Well I just got back from Vegas. It has taken the better part of a week to get my feet back on the ground. It was my first really big art show and I will sum it up as a learning experience.
My best chance at recouping some of the money I invested to go down there was when we got grabbed by the fast talking young fellow as we hurried by into the casino. All he wanted was a couple hours of our time to go check out their newest hot property deal.
For our time we would get a great buffet lunch and over $200 of coupons to use anywhere in the casino area for gaming, dining or spa services. They said they knew we didn't want to buy and there was no pressure, just all the free stuff for our time. We passed on the ever so tempting offer to be bullied for two hours for a few bucks.
We went back to our room and turned on the TV to the never ending breaking news that the country's financial system is on the brink of collapse. Hmm, makes me want to go down and buy that hot property right now just to go into debt.
There is certainly a disconnect in the bowels of the casino world and the rest of the nation.
My room was on one side of the big Luxor/Mandalay Bay resort complex and the art show was on the other so I had to traverse the entire complex of three indoor malls and two casinos and six Starbucks each trip.
I saw many people as I made the long trek each morning and evening. It was fun to observe the crowds. There was even a guy wandering through with an AIG t-shirt on. I'm not sure I would wear one after that company was one of the recent Wall Street failures that is contributing to this mess.
People weren't flocking to the show and I had been given a lot of free comp tickets so I tried to give them away on Sunday as I headed to the show. It was hard to do. Most people were sure I wanted something from them or it was a scam. I finally gave up before security came looking for me.
Those that did make it in were also fun to watch as they tried to slide past art they didn't like without making eye contact. It was funny to see what would attract each person. My little artist neighborhood was highly eclectic and so it could be any of us that was the favorite at any one time. None of us sold much.
So I sit here pondering my next step while keeping an eye on the economy. I worry if this will hurt my chances to sell art for a while. But mostly I worry how it hurts those most vulnerable such as low wage earners and seniors.
It feels like we are sitting pouring our money into a giant slot machine and pulling the handle.
Each pull gives us nothing.
The fat cats that run the house with the odds stacked in favor of themselves are acting a bit worried. But in the end they rule the cards and are still trying to convince us they are the only game in town.
They need a learning experience themselves.