Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Perils of Outdoor Shows

We thought Father's Day weekend in Leawood, KS, was our "wind test" for this year. Saturday afternoon both of us were literally hanging on to the tent and weights for dear life in 60 mph winds. One display rack was blown over. When we came in Sunday morning, the overnight winds had moved us about one foot closer to our neighbors. But the Kansas winds were tame compared to Iowa.

Iowa has had some rough weather this year, and this past weekend was no exception. We joined the ranks of artists who have had their "showroom" destroyed by wind. This is a first for us in all the years we've been doing this; it had to happen sooner or later. We had set up outside on Friday night, along with about 8 others. When I turned onto the street Saturday morning, my first thought was that I made a wrong turn because there were no tents to be seen. Then, as I got closer, I saw all the carcasses. Thank goodness all of us considered the weather forecast and did not put out product on Friday night. We were in somewhat a state of shock or we would have taken pictures looking back the other way, which would have shown more of the devastation.

As we began picking up the pieces and seeing what we could salvage, two angels appeared to help us sort, collect, and move inside (even though we had been told on Friday there was no space inside despite the weather forecast). I didn't get their names (and should have) because they provided not only helping hands, but a calming influence that let us know we would survive this and move on. Thank you, nameless friends. You have no idea the depth of the assistance you provided us.

We were not familiar with Artsfest Midwest, the "Other" Art Show, so had naively accepted an outdoor space. As it turned out, losing the tent was a blessing since the weather was hot and miserable and the few artists who set up outside Saturday morning saw NO traffic in two days. People attend this show because it is an indoor show and after we became part of the indoor show, we did pretty well. The Des Moines Art Festival was downtown this same weekend, and we heard reports that several artists there were also wiped out by the weather. Our heartfelt sympathy is with them.

On to Sugar Creek Arts Festival in Normal, IL, July 10-11. Yes, another outdoor show. Let's hope the weather gods are smiling upon us.

Hummingbird fact for today: Feeders may be cleaned in hot water alone or with a small amount of vinegar or bleach added. Soap and detergent leave a residue the birds do not like.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June Means Wonderful Art Shows

The first weekend in June belongs to Columbia, MO. The Columbia Art League (CAL) presents Art in the Park at Stephens Lake Park. We had to miss this show last year and we are so pleased that we were juried in this year. Diana Moxon is the CAL Director and she is an absolutely amazing bundle of energy who puts forth 200% effort to take care of "her" artists. She recruits a wonderful volunteer staff, generates tons of publicity for the show, enlists an abundance of community support, and dedicates her heart and soul to this show. Thank you, Diana, and CAL and Columbia for another great show!

The third weekend in June belongs to Town Center Plaza and the Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland for the Town Art Show in Leawood, KS. This show took 2009 off, but we are delighted that it is back this year and excited to once again be an accepted artist. In 2008, under threat of severe storms Sunday morning, the show director visited each booth and urged us to tear down before the storms hit. THAT is true concern for the artists! Mall occupants support and encourage the artists, the people of Leawood support the artists, and the Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland benefits.

The fourth weekend in June will find us at a new-to-us venue, Artfest Midwest "the Other Art Show" in Des Moines, IA. We did a holiday show in Des Moines a couple of years ago and we're excited to once again visit with the supportive people of Des Moines.

Hummingbird fact for today: A hummingbird's irisdescent colors are artifacts of the moment, changing with the relative positions of feather, viewer, and light source. This is especially true of the highly specialized metallic colors.