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‘Its been difficult for arts’: Pandemic poses challenge to local artists

Artists face new challenges
Artists face new challenges(Kennedi Harris)
Published: Jul. 26, 2020 at 1:29 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The cancellation of several art shows and events, including Augusta’s Arts in the Heart festival, have left many artists facing a new struggle.

“Everybody’s just trying to be creative and do what they can and come up with creative ways to get through and basically just survive 2020” said local artist Rachel Bingaman.

Bingaman has been painting professionally for 8 years. She says she’s seen at least a 5 figure loss in sales this year due to the pandemic.

All of the art shows she signed up for to sell her work, were cancelled.

“I had started painting for art shows, year-round you’re just panting as much as you can” Bingaman said. “That’s a big deal and that’s where most of my revenue comes from. So its kinda crazy to all of a sudden put the breaks on everything.”

Candice Henderson is also a local artist. Before the cancellation of Arts in the Heart Thursday, she was looking forward to selling her art at the festival for the first time.

“This was going to be the year I was ready for it, had saved for it, and had enough art stocked up for it” she said. “So now I’ll just have a little bit more come next year.”

The paint has dried -- but the sales have slowed. So, artists have had to find other ways to stay ahead.

“I still have my website so I try to sell online, market online and use Facebook ads and just word of mouth. Also kinda of re-marketing to previous customers that i have new art” said Henderson.

Bingaman has also depended on online sales

″That’s carried me. I mean I still have a loss but I’ll be okay” she said.

For now, all they can do is continue to paint and hope for the best

“Its such a loss” said Bingaman. “You just hope you can recover from it and hold on until its through.”

Bingaman says many artists she knows have began teaching small painting classes as a source of income. Henderson has been able to continue her painting classes virtually online.

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