The Village Art & Craft Fair in Asheville NC was quite an interesting show to do this past weekend. It is held on the grounds of a church and there are a couple of unusual rules. Although check-in on Saturday morning is at 5:45 a.m., no merchandise or display materials can be placed on the church grounds before 6:30 a.m. However you can unload your stuff and pile it on the sidewalk until 6:30. Since unloading space is limited, most artists arrive early, unload, move their vehicles and wait around for the signal. So essentially that means 2 sets of schlepping - van to sidewalk then sidewalk to booth - more work than I'm used to doing at that hour in the morning! Pronto at 6:30 a whistle (or something) was blown and a tidal wave of artists with their goods and chattels washed onto the church grounds - it was quite a sight!
Because we had an unexpected empty space on the back side of my booth, we took longer than usual to set up because we were playing around with different configurations of my display panels in order to create a walk-through. The show officially opens at 10, but the serious shoppers started arriving at 8:30 and I wasn't ready yet! Around 9 a.m. I realized that I was still in my 'set-up' clothes (pretty disreputable looking), hadn't eaten anything other than a granola bar since 5:30, and had left my cash bag at the hotel. Silly me, I thought I'd have oodles of time after setting up to return to the hotel to shower, change, eat, etc. So leaving the equally disreputable-looking Ron to man the booth and hoping that no one would want to buy anything requiring change, I hightailed it over to the hotel. Only to take a wrong turn and get quite lost, wasting many precious minutes.
By the time I got back to the show, Ron was gallantly fielding a line-up of ladies, all with scarves in hand, waiting to buy. Thankfully the sales made while I was gone were with credit cards, so the lack of cash change hadn't been a disaster.
A frenetic pace ensued for a couple of hours, during which time I sold most of my scarves (yay!). Unfortunately things pretty much died for me after that. My paintings and even prints just weren't what folks were looking for, and practically none of my fine art moved. I was so glad that I had increased my stock of scarves though - they saved my butt!
Sunday's fun rule was that, even though you could open up any time before noon, no money could change hands until church was let out around 12! Once again you had to listen for the bell that signaled the end of the service, before you could start doing business!
Although my sales were virtually non-exsistent on Sunday, a positive was that the owner of Aesthetic Gallery in downtown Asheville came into my booth and fell for some of my quilted pieces. I ended up leaving 5 quilted paintings with her on consignment. These are the ones that have found a temporary new home at Aesthetic - I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed that they'll soon find permanent new homes! They are whole cloth silk paintings that I machine quilted after painting.
|Faerie's Garden, 31 x 20|
|Afternooon Agave, 31 x 20|
|Flowers at Sunset, 31 x 20|
|Red Heliconia, 20 x 10|
|Where's The Parrot? 20 x 16|
Can you find the parrot in the last painting? What's he doing?