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Blog Post

Planning for the 2018 Art Fair Season

October 10, 2018

 

The Planning

Months ago, I applied and was accepted into two art fairs that would take me back to the MidWest. The planning, logistics and making of new work takes months of preparation. Many mornings are spent in front of the computer doing applications, applying for temporary tax licenses and looking for reasonable hotels near the art fair that also have parking for my oversized vehichle. My coffee cools in its mug as I wade through the tasks of art fair adminstration. Then I turn to sourcing my materials (yarn, and sewing supplies) to make sure it all arrives in time for the new work to get made. All of this hints at the preparation that goes into a season with 13 shows on the schedule.

 

Art Fair Anxiety

 

My last two shows of the year were in Peoria, Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky. As "Best of Show" award winner, I was happy to return to the Peoria Fine Art and Craft Art Fair. St. James Court, Belgravia Section, in Louisville, Kentucky was a new show for me. New shows cause a phenonomen called " Art Fair Anxiety." I have to figure out where the show is located, where the hotel is, where I can park and find food. From my computer screen, I plot my journey across country, and try to determine which hotel will be close to the show and have parking for the Sprinter. If I am lucky, there are restaurants or grocery stores nearby and hopefully a Starbucks. It takes strong coffee to do these shows!

 

Packing

I live on the Oregon Coast where it is about 65 degrees most of the time. Summertime art fairs in the MidWest can be hot. Packing a suitcase is a big challenge. The Peoria Art Fair was hot for set up and then the temperatures dropped. It was so cold through the Friday evening opening. Too cold for patrons to come out. Saturday and Sunday were better temperatures but then soared to 85 degrees with high humidity. I came prepared with fans and awnings for shade. The reality is that the temperatures are either good for jacket sales or not.

 

Discovering a new city

The St. James Court Art Fair, Belgravia Court in Louisville was a beautiful part of the city to discover. The show is held in a section of the city that has the oldest contiguous neighborhood of Victorian homes. Beautiful old Victorian homes surround the show. In Belgravia Court the host opened their homes to us. It was fun to see the interiors. Again, the weather was hot and humid with the threat of a thunderstorm. Few people were able to consider buying jackets for the next season.  In spite of the weather, I met some wonderful new people, experienced some of the famed Louisville hospitality and got to visit with some old friends.

 

Research

What I did between these two shows was the most exciting part of the trip. All I will say at this time is that I went to Georgetown, Kentucky to research a textile. I felt like a detective following threads back in time. I will write more about this later.

 

 

Where did Fall go?

The Sprinter and I are headed home now. The hot and humid days have already disappeared and I face navigating through a snow storm. Tonight the temperatures drop to below freezing and  the Continental Divide looms tomorrow. My hot Miso soup in a paper coffee cup is cooling by my computer.

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