Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Des Moines--where Mother Nature will kick you til you are down!

Just got home from the Des Moines Arts Festival. For those of you unfamiliar with the art show world, it is a very nice show, with high quality art, artists, patrons and staff. (And Des Moines is a pretty cool town!) But what they don't have going for it is the WEATHER!!!!!

I check the 10 day weather forecast before we leave for any show and when I first looked the temp was supposed to be in the 80s and 90s with 10% chance of rain each of the 3 days. No sweat. Easy. Only, the forecast changed. Big time.

Set up Friday morning was fine, although my booth did not back up to a building--which is how it looked on the original map--but an open parking lot (read wind tunnel!) Then, a quick lunch at a nearby and highly touted Vietnamese restaurant--A Doung--that failed to live up to its accolades, a shower and a return for the preview party at 2. The show continued until 10 that night. Exhausted by the long day, we returned to our very nearby hotel--Hotel Ft Des Moines, had a beer and another shower and fell into bed. At 1:15 my cell rang and in my sleep haze I took too long to find it...but I retrieved the message from another artist who said that while my booth was still standing it was very precariously tipped and I should come down and see what I could salvage--he did say that so far, nothing appeared damaged. We hurried out--spent the next 2 hours removing art from the tent and trying to right the tent--luckily, no bent or broken structural pieces! My neighbor, Gillian, was not so lucky. Her tent was in one big pile (by the next day we figured that she'd lost frames and mats but not much of the real art!) But middle of the night perusal of the show didn't reveal all the damage. Many other artists lost pieces, booth display parts, and tents. A big heartfelt thanks goes out to Chris & Kyle Dahlquist, Jim Brown and Lisa Burge, who contacted me and helped me (and others) get their situations worked out! Thanks too, to Stephen King and his staff who worked through the night to help salvage art, fix booths, contact artists, etc.

So, day 2. The show opened at 10 so we had to get there early to rehang the booth. This day the weather guys had it right: hot & humid--heat index of 102 on blacktop in the sun. The crowds were merely slogging around. Really, it was too hot to be looking at, let alone, buying art! We survived the day by hiding in the shade, taking longer than necessary bathroom breaks in the airconditioned show headquarters (and I even slipped back to the hotel for a cool shower about 3 that afternoon.) Evening rolled around and the show put out a weather warning that more storms were due that night. So, after a grueling 13 hours in the heat, we spent another hour and half putting most of the art in the van. This time, with permission of the show, we pulled our van through that parking lot and parked it next to my tent. We tied 2 legs of the tent to van and went off to shower and sleep. And hope for no calls in the middle of the night.

Sunday. Got there early since we had to re hang the booth--so now it feels like 3 shows instead of one, with all the extra work of rehanging art. There was more damage. My booth had scooted just a bit but others were 6 to 8 feet away from where they had been. And these are good strong tents with at least 200 to 300 lbs of weight attached! Thank goodness we had tied to the van. Gillian's booth would have blown away except it ran into a light pole a few feet behind her.

So, while I appreciate the invitation to participate--185 artists were accepted out of a pool of over 1300--I think I'll look closer to home next year--maybe New Mexico Arts & Crafts will have me back! (My damage was minimal: spent yesterday revarnishing and touching up the few pieces that were...)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summertime Insanity

Let's face it. I've over scheduled my summer. I've got 7 shows (maybe 8 if Cherry Creek let me in) in 9 weeks. That is not counting this weekend--basically my "I can count on" one weekend off, this summer. Now, I've got one show right here in Angel Fire--still a show but I don't have to pack my clothes or find someone to take care of the dog. And then a lot of these shows are relatively close by--Boulder at 6 hours, Breckenridge at 5, Crested Butte at about 4 or 5. Then, we head to Park City, Utah. I've heard good things about the show but have not ever done it. Usually it is the same weekend as Crested Butte show but somehow the calendar gods worked in my favor (or not, depending on how I am feeling at that point in the summer) and I have the ability to do both. Then, instead of coming home, we'll head directly up to Sun Valley, Idaho--a show that is a complete pleasure to do. I hope to get a little fishing and hiking in, in between those shows. So, anyway, now you know I am crazy. But, I'm an artist, right? Aren't we all crazy? Then, I've slotted 2 weekends to be home so I can enjoy Music From Angel Fire's season, almost in entirety. And my old college friend, Jim, is coming out from Philly for a few concerts. I'll miss the last concert or two because we'll be at a show in Santa Fe. I'm still trying to decide how many shows to do in September and will have to decide soon. I guess it sort of depends on how I am selling. But, I get a charge out of each show I do--meeting the people who like the work, selling work and interacting with peeps. Since my life in the studio is a bit solitary--I do eat lunch with Rees and JuneBug occasionally graces me with her presence--she splits her time between the studio and Rees' office--the shows provide a little human interaction!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home, at Last!

Hey, peeps. Just a quick note. I'm home from an extraordinarily long trip. We combined a trip to Zihuatanejo with some wonderful friends with a couple of Chicago area art shows--57th Street & the Old Town Art Fair. But 26 days was too long to be gone. And, on that note, I'm finally realizing that I prolly over-scheduled my summer. Oh, well. I tend to work better that way. But, the list of to-dos is so long, I don't want to take much time here. I promise some insights into my shows and what I'm gonna be working on next. But, it won't be until tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Old Town Art Fair

Last weekend I did the 57th Street Art Fair. We stayed in Chicago to get a family visit in. But, also, I was an alternate for the Old Town Art Fair. Well, I got the call yesterday that I AM IN!!!!!! It is a show I've been wanting to do for a while and I am simply ecstatic that I am in! The weather forecast leaves a bit to be desired. But it is Chicago and that could always change. So, if you are a blog reader from near Chicago, come see me in booth 32! On Menomonee just east of North Park!

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Mexico is Home

Sorry for my quiet. My bad. Off to Zihuatanejo, MX for a week with some dear friends at a fabulous villa. Great food, times, music and fun. Then up to Door County Wisconsin with my folks, Rees & Bug and my 96 year old grandmother, Evie. It was where we vacationed every summer when I was a child. Flooded with memories of good times, I enjoyed the visit. And the barns. But, with still a week or so to go in the Chicago area, I must say I really miss the mountains--and my studio. I am expecting an actual explosion of work once I return. I've got a ton of ideas--just hope they transfer to the panel/paper well!
PS I'm sure the barns will show up in some of my pieces but I doubt the palm trees will!
PPS I hate to admit it but I missed internet access (and cell phone coverage in both places)!