AUSTIN— Artists Sunday, the nationwide alliance of artists and economic development organizations, launched today with more than 775 participants. Members include 650 individual artists and artisans as well as 125 state art agencies, municipalities, counties, chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations, representing thousands of additional artists. New participants are joining daily.
Planted squarely in the midst of the largest holiday shopping weekend of the year, Artists Sunday aims to make the Sunday after Thanksgiving the arts’ most profitable day annually, boosting sales for creators of art, crafts and handmade items while encouraging consumers to purchase art as holiday gifts.
Artists Sunday encompasses a full spectrum of the arts from painting, sculpture and photography to clothing, jewelry, pottery and a range of handcrafted items that can be both practical and beautiful. Performance art is also included.
“Every day we add more artists and organizations who are committed to making Artists Sunday a household name alongside Black Friday, Small Business Saturday® and Cyber Monday,” said Artists Sunday founder Christopher Sherman. “We all share the same goal of growing the universe of buyers who shop with artists on Nov. 29 and give something special, unique and hand-crafted this holiday season.”
In the lead-up to Thanksgiving weekend, consumers across the country can expect a range of activities to raise awareness about Artists Sunday, with individual artists and organizations engaging and inspiring them to add art and hand-crafted items to their holiday shopping lists.
In addition to promotions across the country, consumers can visit ArtistsSunday.com and search Artists Sunday participants by state and city or town, as well as different categories of arts, crafts and handmade items.
Greg Davis, an artist and National Geographic Image Collection photographer, believes Artists Sunday meets a pressing need for the many artists and artisans whose in-person sales have been severely limited by the Covid-19 pandemic. Beyond that, he sees Artists Sunday as having the potential to become a staple in the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year.
“I think this movement can take us to a place where Artists Sunday becomes a cultural stamp in America just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Davis, who is based in Austin, Texas. “Artists Sunday is tucked in between the big box Black Friday and Cyber Monday to create a meaningful opportunity on the meaningful day. As a shopper, you can buy something handmade that has purpose – the kind of gift that can fill a home much better than something mass produced in a far-away factory.”
Participation is free to all commercial artists and craftsmen as well as non-commercial organizations and agencies with an interest in supporting the arts. For more information, visit ArtistsSunday.com.
How Artists Can Participate
Art, it’s been said, is in the eye of the beholder. In that spirit, Artists Sunday encompasses a full spectrum of artists from painting, sculpture and photography to jewelry, pottery and a range of handcrafted items that can be both practical and beautiful.
Artists, artisans and craftspeople can sign up for a free listing in the Artists Sunday directory, which helps consumers find artists by name, type of work and city, state and country. Links to each artist’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts are included in the listings.
Participating artists get access to a comprehensive toolkit that offers up advice and templates to support marketing, and public relations efforts, as well as e-commerce tips to improve and accelerate the sales process.
“Artists Sunday is just a great idea,” said Colorado portrait artist Jim Stevens, who signed on as an artist while also registering the local veterans’ arts council as an Artists Sunday partner. “Most of the artists we work with have had no place to show their work recently. Artists Sunday gives them a nationwide platform to promote their work while getting the public focused on purchasing art to enrich the lives of their family and friends.”
Opportunities for Arts Organizations
For many of the more than 120 state and local organizations that have signed on as partners, Artists Sunday addresses an urgent need.
For instance, the Howard County Arts Council in Maryland was scrambling after Covid-19 forced the organization to cancel its annual holiday art sale that generated significant revenue for local artists. Now, the nonprofit is pivoting to make Artists Sunday the anchor for a two-week virtual event in which will feature and promote the works of one artist each day.
“Artists Sunday is a great platform to help artists while also getting consumers focused on how art can make a unique and wonderful gift,” said Mary Baxter, deputy director of the council. “But while it centers on one day in November, the benefits for artists becoming part of this network are year-round. Artists Sunday is providing so many great resources and tools that help artists navigate the business side of being an artist. It’s something that is desperately needed at a time in which a lot of artists are struggling.”
Non-commercial organizations that support artists are welcome to join the Artists Sunday Partners program for free. Qualifying organizations include local arts districts, state agencies, counties, chambers of commerce, national organizations, associations, municipalities and non-profit community groups across the country.
About Artists Sunday
Artists Sunday is a nationwide alliance of professional artists, nonprofit agencies, community organizations and sponsors encouraging consumers to shop with artists, artisans and craftspeople. This artist-focused day takes place annually on the Sunday after Thanksgiving – the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Shoppers support local professional artists, find unique, personal gifts for their loved ones, and purchase something handmade. Artists Sunday is a trademark of Artists Sunday, LLC. ArtistsSunday.com