"Things are finally coming back," said Ed Risak, a Raku pottery artist from Marquette, Michigan who's been selling his pottery for more than 20 years. After small gains in 2009-10, 2013 is shaping up to be his best year since the recession. "Larger pieces that sell for $3,000 or $4,000 are finally selling again," he said. "I've sold more of them in the past two months than I had in the previous four years."
Despite the wintery weather, artists and gallery owners are saying that the home decor buying freeze is finally thawing. The art market is shifting away from mere decoration to more of a collector's market, said Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing, a luxury trend analysis firm.
The trend is being felt at high quality arts and crafts shows such as the annual American Craft Council show that travels to the St. Paul each year and is now based in the Twin Cities. "People want unique pieces in their homes," said ACC marketing Director Pamela Diamond. "Some are taking an object and building a room around it."
For the first time, the 2013 St. Paul show now in progress is showcasing 10 rooms where local interior designers have worked with the 245 artists in the show to build a space around the art, furniture and textiles found at the show. Just as a furniture store such as Room & Board displays its pieces in room-like settings to help shoppers visualize it in their own homes, the ACC show is doing the same thing to attract new customers.
The ACC show at RiverCentre in St. Paul runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, April 19, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12, except on Friday after 5 p.m., it's $5.