportunities.”  And, she added: “Most rejection happens because there’s not enough to go around.”

The Saturday Morning Panel
The topic was “Mastering Media”—not encaustic, but the ways we get our work out into the world, via print and cyber avenues. Four working artists, all drawn from the Conference roster, spoke about their projects and offered advice and suggestions to artists who might wish to do the same. A great feature of the large meeting room is the large screen, so each speaker presented slides, video and online material.

Saturday Morning panelists: Jeff Schaller, Nancy Natale, Linda Womack, Cherie Mittenthal; moderator Joanne Mattera. Photo: Margaret Ryall blog, Painting On

. Nancy Natale demonstrated the visibility and value of her blog, Art in the Studio, both in creating community and in promoting her own work. She also talked about creating special-project blogs, such as the one on Bricolage that she created for her Post-Conference workshop class,  Making Fine Art with Unconventional Mixed Media and Encaustic

. Jeff Schaller showed how he uses videos and his graphic design skills to promote himself to prospective clients--who include designers for restaurants, cultural institutions of all kinds, and urban mass transit systems--noting that not all of his projects involve encaustic
. Speaking as the executive director of Truro Center for the Arts, Cherie Mittenthal talked about the value of the printed catalog, reminding us that artists must be prepared with good images and polished writing skills to provide the kind of material that will represent us well in any kind of print endeavor
. Linda Womack, who self-published Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax with her husband Bill Womack, shared her odyssey, including the mistakes and what she learned from them. It helps to have a sense of humor, she noted, if you are storing 500 books in your basement
. I took my customary moderator’s chair, but offered that the Encaustic Conference has for five years promoted itself largely through the blog created for that purpose.

The Fifth Anniversary cake

A Surprise at the End of the Panel
About five minutes from the end of the panel discussion, Nancy Natale blurted out to the audience, “Who likes cake?” That question was not on the roster. The devilish look on her face told me something was up. And, indeed, as two carts were rolled in, each with a large sheet cake, the entire audience erupted in some sort of, well, buzz. I’ll let Natale tell the story from here:
“The Stealth Cake Team plus Lynette Haggard and I organized a surprise thank you for Joanne to show our appreciation for her hard work and vision in organizing five wonderful conferences. The Team—Misa Galazzi (code name: Sprinklz), David Clark (code name: Cupcakz) and Greg Wright (code name Baklavaz)— also assisted by Cherie Mittenthal (code name: Chocolaz) rolled out these two giant cakes topped with images of the ball of wax that has come to represent the conference (the blue and white cake), and an image of one of Joanne's diamond paintings on the red cake. Next, Lynette (code name: Sweetumz) presented Joanne with the Ball of Wax trophy.”

The “Stealth Team” lived up to its name. I was truly surprised, and very grateful for the appreciation. And I made sure to thank Cherie Mittenthal and her very visible team of technicians (who are also artists). We had cake two days in a row after lunch. Thank you all!

Natale, Mittenthal, Mattera
Photo: Nancy Natale blog, Art in the Studio

Talks and Demos
We had 26 talks and demos over the course of two and a half days. Meeting in larger rooms allowed us to have fewer options and accommodate more people for each choice. “I could have happily sat in on every one, so having fewer choices made it a bit easier to narrow my selections down,” said one conferee. I didn’t get to photograph everyone, as sometimes shooting was too intrusinve in the room. Those who are not shown are listed at the end of this section.

Kimberly Kent demonstrating Basics of Encaustic
Photo: Linda Womack

Greg Wright using his torch for Visual Texture and Patterned Effects

Tracy Spadafora demonstrating Getting Images Onto and Into the Surface
Photo: Margaret Ryall

Toby Sisson presenting The Art of Critique

Paintmaker Richard Frumess on New Research into Wax and Paint

Jhina Alvarado on Taking the Leap into full-time artmaking

Kim Bernard's packed room discussing What's Your Work About?
Photo: Kim Bernard

Deborah Kapoor and Brenda Mallory showing options for Displaying Work Outside the Frame

Panel and audience for What the Juror Sees
Panelists from left: Miles Conrad, director of the Conrad Wilde Gallery, Tucson; Dorothy Cochran, longtime curator/director for the Interchurch Galleries in New York City, currently a freelance curator; Laura Moriarty, director of the Gallery at R&F, Kingston New York. All are working artists as well

Other presenters: Nancy Azara, Darla Bjork, Kristy Battani, Andrea Bird, Elena De La Ville, Hylla Evans, Lorraine Glessner, Lynette Haggard, Catherine Nash, Sherrie Posternak, Lisa Pressman, Tracy Spadafora, Tania Wycherley and Deanna Wood

The Hotel Fair
Staying at the hotel that houses the Conference has many benefits, not least of which is proximity. That being the case, we knew we wanted to hold a Hotel Fair. Anyone who has ever attended such a fair in New York City, Miami or elsewhere knows that the art is displayed in the room—on the beds, bureaus and chairs, with no holes put into the walls. It’s a challenge to which our conferees rose impressively. Debra Ramsay and Cora Jane Glasser had put on a two-artist hotel fair—their own—at a hotel in Salem, Mass., during Conference 3, so I asked Ramsay to mentor the event with her good advice. Simple things, like turning the bedspread over to the white lining, made a big difference. 
We made the rounds on Sunday morning. The one-story buildings surrounding the parking lot opened their doors from 10:00 to 11:00;  the rooms attached to the hotel proper, from 11:15-12:15. That way everyone got to see at least half of the fair. And guess what? Sales were made. In an informal query on the Encaustic Facebook page, revealed that several dozen artists had sold work, and others had acquired work through purchase or trade.

Some 50 or 60 rooms were open for the Hotel Fair. Mimi Muhelenberg and Nancy (tell us your last name!) invite us in

Nancy's work on her bed, above
Mimi's, below

Lisa Pressman and Marybeth Rothman's display. (They used everything in the room--wastebaskets, trays, plus suitcases, all covered with sheets--to create sculptural displays for their work.)

Kay Hartung with a black ground for her less-is-more display

Marsha Hewitt with her work. She was part of a foursome who created a cohesive installation (using temporary-stick tape)

Below, her exhibition mates Judy Klich . . .

. . .and, below, Miriam Infinger and Teddy Goldsworthy-hanner

Kellie Weeks (on nightstand) and Greg Wright

Karen Frazer's beehive, above, and Binnie Birstein's inviting mix of work on paper
Photos: Nancy Natale

For the second half of the fair, those who weren't registered at the hotel set up in the Mayflower Room.
(Next year, when we fill up the hotel with just us, we'll have a smaller common area to show the work of those who aren't staying there)

Pat Spainhour's monotype installation
Monotype was something of a theme this year . . .

. . . including the paper "laundry" David A. Clark installed in his room.
Don't you love the view? That's Cape Cod Bay

Below, another view of the installation, created especially for our Hotel Fair

Cherie Mittenthal's menagerie, neatly displayed

My painting, which I forgot to shoot, so I pulled this from Nancy Natale's blog

Charyl Weissbach turned chairs into easels for her presentation

Pamela Blum's minimalist installation

Laura Moriarty's bathoom installation, above and below . . .

. . . and below

Want to see more Hotel Fair?
Nancy Natale shows more in her blog post: More About the Conference

The Art Trade
Lisa Pressman and Nancy Natale dreamed up this event, which took place on Sunday evening after the Conference had officially ended. But don’t tell that to the 60 conferees who took part, since it felt like yet another fabulous Conference event. Everything was wrapped up in brown paper. Pressman and Natale organized the numbering system, and as they drew a number, the person who held the corresponding ticket came up to choose.

You can't tell from this photo, but some 60 conferees turned out to trade art. Lisa Pressman, back to the group, is organizing the work, which is wrapped in brown paper (and, yes, by the way, I know you all used the kraft paper from the roll in the Mayflower Room ). Nancy Natale, right, is calling out the names. I can't tell who is opening the package she just selected. Can you? (Let me know.) 

Wrote Natale in her blog: “I think just about everyone was very pleased with the work they received in exchange. People were very generous and really gave nice pieces. And we did have a few laughs—always an important component.” Read more here.

There were five gallery exhibits in town, all opening on Friday evening, P-town’s traditional night for openings:
. Kobalt Gallery, hosted the Conference’s juried exhibition, Beeline. Juried by Kobalt’s owner, Francine D’Olimpio, some 35 artists exhibited work that referenced bees, honey, hives and other apian themes. Recipients of awards were: Marybeth Rothman, Juror’s Award; Christine Kyle, Director’s Award; and Anne Cavanaugh, Castle Hill Award. Recipients each received a comped entry to The Conference in 2012.
. Bowersock Gallery’s Wax in Motion exhibition, juried by Steve Bowersock and Kim Bernard, exhibited the work of 16 artists, most of whom attended The Conference. Catherine Nash received the exhibition award, which comes with a solo show in 2012
. Rice/Polak Gallery featured Surface Attraction, co-curated by gallery director, Marla Rice, and Conference Director, Joanne Mattera. The focus was on the texture in a variety of mediums, including encaustic, in work that was largely geometric and chromatically resonant
. At Ernden Gallery, gallery director Dennis Costin featured work in encaustic by gallery artist Deanna Wood and guest artist Milisa Galazzi
. The second-floor gallery at Kennedy Gallery featured scenes of Provincetown and the sea by Cid Bolduc and Mark Kundmann

I've posted some pics below. Cherie Mittenthal's blog post, A Very Waxy Night in Provincetown, shows you more.
Kobalt Gallery, location of Beeline, the Conference-sponsored show, which was juried by Kobalt owner, Francine D'Olimpio

View into Kobalt, with Jeff Schaller's painting before you. On the stairs: Work by David A. Clark and Deborah Warner

At the top of the stairs: Juror's award winner, Marybeth Rothman's Self Portrait. More here 

Pamela Wallace viewing the work. This wall:  Lynette Haggard and Krista Svalbonas, top left and right. Anne Cavanaugh, Castle Hill Award recipient

Work by Susan Lasch Krevitt, top, and Elena De La Ville

A beehive, of course. This by Christine Kyle, recipient of the Director's Award

All the exhibiting artists: Kathleen Anderson, Susanne Arnold, Marilyn Banner, Hollandre Berube, Binnie Birstein, Jeanne Borofsky, Carol Brody-Luchs, Heather Bruce, Nancy Burnham, Anne Cavanaugh, David A. Clark, Patricia Cousins, Elena De La Ville, Leslie Ford, Karen Freedman, Barbara Gagel, Lynette Haggard, Sue Katz, Kimberly Kent, Judy Klich, Susan Lasch Krevitt, Christine Kyle, Kristin Leader, Kathleen Lemoine, Nancy Lowe, Robin Luciano Beaty, Otty Merrill, Carol Odell, Marybeth Rothman, Jeff Schaller, Su Sheedy, Krista Svalbonas, Deborah Warner, Kellie Weeks, Dawn Zimiles. 

Bowersock Gallery hosted Wax in Motion

Collaged image showing work by Sherrie Posternak, far left; Denby Dale (red); Toby Sisson (two in foreground); Marc St. Pierre (three hung vertically); Katie Kauffman (long vertical work)

 Sculpture by award winner Catherine Nash, foreground; Gregory Wright diptych
See more of Wright's work in the gallery here, and more of Nash's work at the Casthe Hill show (keep scrolling)

Lynette Haggard painting; Sue Katz sculpture

Misa Galazzi painting; more Sue Katz sculptures

The artists in this show, in addition to the ones shown: Linda Cordner, Helene Farrar, Diane Aldrich Kleiss, Nancy Toolan, Kathleen Waterloo and Judith Williams.

At Ernden Gallery: Misa Galazzi and Deanna Wood
Photo courtesy of Ernden Gallery

Dennis Costin, director of the Ernden Gallery, featured the work of two artists: Deanna Wood, a gallery-represented artist, and Misa Galazzi, who was also included in Bowersock's Wax in Motion show. While their subject matter is different, both artists employ a lyrical line with graceful curves--Wood in reference to pattern that contains layers of information and hidden meanings; Galazzi, to textiles which represent relationships, especially to those who have passed.

Surface Attraction at the Rice Polak Gallery featured paintings in which drip, swipe, ooze and patination were a prominent feature. Not all the work was in encaustic, the point being the commonalities of texture and surface in a variety of materials. More here

Counterclockwise from the door at right: Willie Little diptych, two by Lynda Ray, two by Peter Roux,  red square by Peter Arvidson, in, respectively, patinated copper and iron, encaustic, encaustic and oil, oil
(The James Tyler sculpture, foreground, is not part of the exhibition)

Another view of the work by Little, Ray and Roux

Continuing counterclockwise: paintings by Peter Arvidson and Blair Bradshaw

Paintings by Joanne Mattera (sculpture by Anne Lilly)

Continuing counterclockwise back to the entry, with paintings by Rusty Wolfe on either side of the door

At Castle Hill, Conference co-producer Cherie Mittenthal curated the Sculpture Invitational in Wax, which included the work of Kim Bernard, Miles Conrad, Laura Moriarty, Catherine Nash and Nancy Natale.

Shooting from the center and photographing clockwise around the gallery:
Foreground, Laura Moriarty; four by Nancy Natale on far wall

Continuing around: Kim Bernard kinetic sculptures

An opposite view of Laura Moriarty's  sculptures with work by Catherine Nash, left, and Miles Conrad

Three by Catherine Nash

Moriarty, Nash, Conrad (the large work center in the distance, and two small works to the right of that)

Back to where we started with a closer view of Natale's work

The Vendor Room
Before we make our last stop at the Post-Con workshops, let's go back to the Vendor Room at the Provincetown Inn. We welcomed Jane's Frames and Encaustica Cuni, along with our longtime friends Miles Conrad Encaustics, Enkaustikos, Evans Encaustics, Kama Pigments, and R&F Handmade Paints. The Vendor Room was in the Porch Cafe, so we had plenty of light all day and some tables and chairs in the center of the very large room.

A view of the Vendor Room from the door looking in. We're going to start our tour at left and work around the room

Kama Pigments from Montreal, with its new product this year: encaustic crayons for monotype, visible in pyramids on the table above. Photo: Nancy Natale

Below:  You want it all, don't you?

Jane's Frames from Fergus, Ontario

That's Jane, below, selling a selection of her beautifully crafted panels
(And note the Conference tote bag)

Hylla Evans, center, at the Evans Encaustics table

Selection, below, of paint from the Sonoma-based company. New this year, which I don't have a picture of: a Provincetown palette, with colors like Lobster, Sand and Provincetown Sky. You want them all, don't you?

The easel display not only shows some of R&F's paints, it's the raffle item offered by the company, which is based in Kingston, New York. (At the raffle, which took place on Saturday night, just before our Keynote speaker took the podium, a very lucky Deb Claffey heard her name called as the recipient of this prize.)

Below: Sets of paint and pigment sticks, though there were plenty of individual paints available. You want them all, don't you?

Pedro Cuni demonstrates water-soluble encaustic paint produced by his family-owned company, Encaustica Cuni, based in Madrid

Below: Six colors of Encaustica Cuni paints, and a selection of work made from them. Many artists took advantage of the opportunity to try the paints at the table, and many more left with the six-tube set. I look forward to seeing how artists incorporate this new paint into their palettes

Get 'yer Castle Hill t-shirts, beach umbrellas and catalogs.  Brian Taylor manages the Castle Hill table
Photo: Nancy Natale

The Enkaustikos table, shot in a rare moment when Mike Lesczinski and and Kathryn Bevier were not there

Below: a selection of their new product, Hot Sticks, made for both painting and monotype. You want them all, don't you? 

Miles Conrad, shown helping a conferee, had a different way of doing business: You filled out your order and it arrived when you got home. The Sonoran Desert colors were tempting. You wanted them all, didn't you?

Below: the message is the medium

Post-Conference Workshops
New this year: Five days of Post-Conference workshops. Three had been my limit in the past, but with Castle Hill taking the lead on this--and workshops are what they do, in a venue that's perfectly set up for them (two buildings, eight great spaces, lots of ventilation and electricity, tons of parking)--Cherie Mittenthal and I knew we could schedule classes for the whole week. (Indeed, we're even thinking about Pre-Conference workshops for 2012!) Here's a peek as some of what went on:

Nancy Azara's Visual Journaling workshop

Jackie Battenfield's Professional Practices

These waxed objects can mean only one thing: It's Miles Conrad's Off the Wall sculpture workshop

Below: Fay Senner, are you having a good time?

Kim Bernard demonstrating wax casting
Photo: Nancy Natale

In Lynette Haggard's Day of Flames workshop, participants learned to use torches for fusing; that's Haggard, center rear

Below, another view of the activity. Note the various types of torches available for use

Patricia Russotti in Nancy Natale's Unconventional Mixed Media with Encaustic workshop (aka, the "Bricolage Workshop"). Bricolage: "Collage with muscle," is how Natale describes it
Photo: Nancy Natale
Read more about Natale's two workshop days here: WednesdayThursday

Charyl Weissbach teaching her Mainly Metals workshop
Linda Womack, who took the workshop, and the picture, describes the class this way: "Charyl taught her students how to work with most things metallic, from paint to powder, pigment sticks and even metal leaf."
Photo: Linda Womack

Kimberly Kent teaching her second day of Plein Air Encaustic. This workshop took place not at Castle Hill but at The Provincetown Inn, where we had water views all around.. That's me in the white hat
Photo: Linda Womack
Read more about Womack's Conference experience here 

Richard Frumess enjoying some time off. Wait, no, he's working

Below: Enjoying the back deck at Castle Hill

The beehives at Castle Hill

On Friday morning, the last day of Post-Con, beekeeper Rebecca Matarazzi--who tends the hives on the Castle Hill grounds--talked to a small group about the art of keeping bees. (My apologies for the lack of pics. If anyone has any, send them to me and I'll post: joanne@joannemattera.com)

In the afternoon I led a Wax Walk into town, where we visited each of the galleries in town where work in encaustic was on exhibition. Our small group of about 10 got to see each work up close and to hear from many of the dealers. Marla Rice of Rice/Polak, Dennis Costin of Ernden Gallery, and Francine D'Olimpio of Kobalt Gallery all shared information about the gallery and/or the work on display. One surprise was was getting to see the work of Maggie Simonelli at Gary Marotta Fine Art, next door to Rice/Polak, where Marotta talked about the artist's work, and about the gallery scene in town.

And did I mention  that Matarazzi's Beekeeping talk and my Wax Walk were free? They were our Conference gift to the diehards who stayed the entire week. We finished the day with coffee at The Wired Puppy, my treat.

One of the stops on on our Wax Walk: Gary Marotta Fine Art, above. Photo from the gallery website
Below: Inside we saw paintings by Maggie Simonelli, encaustic with metal leaf

Two Post-Conference Evenings
On Tuesday evening I gave a Power Point talk, Looking at Wax, which took my audience on a trip through galleries, art fairs and studio visits in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Montreal and elsewhere over the past several years. Here's an image from the talk:

Lynda Benglis, Karen, 1972, wax on wood, 36 x 5 x 3 inches; shown at Cheim & Read Gallery in 2007, and at the New Museum in 2011, both New York City

On Wednesday evening, Lynette Haggard and her husband Greg met us on the beach at Herring Cove with an assortment of drums and rhythm makers. Some of us brought our own, and with Greg setting the rhythm, our Drum Circle got a groove on.  Haggard blogs about the Drum Circle here and Cherie Mittenthal blogs about it here. I've pulled a few pics from Haggard's blog to end this post for 2011:

Each polyrhythm rhythm contain several rhythmic threads. Greg Haggard introduces the rhythms one by one

Elena De La Ville tiene tumbao--has it
goin on--and dig the t-shirt (a Jeff Schaller design)

Cherie Mittenthal and Kimberly Kent play as the sun sets.
These three photos courtesy of the Lynette Haggard Blog


The blog reports, all in one place

Elena De La Ville: Encaustic Conference 
Lynette Haggard:
Cherie Mittenthal:
Nancy Natale:

*JM’s remarks at the opening of Conference 5

If you read the statistics about jobs, you probably know that artists are pretty much missing from the figures. The fruits of our labor are visible on gallery walls, or in museums or in homes, but somehow the statisticians don’t see our ongoing effort as “jobs.”

The Conference, in addition to being a great opportunity for artists to learn, exhibit and network, is a place for artists to have jobs. Last year, as Paula Roland was setting up in the vendor room surrounded by paintmakers, panel makers, and artists who were selling their books and videos, she said, “Joanne, you have created entrepreneurs of us all.”

Well, it was not I who created the entrepreneurs. That was and is something artists do themselves. But Paula was correct that through The Conference, artists have gained the professional support they needed to make a product. Through presenting, they have gained the visibility and credibility and they needed to sell their products and offer workshops. And they gained an audience eager to consume what they had to offer.  The larger businesses—paintmakers and panelmakers, almost all artist-owned and run—are selling the supplies that allow us to make art. Additionally, some of you will sell the art you are exhibiting in the galleries in town or at the in-house Hotel Fair tomorrow morning.

The Conference is able to pay artists to handle the equipment and to offer their expert advice, which is what our keynote speaker will do in a moment. At the Post Conference it is able to pay artists for teaching.  When you support this conference by your attendance, you are supporting artists. They, in turn, are supporting you with the information and materials they have to offer. And every year new artists are invited to teach and speak.

There’s more. Together we are creating jobs in a small town in not-quite-high season. The town and its businesses—many of them also run by artists—are in turn are extending discounts and deals to us. If you took Cape Air, or the high-speed ferry, you got a discount on your travel. If you take a taxi, you’re getting a discount on each ride. And everyone staying at any hotel or bed and breakfast has gotten a nice discount from the going price because of the deals Cherie was able to negotiate, based on our numbers.

You have a bigger and better Conference this year because of the economy created by this event. This is the creative economy in action. It’s not a summer camp. It’s not an inspirational retreat. The Encaustic Conference is a professional opportunity that enriches all the people involved on many levels.

You are part of something important. Write about it. Blog about it. Tell your artist friends about it.  Plan to come again next year and urge your friends to come, too. Propose a presentation or a workshop. Take a workshop. Apply to be a vendor. Or be a customer. Make art. Show it here next year. 

To the statisticians we may be invisible as individual working artists. But what we’re doing here together is visible. And some aspect of this Conference has affected each of us for the better in some way. It’s an example of how artists can create changes big and small. Thank you for being part of it.