I have a love-hate relationship with art shows, art fairs, arts and crafts shows.
The upsides or pros are these:
- We meet new people. We get to talk to artists and those who love and support the arts and the artists (us!). We can bounce ideas for new products, new ways to market ourselves, maybe someone will find us and want to represent us.
- We get out of the office and studio..both of these are good. John and I work in our home and studio. Some times the only time we get out is to pick up our mail and the newspaper. We are happy as clams to keep on working, but it is nice to see new faces and a different landscape.
- We can find interesting restaurants and shop in ethnic markets. We live in an interesting place in that we have no fast food joints. There’s nothing wrong with a burger once in a while, but up here, it’s all indie owned eateries. And we are spoiled, it’s all so good. So we are always on the hunt for something good in the cities and towns we travel through and to.
- I love to travel, and sometimes the best part is driving down the hill into Ellison Bay or up our driveway after a few days away. I love my bed more and more the older I get. But getting away is always exciting and enervating. And coming home then is too.
- Finding a treasure or two that I can buy, knowing that I am supporting an artist and bringing home some thing special for someone I love.
And then there is the downside of art shows, or the cons:
- Breaking down the gallery to build the traveling display, packing those pots, setting up a new display, then two days later, reversing the whole process and rebuilding the gallery….and part of that of course is that when people come while we are gone, the gallery looks skeletal.
- Schlepping all those boxes and shelving on wobbly handcarts
- Spending way too much time under fluorescent lighting. There oughta be a law banning them.
- Smelling and yearning for the bad hot dogs and nachos cooking all day that cost way way too much money
- Listening to those other art show vendors complain about the art show, the artists, the customers the economy etc. when their sales are down.
We need these shows. We need to spread the word about us, and get some much needed cash flow. We know we are also supporting the sponsoring organization, usually a not for profit raising money for kids or the arts or public tv or their organization’s projects, in addition to the restaurants we eat at, the motel we stay in, the gas stations we fill up at. So we are helping out all sorts of people.
We have one coming up the first weekend in February, in Green Bay at the Shopko Center, called Arti Gras. We attended this one last year and had a very good time, met many old friends from Door County and many long time customers (we call them that instead of old customers..gotta keep it upbeat and pc I guess).
Then we be in Madison the first weekend in March for the Madison Hand Weaver’s Invitational held at the Hilldale Shopping Center, a fine show, nice venue and great place to be. We love this one, and the added bonus is we stay with friends so we get some close encounters with some of our favorite people.
Finally our last spring show will be in Deerfield IL at the North Shore Unitarian Church April 25 and 26. John will do this one alone and I will stay here in woman the gallery. This is one I’ve never attended or worked, but he reports the food, music and art is all great.
For a complete list of all the shows and events we have planned for 2009 to celebrate our 35th year click on the calendar of events in the sidebar.
And as always, my favorite 😉 art shows are the two that are always open: my gallery here in Ellison Bay: an art show everyday, and our etsy.com shop..open all the time!