Sunday, April 19, 2015

Behind the Scenes at an Art Fair

Me, standing in my booth at Arts on the Credit last weekend. I had my abstract work on one side, and the music series
on the other. I was undecided as to what I wanted to focus on, so I went with a selection of both. Not sure if that was the
best plan or not....  Photo credit: Annette Seip
When you wander through an art fair, do you ever wonder what all happens before those doors open? I never did until I actually participated in one. Now when I apply for anything I take a good long look before I click submit. I thought since I just finished Arts on the Credit, I would give you a little behind the scenes peek... it really does require the organizers plan every detail to have it all go off without a hitch.

Photographer Annette Seip hanging her work. By the time she
was done the booth looked great... you'd never know there
was so much other stuff that came and went.
Set up can be chaotic. When you have 40+ artists with helpers (if they're lucky) trying to set up at the same time, it can be pretty insane. Wisely, Marie and Sue had given us staggered set up times so we weren't all waiting for the 3 parking spots close to the door. Our unloading location seemed to be somewhat of a wind tunnel, and we couldn't have both sets of doors propped open without creating some kind of tornado vortex in the lobby of the hotel. Not acceptable. Luckily we had Don, who stood at the doors, opening and closing them as we hauled in our gear one at a time. And believe me, we had a lot of gear. You could tell the artists that were very experienced at doing this kind of thing... they were set up and gone within an hour. It took me a fair bit longer than that.... 

A hotel employee bringing in more tables. 
Mary Anne Dente, adjusting her lights.
At one point it was difficult to move around in there...
Last minute changes were done on Saturday morning. Little things, like affixing title tags and setting out business cards. Fifteen minutes before the start and there were people lined up at the door. The place was almost instantly packed, and stayed that way, with the occasional lull, until the end. I felt like I hadn't talked so much in one go in my life... or at least since last year. What I got from the other artists that I talked to was that they also had a lot of interest along with a few sales.  It's wonderful that people are actually buying art again, after the last few years of a generally soft market. I myself sold a few pieces, and had many wonderful conversations with people browsing. 

My neighbour, Linda Vanwyck, talking to visitors to the show.
I also had very sore feet, and by the end my back was not feeling so wonderful either. Note to self: get better footwear for standing around. Something with a nice, cushy insole. 

Me and my pal, photographer/artist Dana Brady. She was there bright and early Saturday morning, to purchase my abstract piece, "The Story So Far". Didn't want it to get sold out from under her.... gotta love friends like that!
Photo Credit: David Simmons.