It's a week after my exhibit in Lexington and I've processed the PSB (post show blues). With a few days to mull over the exhibit and attempt a business/exhibit plan for the immediate future this summer, I'm sort of stymied.
Phone contact with NYRA a couple of days ago has me questioning Saratoga plans. Although I've always considered road trips and out-of-state exhibits important, fact is they're also expensive. Vendor fees and lodging are not cheap, especially in Saratoga.
Racetrack attitudes are so out of touch with today's fan base and marketing needs, they sound as if they're speaking to me in 1980. As I inquired about my status as a artist vendor, and mind you, they've passed the buck and strung me along all year, the snippy answer was "we're a race track you know". Hmm...and also a business with a terrible image problem that's losing it's fan base like lemmings and doing nothing to attract a new audience. Did they notice the stats this past week of increased handles of ADW's (advanced deposit wagering) in Bloodhorse? So darn convenient to watch and wager on racing anywhere in the world 24/7 from the comfort of your living room.
Say what you will about Frank Stronach but he saw the writing on the wall over ten years ago when he speculated that racing centers would need to cater to the demands of an evolving clientele. In Lexington last weekend, I fielded the comments, concerns and observations of people who love my artwork but worry about the current state of horse racing. I did my best to defend and promote my business as I ALWAYS do.
Forgive me, this is turning into a rant but there is no other horse racing artist who elevates, upholds and furthers the cause of the power and beauty of the sport. It's my passion and my muse.
As I attempt to make sense of these antiquated attitudes, I wonder if my needs would not be better served right here at home. Is the grass greener elsewhere? Perhaps the answer is right under my nose!
"An artist's duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to be ready for that little artistic Epiphany." - Nick Cave