Monday, December 12, 2011

Veni, Vidi, No Vici

My side of the booth
It was KPFA's 41st arts and crafts show ... my first.  Since it's a juried show, it was an honor to be accepted into it and I didn't realize how much until I got there last Friday and began to see and meet the other artists at the show.  The creativity and craftsmanship were like Taiko drums beating throughout the Concourse, you could see, hear and feel them pulsing everywhere. 

Julie's side of the booth
Julie Mitchell suggested this adventure and we thought her spirit figures and my digital art would play nicely together.  They did and setting up our booth was an easy flow (especially since our art quilter friend, Vivian Helena, had loaned me grids to hang my work on).  After the booth was ready Friday night, we were ready to mingle with the other artists at a complementary dinner provided by the show organizers.  Thus began what one of the other artists called "the best party of the year."

The blended wall
As Saturday began, I started to see Julie's popularity and the effect of her art on others.  Time after time, women stopped by to tell her which of her spirit figures they had and how important they were in their lives.  I saw women spontaneously begin to weep when they entered our booth, touched by Julie and her spirit and the figures that embody that spirit.  It was a great reminder to me of what art can be:  more than a decorative object ... a talisman of connection between people and the universal spirit that connects us all.

It's an interesting experience spending two days artistically naked in front of several thousand people.  People come to these shows for all sorts of reasons and with a broad spectrum of aesthetic sensibilities so it makes sense that not all of them would be blown away by the 220 of us artists who were there standing before them.  In other words, a large percentage of the attendees passed our booth with nary a nod.  As much as I reasoned with myself, it stung.

But, oh the people who stopped and talked and liked what they saw even if they didn't have money to buy ... they filled a well with sweet nectar.  I didn't make as many sales as I would have liked, but people did buy a lot of my cards which are miniatures of my art.  And, I did sell enough to "pay the rent."  Since I'm still early in my art journey, probably the biggest benefit of the show was all that I learned ... not only about how to talk about and display my art ... but also how to push it into new boundaries.  For me, it was like a graduate course.

No one enjoys a party more than Maggi.  KPFA should hire
her to attend the show ... she brings joy to everyone.
One of the surprising aspects of the show was the creativity of the attendees.  The parade that passed by our booth was a constant marvel of color and delight ... here are just a couple of examples.
It wasn't surprising to find out that Ginny was an
artist ... what was surprising was to find out that
her art is making large metal abstract sculptures
out of old car parts.

Meeting these two was worth the price
of admission.

Overall, I didn't "come, see and conquer," it was more like I came, I saw, and I'm ready for more.


  1. I wish I could put Transformational Threads in a show like this but because the pieces are made for me, even though by hand and even though it's custom embroidery, I'm unable to get in; it's made for extraordinarily difficult selling. I haven't sold much at all and yet I know people are visiting the Website. I know also I have the work priced to be extremely affordable.

    Your booth space looked nice. I'm glad you were able to make some sales.

    Ginny must be a very fun person.

  2. The booth looked really great! You did a good job, had fun, learned a lot, made new friends and connected with old but didn't get rich; that about sums it up for the weekend, the month, the year, and life in general.

  3. Love all the colour and smiles. Your booth looks wonderful -- and your spirit sure is shining bright! Thanks for the inspiration.