Autumn Air Art Fair prioritizes art education

When fiber artist Pam Irvin traveled to Tennessee one weekend for an art show that she says ended up being more of an outdoor street market, she was prompted to do something different, and on a local level, to help support artists by putting their work at the center.
“I wanted a focused target audience—one that wanted to buy art and not elephant ears and pizza and stuff like that,” Irvin says.
So five years ago, Irvin founded the Autumn Air Art Fair, which she hosted in her backyard as a way for 13 artists to gather together to showcase and sell their work.
“We had a great turnout, and the next year we took it to the next level; and since I live in Clifton, I wanted to support the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, so we decided to rent the facility and have the show there,” Irvin says.
The show is now in its fifth year, and it’s grown steadily since 2009. For the first few years, Irvin saved proceeds from the event, which she donated to the Art Academy of Cincinnati last year to provide scholarships for four individuals.
This year’s show, which took place this past Saturday, generated revenue for what Irvin hopes will be enough to provide 10 scholarships toward art education.
“The Art Academy has a portfolio prep class geared toward sophomores and juniors in high school who want to go on and pursue a career in art and who need a portfolio for college admissions, so that’s a three-week intensive thing over the summer, and I’m hoping we can award at least two of those this year,” Irvin says. “That one that makes the biggest impact, because obviously some kids have the talent but don’t necessarily know what they need for the application or don’t have the materials.” 

Do Good:

• Follow the Autumn Air Art Fair's blog to keep up with the event's artists throughout the year. 

• Support art education in your local schools or at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

• Support the Clifton Cultural Arts Center by donating.

By Brittany York
Brittany York is a professor of English composition at both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. She also edits the For Good section of SoapboxMedia. 

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