COS 2012 has 150 percent attendance growth

In its second consecutive year hosting the annual 701 CCA Columbia Open Studios, 701 Center for Contemporary Art saw 150 percent growth in attendance and 50 percent growth in artist participation.

On April 21 and 22, 2012, 69 artists in Columbia and across Richland and Lexington Counties opened their studios for a free, weekend-long, self-guided studio tour. Up from 45 participating artists last year, 69 artists received over 10,000 visits, up from 4,000 visits in 2011. A remarkable 42 percent of 2012 visits were from individuals that live outside of the City of Columbia.

“I was particularly impressed with the enthusiasm I encountered during the two days of studio visits,” said Anne Sinclair, Resource Development Chair at 701 CCA and CEO of Resource Associates, Inc. “The artists and the attendees really seemed to enjoy themselves!”

Of the 69 participating, 33 artists reported artwork sales as a result of studio visits April 21-22, 2012. Artists retain 100% of sales. Trompe l’oeil painter Christian Thee, whose studio received over 500 visits after being featured in an article about Columbia Open Studios in the May 19, 2012 issue of The State daily newspaper, was awarded a painting commission as a result of Open Studios.

37,500 copies of the 32-page Columbia Open Studios program guide were distributed as inserts in the Columbia, SC weekly Free Times, in addition to another 22,500 guides and 20,000 rack cards delivered by street teams to targeted locations around South Carolina and into North Carolina and Georgia. Target cities included Asheville, Augusta, Charlotte and Charleston, resulting in increased attendance from these areas as indicated by zip code tracking at the 69 studios. The 60,000 program guides were made possible by support of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

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