01 Sep Alden Art Fair
The Alden Art Fair was last weekend and I must say it really exceeded my expectations. Even though Saturday started out looking rainy and grim, sales were through the roof and commission talk ran hot. You can bet I’ll be doing the show again next year! What I really appreciated though was the attention to detail by the organizers of the show… there was coffee and cake for the artists all day long, and at the end of the fair Barbara Widmer took the time to make certain everyone had what they needed (such as a place to dispose of hot coals from my firebowl). I have the impression that at most fairs the artists are pretty much on their own, so it was really great to feel supported before, during and after the show.
It was definitely worth the effort I made to get the Alden Bank sign finished before the fair… It was only a block away and I had no end of people walk up to ask if it was my work and to say nice things about it.
I think what I enjoyed most was working the crowd— chatting and joking and, well, let’s just admit it, playing with all the people. I mean, what the heck, the entire point isn’t just to make money right? We’re all supposed to be having fun at these things. I know I did. I think I’ll have to do more of them next year. I know a lot of artists have a hard time dealing with the public, but I guess I’ve found that if you make it a fun game for everyone it improves the bottom line as much as it does the experience.
Below are some pics I took at the show of a couple adorable children who were playing peekaboo through one of my sculptures. Their parent was just telling them not to touch as I caught them from the corner of my eye and asked if I could photograph them. heh. If playgrounds still had steel monkeybars and stuff like when I was a kid, I could really get into design sculpture for kids to play with… I’ve noticed at a few shows how much children enjoy the brightly colored pieces like this one or the Dot! Chairs. And although I may not be currying much favor with fellow artists by doing it, I love to encourage kids to actually touch and examine the work. I do warn them about sharp edges or hot firebowls, but other than that most of my work is pretty kid safe and darn near indestructible, so why not? Someone’s gotta encourage their curiosity so we’ll have some artists in the next generation.