How Do Kids Connect to Art?
Though his work draws kids, it's also vulnerable to a careless touch. "About fifteen years ago I was showing at the Art Fair on the Square in Madison, Wisconsin, and a little girl accidentally broke one of my glass pieces. Her parents were furious with her, and she started to cry. I told them 'C'est la verre'--such is glass. I did not expect or accept their offer of compensation. But I resolved that it would never be so easy for a child to break anything in my booth again. I went home and built a display that was on average six inches taller than my old one. Since then, I cannot remember a single incident of a child breaking any piece of glass in my booth."
Courtney Peterson, who's from Pennsylvania and sells in the Guild fair on Main, says her connection with kids began "when I first started doing jewelry featuring animals." While most artists don't think about their price point for selling to kids, she says, "If a kid comes into my booth with $10 to buy something for his mother, I try to have something he can buy.
"Often grownups come in to buy something for a child, and I look at what they select and say, 'Absolutely not.' For girls under ten, select something they might love--a horse, a cat, a heart, a dolphin--for a pendant. They will just lose a ring or outgrow a bracelet. Girls over ten will love bracelets."