Monday, September 9, 2013

flagstaff art in the park.

This was my second juried art fair.  Two years ago, when I was in the beginning phases of learning everything I could about art fairs, my family and I were in Flagstaff and checked out the Flagstaff Art in the Park 4th of July event.  At the time, I was taking lots of mental notes and thought to myself, maybe next year?  Maybe by then I'll have a display put together and enough art and get into this art fair.

So, two years and a couple of months later, it was pretty cool to be juried into their Labor Day event.  

We borrowed a big white van from friends and took out the middle two benches so we could put my art display in the center.  It was pretty funny-looking, having the kids so far back from us, but it worked really well.  If things go well for me in the art fair world, we may be in the market for a 15-passenger van. :)

Pringles duck faces when we were out running errands before loading the van. :)  I forgot to take a photo once we had everything loaded in, but this is where in the van the kids were seated.

My artist neighbors' booths to the left.

Neighbors to the right.

First day booth shot.  Before the downpour.

After the downpour.  Thankfully, the two ladies who had sought refuge in my booth during the storm were very helpful.  As we watched the drips in my display (which my husband & I had taped off & sealed beforehand) multiplying rapidly, I remembered a roll of 3.5 mil plastic painters dropcloth I had bought "just in case".  We installed it as an inner roof, and my paintings were saved from the dripping water! :)

My family stopped by again, later on in the day.  They had been out when the downpour happened and got to me as quickly as possible.  There was so much rain, my husband said he was almost afraid to drive in it... the puddles were the size they always say you should not drive in.

After the downpour on Saturday, it rained most of the rest of the day.  This is quite a gloomy-looking shot of the row I was in.  Thankfully, the remaining two days turned out so lovely! :)

I wasn't sure going in how I'd do at this fine art & craft fair, being more on the "fine art" end of things.  It seemed that the lower-priced items were more popular with the patrons of this event.  We had a major downpour on Saturday, which definitely hampered things.  It was amazing to see how many people came out after the heaviest rains were over, carrying umbrellas and wearing raincoats.  These people didn't seem fazed by rain.

On Sunday & Monday, we had beautiful weather and lots of crowds.  On Sunday, there was a farmers market nearby, so a lot of the folks going there came through the art fair on their way to and from the farmers market.  I had so much fun people-watching and dog-watching, and talking to a lot of people who came into my booth. On Sunday, a lot of kids practically dragged their parents into my booth to look at my avocado painting.  Funny thing was, I was slightly surprised that they seemed to like avocados as much as our kids do, but didn't really think any more about it.  On the next day I didn't have *any* comments on that piece.  I started wondering perhaps if it was because of all the farmers market patrons that came through on Sunday that I had so many avocado-loving kids come by that day. :)

Partial booth shot on day two.  It seems my booth is a constant work in progress during an art fair.  I sit there and notice things I'd like to rearrange, so I move things around.

After I was done for the day on Sunday, we walked around downtown Flagstaff and got pizza for dinner.  There are some amazing murals, and one of my sons positioned himself so the NAU lumberjack was splitting his head.  (Yikes!)

We took the kids into this historic hotel downtown, and happened upon a group who get together every Sunday night for drinks & to play Celtic music.  It was such a nice surprise! :)

The three most commented-on paintings for the whole weekend: 
1. Wild Blueberries (which is for sure one of my best works)
2. Adirondack Chairs (I wish I could count how many people walked by and said, "I want to be there!" as they pointed at my painting.)
3. Horse Eye (either people loved it or it made them feel creeped out, but I had some truly heart-felt compliments on how I had "gotten" the horse eye just right.)

On day 3, we opened my booth up to the street behind me again.  It's how we originally started out before the downpour on Saturday, but I'd been afraid to try it again in case of rain.  I had paintings on the back outside wall, too.

Another shot of my booth on day 3.

As for how I did?  Well... I sold some smaller prints, but didn't come anywhere near to making my booth fee, let alone meeting my total expenses.  But it was still a lovely weekend, fun to visit with the other artists and talk with a lot of really interesting people who came by, a nice getaway for our family from the heat.  And, it was pretty cool being a part of the event that I had hoped to get into, back at the beginning before I had a display or even enough paintings to really contemplate getting into a juried event.

A shot my older daughter took right before the end of the art fair, on Monday afternoon.  I enjoyed meeting my artist neighbors.

 A shot my daughter took, looking down towards my booth (on the left behind the lady walking by) just before the end of the art fair.

I'm still trying to find my niche for my art, whether the art fair market is even the right place to try to sell my work.  But I'm not giving up on this art fair thing yet.  I've got a juried art festival coming up in a couple of months, and we'll see how I do there.  I just have to pace myself on applying for more art fairs, because paying booth fees without selling enough to cover the fees adds up pretty quickly.

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