by Sarah Haberkern.
To the uninitiated, the novice, and the general public the collectible rug and textile business must at first appear to be incomprehensible. The buying and selling of what might seem to the average person to be literally rags and scraps, and if not that then items too small or oddly shaped to be functional, accompanied by seemingly high prices and fervor to see, touch, acquire, and own on the part of both the buyers and the dealers can be a circus that is quite puzzling and inhibiting. To help counter this ostensensibly unorthodox scenario one of the suites at the Capri (http://www.artaa.org/) will be designated as an orientation and hospitality room for young and novice collectors.
The room will feature material at or under $500 and shall be staffed with friendly and knowledgeable hosts, primarily Ulrike Montigel of Stuttgart Germany and Cleveland’s Dianne Bendas, to offer guidance, information, and advice. Nick Wright and Reyn Staffel intend to assist two hours per day.
The idea for this service began when a young couple approached Ulrike and mentioned that they were a bit intimidated and confused by the high prices they were hearing and the subsequent bargaining. After mentioning this to Dianne the pair decided to propose a special place where the novice may be welcomed upon arrival. More discussion followed and more ideas evolved. It was decided to stock and decorate the room with inexpensive, but collectible, items priced at $500 and under. The prices will be fixed, e.g. no bargaining, and the other dealers will stand in periodically to provide information, expertise, and advise for those that wish to have it.
In addition, Ulrike and Dianne plan to refer newcomers that want to know more about an item or type to the dealer(s) that specialize in the specific subject. Each participating dealer will be allowed to enter 3 fully catalogued and priced pieces. The suite is number 206 located in the corner of the second floor (first floor if you are not American).
Joyce Cole, the ARTS hostess located in the hotel lobby will be pleased to direct visitors to the room. The room will also serve as a refuge and rest spot for the weary, the confused, and the over-stimulated visitor as well as uninterested partners, spouses, and friends.
In accompaniment to this room the duo has arranged for twice daily short introductory lectures, at 11 a.m. & 4 p.m., by Alberto Levi and DeWitt Mallary, to be held in the motel courtyard. The idea is to further put newcomers and novices at ease while arming them with ideas on how to approach and navigate the show. The room will be advertised publicly.
For updates and potentially more information check the ARTAA website: http://www.artaa.org/.
Sarah Haberkern, www.haberkernonline.de, 7 September, 2010