Well, this month has certainly almost come and gone - We've been in two fairs already, and we've got one more to go, Fountain Square in Evanston next weekend (27+28). Quickie reviews of both 57th Street Art Fair & Wells Street Art Festival:
57th Street Art Fair
I am almost afraid to say that it was one of the easiest load ins we've ever had, you know, because it might jinx it for the next gig - But the easy load in could be because Andy & I woke up at 8-freaking-am. We were supposed to be there at 8am :) Our back-up alarm also malfunctioned (read: Nancy threw it into a laundry basket to quiet incessant beeping).
Chicago was still dealing with freakishly cool weather, so the weekend was cool at times, with rain. We saw a lot of customers we haven't seen in ages, and that was pretty awesome! Also, Andy had a really great chat with Paul Eshelman, our hero :)
Summing up: People came out, we sold some work, it was a great show! We do hope to jury in next year and be out of the Newbie Artists Corral - We didn't even know we were in it until customers started to point it out! Not a bad area to be in, to be honest, but still - There were pennants marking our area. Big red ones!
Wells Street Art Festival
Ah, Wells Street. We have a ton of friends who also jury into this show, and every year we cringe as we discuss how bad we think the load in is going to be.
The way it's set up, it actually makes sense: Artists are all given a time to arrive, check in, and drop off their booth and work in their assigned space. The organizers set it up so it starts off with 6am load in, from the center of the festival, then later times work out from there. See? It makes sense.
But unfortunately, it always goes horribly wrong, and even if you arrive at your assigned time, there are inevitably always 30 artists whose load in is at 7:30 that are there, at 6 arguing to be let in. And so begins the clusterf- Uh, congestion. I meant congestion :)
So here we are, 6:05am, already checked in, rolling through the gates, and we get stopped. Bottleneck due to food vendors, corporate sponsor trucks and the totally selfish inconsiderate artists that decide to not just unload their vehicle ONE PIECE AT A TIME, but to also proceed to set up their booth, their propanels, shelving, carpeting, register.
Did I mention it was raining? Oh yes, it rained.
In spite of this unfortunate beginning to a rather long weekend, the show was great - We got lucky and had a really sweet jeweler (Molly Bitters) & a very Zen painter (Ronnie, whose last name escapes me) as our neighbors, plus, most of our friends were really close as well!
Sunday was the better day in all ways (great sales, great customers, great weather). Hopefully we'll jury into this show again next year.
That's pretty much it - We've also been taking in wholesale & custom orders, and the only shop in Chicago that carries our work, Sacred Art, is going though our inventory at a good clip - Hooray! Thankfully, we hired back our studio assistant, Julia, and that has helped us keep up quite a bit.
Sooo...Next up, Fountain Square Art Festival (I hope to NOT write a report like I did last year) June 27th + 28th!