NO WAIT DON’T! Turkeys can’t flyyyyyy!
At any rate, yesterday I dropped my Turkey Hat off at the Museum of Northwest Art store, where it will be displayed for sale in the month of June.
This is for an event called Cash Cow Days, where artists’ themed work (cows and this year turkeys) is put on display in local stores. When they sell, the money is split 60/40 with the La Conner Kiwanis club – an organization that does a lot of good around here.
The hat is a work of art, in an art show, and it’s priced accordingly: $185, which is a fair price considering my time and experience. Still, I expect it to raise a few eyebrows.
So many threads to unpack, there.
Women and artists: two groups which often struggle with pricing their work fairly. We want to apologize, we don’t want to be too forward, we are enculturated to be self-deprecating. We glance away, we demur, we speak with deference. We are instructed not to rock the boat, to keep quiet unless we have something “nice” to say, to modulate our tone, to politely refuse the spotlight.
Then you bring in the line between “art” and “craft.” Most people are accustomed to thinking of anything hand-knit as a “craft.” As a culture, we don’t value the product of craft as highly as we value the product of art. Which is why a knit hat will run you $20 but an original oil painting can costs thousands – even hundreds of thousands – of dollars.
Even if the Turkey Hat doesn’t sell, I’ll feel good about having gotten it out there. Everyone who has seen it has laughed with delight, and any time you can get a reaction out of someone – especially a happy reaction – it means you’ve created something great. And if seeing the price tag – and seeing a hand-knit item in an art show – helps to adjust someone’s thinking about art versus craft, all the better.
Such heavy thoughts for such a silly hat.
(By the way, several people expressed surprise when they saw the final product, not realizing that the wings would serve as earflaps. I was surprised at their surprise. I assumed it was so manifestly self-evident that wings on a turkey hat would be earflaps, I didn’t even bother explaining it. That is what it is like, inside my head.)