Art on Square sales top $1 million, nearly keep pace with last year

News-DemocratMay 29, 2013 

— Sales from this year's Art on the Square topped $1 million, which is slightly lower than last year's show.

Patty Gregory, executive director of Art on the Square, said the average each artist made in net sales was about $9,622.

Included in total sales is about $101,000 the art show committee sold in Art Cash, which act as pre-sale vouchers to buy art at the show, Gregory said.

The Art Cash program gives artists a feeling that the area is committed to event, Gregory said.

But Art Cash is also popular with attendees. For instance, some metro-east brides even asked for wedding gifts in the form of Art Cash so they could purchase art pieces for their new homes, Gregory said.

Gregory said she is pleased the numbers were about the same as the previous year. The 2012 show brought in $1.1 million in sales, including $117,000 through Art Cash.

The event held May 17-19 in downtown Belleville drew a crowd of about 75,000.

"We were so thrilled with the community support," Gregory said. "The artists always say there's a special feel to the show."

Gregory believes the show's special atmosphere is created by keeping the affair small and intimate, having downtown as a beautiful venue and interacting with the city's residents and volunteers.

More than 600 people volunteered for the event this year, Gregory said.

"It's really amazing -- the type of people and the different backgrounds of everybody at the table," Gregory said.

The committee will work next year to get more young people involved.

"We would love to have younger volunteers we can mentor so the show could continue to go on over the years," Gregory said.

Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at jlee@bnd.com or 239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.

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