Art for sale at South End Open Studios. Photo: Jennifer Sherr

Open studios a boon for serious collectors
by Justin A. Rice

Enduring a driving downpour, the most devoted of art enthusiasts
patroned South End Open Studios on Saturday and opened their
wallets. While attendance was down a few thousand people this
year, those that did come bought as much art as the usual crowds
of 7000 to 8000.

“Some people felt the people who did come on Saturday were
much more devoted,” said Open Studios planner Christine Farris.
“The attendance was down on Saturday but probably the amount
of selling was equal across the two days.”

Farris couldn’t quantify the money spent this past weekend but said
every year organizers survey the artists after the event to figure out
the average price point. This year, more than 300 artists exhibited
paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and fiber arts in buildings
throughout the neighborhood. There was also live music in the
courtyard at Bates Arts Resource Center and a hip-hop show on
the plaza in front of the Boston Center for the Arts.

“The BCA clicked in 850 people on Saturday, which, given the
weather, was astounding,” Farris said. Sunday saw a more casual
crowd once the weather broke, making conditions ideal for South
End-strolling. “Sunday we came roaring back,” Farris said. “The
weather was perfect. The crowds on Sunday seemed as thick as
they ever have.”

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