To kick-off this year’s Halloween festivities, last night I attended an art show called DARK ARTS: Creep St. Pete Local. DARK ARTS is a fundraiser for Keep Saint Petersburg Local, whose mission is to support local businesses in the area.
The show took place at Station NumberThree, a fire station in the 1940’s turned into a spacious space for art exhibitions in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg. DARK ARTS was exceptional, amazing crowd, nice atmosphere and energy, over-the-top Halloween costumes, like mummies, zombies, greek statues, even a Mad-Hatter who would’ve given Johnny Depp a run for his money; it was an all-around good time. There were food trucks with flavorful treats, live music, and even fire performers.
I was delighted to find some local glass artists, particularly my friend Josh Poll with Zen Glass Studio. He had several awe-inspiring glass works that were featured in the DARK ARTS exhibition.
Pictured Below: “Hand Foot” Glass Figurine by Josh Poll, Zen Glass Studio.
The DARK ARTS show got me thinking how paramount it is to connect with and support our local art communities. With that, here are my top 10 reasons to support local art:
- Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurship fuels innovation, bringing new ideas to life and making this world a better, more brilliant place. This is what the American Dream was founded on.
- Local Economy – Spending dollars locally helps ensure that the money will circle-back into the local economy, benefiting our communities. The phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally” comes to mind. We have to make sure our local economies are in good shape before we start worrying about the bigger picture.
- Art Diversity – Local customers help to increase the range of art products artists make.
- Charitable Contributions – Locally owned business contribute more to local charities than national big-box stores. This was also apparent last night, as the DARK ARTS show was created and organized by local businesses and sponsors.
- Community – Supporting local art enriches the community by connecting people through friendship and commonalities from all walks of life.
- Customer Service – Customer service is better when you buy locally. The artists know their products, so you are learning about the art directly from the source of creation. There are things you will never know or value about an art piece until you speak with its creator.
- Culture – Local artists make our community more interesting and help put us on the map. St. Petersburg has become known as a cultural hub for artists, particularly as one of the great glass art cities. If we buy locally, we are encouraging artists to keep it up and having a direct impact on our community culture.
- Pricing – Buying local art doesn’t have to mean paying more. Local artists work hard to keep their prices competitive. When you don’t buy locally, you have to dish out extra cash for shipping and possibly insurance for larger scale glass works.
- Environment – When you buy locally, you are reducing the added cost and environmental impact of gas used to transport the item to you.
- Job Creation – Small business are the largest employers in the nation. The more demand in a marketplace, the more good can be produced. The more goods that are produced, the more work there is locally.