Subject: Carving Shows
Journal Entry: I belong to the Belleville Area Holzschnitzers carving club in Belleville, Illinois and have for about the last 4 years. The club was formed back in 1967 and has put on a carving show since 1970. I started going to the show sometime in the late 70’s. It is held in the fairgrounds exposition building, which is a fairly good size building. It has one large room and two smaller rooms. When I first started going, the show encompassed all three rooms and the building was packed with exhibitors, you could hardly walk up and down the aisles for all of the people in attendance. In recent years I have noticed a large decline in both exhibitors and attendees. This has nothing at all to do with the people who work hard to put the show on. They work very hard and put on a fine show. This year in particular I think the economy has a lot to do with the decline in the number of exhibitors than in past years. My wife and I use to be involved in craft shows and I have seen the same decline there also. I have also seen an increase in the number of “ART” shows and an increase in both exhibitors and attendees. I wrote a journal blog about this a while back. I know for a fact that many people who participate in craft shows now buy much of their wares in dollar stores and pass it off as handmade. I truly believe that this has helped craft shows decline. I might be wrong but that is my opinion. I believe the decline for carving shows has a lot to do with not many young people being involved in the craft. Most of the members of the club I belong to, along with myself, aren’t young anymore. The young people I am talking about can be anyone from their teens to 30’s, 40’s, or even 50’s. I suppose that could be anyone younger than me. My question to all of you is what can we do to bring some of these younger generation people back into the fold to keep woodcarving from becoming a dying art? I am also posing a question on the forum to see how other clubs shows are doing. Are they thriving and growing in attendance every year or are they in a slow decline also? Please give me some feed back on these questions.
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