It's all about art!
ArtFusion Event founder Kathy Boyd (me), had been saying for years that she wanted to have an industry event. Back in 2003 Kathy's dream was to have a Woodstock for the faux painting industry and call it FauxStock. Some 10 years later the idea of camping out in a tent was not as appealing anymore, but the idea of an event never was forgotten. In 2014 when an existing industry event for Decorative Painters announced at their convention that it would be their last, Kathy thought the timing was right and announced plans for ArtFusion Event to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The plan for ArtFusion Event was simple enough, in theory anyway. Create an event that would bring together Decorative Finishers in a more affordable, and relaxed environment. Create something that would inspire and reawaken their passion for the industry.
I half jokingly pondered the idea of a retirement home for Decorative Finishers. It seems that the majority of us fall between the age of 45 - 65, and a lot of us are looking for something that will help ease the aches and pains of climbing ladders. I imagine it would be hard to retire from this business completely. What other job do you get to express your artistic and creative side so thoroughly? I remember thinking about this at a 2009 Faux Retreat. One of the instructors brought a canvas that everyone applied their leftover product on and at the end of the week we had created a beautiful canvas that I took home with me and submitted to an area charity to auction for their fundraiser. For subsequent Retreats I gave everyone their own canvas and encouraged them to use their leftover products from class to create works of art that they could then sell. Many really took off with this idea and have ended up having gallery showings. A great way to supplement your income!
The theory of ArtFusion Event is to not only have the decorative painting classes (faux finishing, fine plasters, bas relief, cabinets, floor and countertop finishing, etc.) that we want and need to keep our portfolios fresh, but to incorporate other art mediums. The classes chosen to be included in the Event must have something about them either in style or technique that could be incorporated into our Decorative Painting business, and give us another set of skills that we can use to create works of art that could supplement our income. These "new" class types have been encaustic, gel, alcohol ink, resin art, mixed media, and cold wax. to name a few.
So what makes ArtFusion Event different?
1. Although I have some instructors in the Decorative Painting industry that have taught at other industry venues, I like to have a mix of old and new. "New" instructors and "out of the norm" class types. I also don't want instructors that teach at a lot of other studios and venues, especially within two months prior or after the ArtFusion Event. This will help ensure that their workshop is filled.
2. We promote other artistic events. In fact every year I have offered all the different convention/expos, etc. and associations a free vendors table to help promote their own event.
3. Open to all artists. The Event was created for professional Decorative Finishers, but the longer we have the events, the more we are branching out to other mediums. There is so much we can learn from other art forms and artists, most of which can be incorporated into our own decorative painting work and art.
3. Unique event activities. We have a lot of competitions, and fun activities including Iron Faux, a play on the Iron Chef show, live auction, bingo, flying frog contest, speed networking and lots more. There are a lot of different ways to let your creativity flow.
4. ArtFusion is a not for profit event. For every event we form an alliance with a charitable foundation and after instructors and expenses are paid, and a deposit saved for the following years venue, any additional money will go to that foundation. Some exhibitors have also been asked to instead of paying AF for their exhibiting space, to instead give the money to the charity.
5. Unique venue. Every venue is chosen for not only its beautiful location, but also because it offers very affordable lodging, most including meals. They also offer a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere. From the students, instructors, vendors and on, we want to provide a way for anyone to be able to attend.
There are plans for some more great events in the future, including the debut of Artist's Underground.
See you at ArtFusion Event!
Bringing the world of decorative artists together.