It seems that every time I step on the scale I am reminded that I m not a starving artist. It was an honor to accept the award for “Best of the Best Artist” in Ottawa County. For this I am grateful, and wish to thank everyone for that privilege. Receiving that award caused me to reflect back 35 years ago when I opened my studio. It has not been an easy climb. Early on, I rented a space in an old warehouse in Cleveland to be close to my mentor who was in his 80’s. Not having much money, I had to live in my studio where I put up two walls with a door in the corner that became my bedroom. I did not have a shower or a kitchen. When I lay down at night, I could hear the rats scrounging around my studio. I also had a gun held on me and thought I was going to die. But hey, that’s another story.
Being an artist is not as glamorous as most people think. Consider the facts; the average wage for an artist is $44,000. There is no pension, health benefits, paid vacation, sick days, retirement package, or weekly pay check. As a result, almost all the artists I know have to work another job. A typical artist buys materials, spends time creating their art, then hopes and prays that someone will come along to buy it, never knowing when they will get paid. When they do, it’s usually at a discounted offer. Sadly, some of their artwork never sells. Because of this, every artist I know struggles and never reaches their creative potential. I state all these facts just to make people aware it is very common to see an artist close their gallery and leave our community because they couldn’t make ends meet. I want to encourage everyone to consider your local artist the next time you need a gift or want to enhance your home. Try not to run to any store and buy something made in China that will not last. A nice gift of art can enhance a person’s life every day. When you support any of our local artists a couple things will happen; you will make the artist’s day, they will be able to pay their bills, and it will encourage their creativity as they buy materials and create more fabulous art. And you will be supporting American jobs. After all, our products are made in the U.S.A!
A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever,
Ferguson’s Glass Gallery