Technically this was my second art show. My first was two years ago when I entered two painting in a juried show and one was accepted. That was very cool. This? Well, the Art Walk was another beast entirely. I've been wanting to do more shows, specifically more art fair types of shows, with booths and tents and the whole nine yards. I finally got my act together and made the commitment by applying to two. (I haven't heard back on the second one yet - stay tuned!)
I was sure I hadn't been chosen for the May 14 Art Walk because I assumed I would have heard something earlier, but on April 27, I got the email:
Dear Kelly --
I am so pleased that you will be part of the upcoming Wed. May 14 ArtWalk.
Eep! I was in. Then mild panic set in. So much to do! I need display panels! A set up! SOMETHING! I took some deep breaths, reminded myself that this is supposed to be FUN, and got to work planning and making lists.
I didn't realize when I submitted my application that Dwight wanted to participate, too. Oops. Thankfully the organizers were fine with it and we got to work putting hangers on the paintings, spray painting old, second hand frames, buying new frames, and figuring out what kind of panels we could make in a short amount of time. After a scouting trip to Menards and lots of searching online, we devised our own folding screen and we were set!*
The purpose of the Art Walks is to spotlight local art talent and create a sort of salon experience for them and the community. To do that, downtown businesses graciously open their doors and display windows for the artist. Each artist is assigned to a participating business and the artists coordinate with the owners to set up their art displays.
Dwight and I were first assigned to a restaurant in the middle of changing to a different restaurant, but construction was behind. It wasn't going to work. But we lucked out, and were reassigned two doors down at Matzke Florist. What a score! The owners and employees were amazing, and the store was filled with gorgeous flowers that smelled heavenly.
We arrived the Thursday before the event to set up. Because this is a way to promote artists, displays are set up early and left up about a week after the walk so that people can check out the art for two full weeks, not just on the night of the Art Walk. So cool!
We made trip after trip into the shop — paintings, the homemade screen, easels, and even some little columns we happened to have — and got everything set up.
The day of the walk, we got a call that the florist was going to rearrange the art so that we would get the entire front window. When we set up the week before, they had the display set up for Mother's Day, seeing as that's a pretty big deal for a florist (!) and had taken it down, letting us have the coveted space. The did it all themselves. How incredible is that? They did a wonderful job and really showed off the art, Dwight's in particular, since his paintings are larger and so striking.
The weather did NOT cooperate, but the people of Elkhart did not let that deter them.
We had a surprisingly good turnout, and the three hours went quickly. And we sold THREE paintings! I sold one and Dwight sold two.
Both being introverts, however, meant that Dwight and I were seriously pooped afterwards, but had a great time. In fact, we're planning on doing it again for the next Art Walk in July. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!
*Blog post coming soon for a "HOW-TO" on making the folding screen.--- You can find it HERE!