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Old 20.09.2012, 17:27
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I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

Hello everyone! I have been living in Switzerland for some time now and really haven't gotten involved in the arts and crafts world here.(my french stinks! , I'm working on it...)

I am from America. There, an artist can expose his/her art in many different manners, from renting gallery space, consignment in galleries or boutiques, direct sales to boutiques, joining an art league (gallery) or my favorite, the sort of open air shows including: arts festivals, art markets, farmer's markets, or other outdoor events where an artist might show for one or two days, then pack up and go home.

Can someone give me an idea of what it is like here. Is being accepted in a gallery a difficult thing? Are there any art leagues/groups to join with private galleries where art can be shown? And, I would really like to know if there are any sort of open air events for artists to display artwork. I have seen the ceramics open air market in Morge, but have never seen anything else for other mediums. I don't think I would go to a Brocante or flea market, but something specifically for artists.

If anyone has any info or websites to go to, I'd love to hear about it. Also, if anyone knows of any artist groups (english speaking) I would be interested. I'm near Villeneuve.

Oh and finally, I make ships in bottles and paper cuts (scherenschnitte). Thanks in advance!
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Old 20.09.2012, 17:40
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

So, you'r not an artist (Künstler) but an artisan (Kunsthandwerker).
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Old 20.09.2012, 17:59
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

You could try contacting your local supermarkets as I've often seen artists setting up shop in a foyer to display and sell their work. Also you could try Stauffacher's book store in Bern as they sometimes display artists' work in the store.
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Old 20.09.2012, 18:35
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

This is a slightly tongue in cheek answer to a serious question, but art in Switzerland seems a highly commercial endeavour, with paintings not infrequently priced by the sq meter. So, I suggest you could consider:

i) also ink some ironic statement on the sails of your ship in bottles, or make the sails out of old porn mags or somesuch

iii) book a stand at Art Basel

iv) price them at c.100kchf+ each

v) wait to get rich quick!

Good luck! BTW my agents commission is a modest 30% ;-)
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Old 22.09.2012, 23:23
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

Much thanks to those who posted!

I guess it is just not as easy to go out there and show artwork for sale to the public as I had hoped.

Dannyt....you know I had never thought about making the sales out of something different. I think you may be on to something with porno mags, and I like it! Also, I hadn't heard about this Art Basel event...I'll have to check it out.

I was just hoping that someone had miraculously stumbled upon some open air artshows that I didn't know about. I have participated in a nautical event once in Morge, showing my ships in bottles, but no sales were allowed . I had a great response from the public, lots of interest, and then....no call backs. I guess Swiss people's attention spans and pocket books are about as spontaneous as my 8 month old fox terrier (no offense directed at anyone).

Anyhow, thanks again!

I guess I'll have to look into Medea's response of setting up a little stand outside local stores and see how that goes.
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Old 23.09.2012, 10:00
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

A good time to sell anything creative or crafty is at Christmas Markets.

Montreux is probably the biggest one in Vaud, but it's also very very expensive to rent a chalet, and is a big time commitment (a fortnight).

There is also the Jazz festival at Montreux... and although again most places are chalets, there are also people who just have a table-and-chair affair. I assume they are there legally, but perhaps that might be cheaper?

Last year the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Geneva had a Christmas Market. I can't tell you anything about it as I was too late to get a stand, but you might want to e-mail them.

I don't know if Nyon has a Christmas Market (my village does), but it might be worth enquiring at the commune office... or even the tourist information place. Also see if Nyon has some kind of artists and artisans group.

Another idea is actually go try and build a partnership with a local crafty / arty shop. A friend of mine has done this in Morges - the shop exhibits her jewellery (that silver clay stuff) and then people can contact her for an appointment. Why not scout around for shops that might sell your creations, build up a relationship and then ask them if they'd be interested in giving you a little display space in return for a cut of the profits?

And as far as pricing goes... my ergotherapist told me artisan work should be priced at EITHER 2 to 3 times the cost of materials (for something that doesn't take much time but has expensive materials) OR cost of materials plus 14 chf per hour's work (for something that takes longer to create).

Hope that helps.
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Old 23.09.2012, 10:54
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

The Christmas markets is a good idea to check out and also see if there are any other general markets where you might be able to set out a stand. I know Bienne for example has an area in the city centre where several people set up selling clothes, DVD/CDs, swords and miniature figures, etc. There may be a place near you where you could do this. Lausanne also has a big area near the Riponne car park where it's a mix of market traders and garage sale types so again might be worth checking out.

Another thought for next year is that there is an annual event in Payerne called Eurominiatures. It's for military historical model fans so you might find some interest there. It's a 3 day show running from the Friday evening through to the end of Sunday around July/August iirc.
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Old 24.09.2012, 19:22
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

Maybe you can try to show your work here : http://www.kunstsupermarkt.ch/

I'm not sure how they select the artists, but it's worth checking.
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Old 09.10.2012, 16:10
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Re: I'm an Artist, so how does it work here?

Hi Shipsinbottles,

I do not know much about this business but I think that there are many shops that would be interested in your art, there are also some artists that join efforts and show their works together: paper art and jewelry go together in some shops here in Basel, it is usual to see collective works from different areas together in Jewelry or Ceramic galeries/ateliers. After reading your post I remembered some local artists/shop owners that you could contact:

Glass art
Marianne Kohler
http://www.glasmenagerie.ch/cv.php

Art Shop
http://www.sevensisters.ch/index.php

Jeweler
Beat Lehmann
http://www.beat-lehmann.ch/

Ceramic artist
Ruth Moll
http://www.toepferschule-moll.ch/index.php

Good luck on your art project :-)!
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