Friday, October 9, 2009

Local Festival

Last weekend I participated in a local festival that turned out to be more of a learning experience than anything else. I did go into it knowing that sales would probably be nil, but I had not done anything like this before and did want to get a feel of what it would be like to show in one of these outdoor events.

This photo was taken while I was still setting up.

The weather was ideal that day…mild temperatures, clear skies and a slight breeze to start the day. My son set up the canopy for me. Arrangements had been made with the promoter to have a display rack available for me to hang paintings. That was the first disappointment. Although the rack was made to my width and height measurements, I expected more than 2x4 pieces randomly placed between the panels…what I did expect was solid panels where the paintings could be hung solidly. There were pieces I didn’t even take out of my car because I knew I would not be able to hang them. The wind would come up every so often so the paintings you see hanging on the left kept being blown off the rack so ended up being propped up under the table…and they were still blown over.

Further disappointing was the fact that I was the only artist there and my art was not conducive to the theme of the festival. I didn’t realize that it was to be a festival honoring Jesse James and his exploits, which included re-enactments of gunfights and bank robberies. Not all was negative; however, I did get a lot of positive feedback from those who stopped by to take a look. One very classy-looking lady said that the setting did not do my artwork justice. I was glad she mentioned that.

On the upside, I learned quite a bit…like what was needed in this kind of exhibition. I became comfortable talking with people who had questions, something that makes me nervous…that is talking about my art. So, all in all, even though I was glad when the day ended I learned a lot from this venture. Will I do it again? That would depend on a few factors…most importantly, that the event is also geared toward original artwork.

That's it for now...see you again soon.

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  1. Well my hat's off to you Lokelani because you did something I have not even thought of trying because 1. I don't think I have a big enough and consistent body of work and 2. it just looks intimidating!

    So good for you for trying something new and taking good things from a challenging situation. Your work looks beautiful in any setting. Your hibiscuses pops!

  2. Sheila...I, too, thought those reasons for not exhibiting also, plus the fact that it is such a hassle to get everything together, packed up, then having to set up; but took the plunge anyway. I would rather just be at my easel painting than to get out there and show what I've been doing. As far as intimidating...the first time is always the hardest. Go for it and good luck.

  3. Lokelani, thanks for sharing this experience! Brought back memories of my first outdoor festival show! Oh my goodness what an awakening that was. I had zero sales and I'm sure the judge chuckled when she passed by my booth! However, this is how we learn and grow! Your work is beautiful and my hat is off to you too!

  4. Rosemary...Thank YOU for sharing your first experience. Good to know that at one time or another we all have experiences such as this. Thank you for your encouraging comments. Now, why would the judge chuckle instead of giving a "newbie" encouragement.

  5. I've been in this situation recently too, its a valuable learning experience setting up a stall for the first time, I've since stared a collection of cheap, lightweight, portable easels so that I'm not totally reliant on others facilities (the stall I had didn't even have solid walls to mount anything on so it all had to go on tables or easels) the spare easels will also come in handy for when I'm running workshops too so it was a worthwhile investment :)