Well, as always, it was a good show and I would like to thank the organizers for doing such a fine job. HOWEVER... I must admit, that in all of my years of exhibiting at art shows, this show presented the worst weather to take down the display at the end of the show & attempt to pack up.
The picture below actually was Saturday afternoon. The rain held off for as long as it could, but then the skies just opened up and it POURED! Thankfully, it only rained hard for 20 minutes and then the precipitation subsided. On Sunday, we were not so fortunate. When the rain began on Sunday afternoon, it really came down hard, and kept coming down... within a half an hour, I could no longer see my feet when I stood in the lower corner of my booth. I had changed from my leather sandals into my crocs, and it was a good thing, because anything at my ankles or lower was under water. My cloth cooler was flooded, the tote bag that holds my rain gear & clothing was waterlogged & water was pouring into the bottom drawer of my tower where I store my supplies. I always bring my LL Bean goretex rain coat & pants, but I have never had to resort to wearing my rain pants at a show. I was extremely grateful that I had them, especially when I ended up along side other artists behind a minivan spinning in the mud, attempting to push it from its stuck position.
The show ended at 4pm and I was driving away just before 7:00. Vehicles that had driven onto the green when the rain first started, were getting stuck in the mud. Ruts formed quickly and made it very difficult for those trying to get their vehicles out, or use hand trucks or wagons to get their artwork into their vehicles. I'm sure there were unfortunate souls who had their merchandise get wet.
My jeweler friend Wendy graciously offered to help me finish taking down, since she was already packed. I first said no, but quickly changed my mind. I'm so glad I did! Having an second person to help fold up the white tent walls and keep things out of the mud was invaluable! Somehow, I was able to transport the contents of my tent into my truck & trailer without any real damage. It has however, taken 3 days to dry everything out after the show!
For as challenging as the take-down was, I must say that I was very impressed with everyone's behavior & attitudes. I didn't hear any yelling or swearing. All the artists appeared to keep their cool, even those soaked to the skin, those spinning their vehicles in the mud & those who were trekking back & forth through the mud to the parking lot w/ hand trucks. Photographer Scott Perry was all packed up and could have been on his way to a nice, dry home . Instead, he came back to help a neighbor pack up and hooked up a tow strap to the stuck van & pulled it out. Others, once packed up, returned to help their neighbor pack up their displays. I was really quite impressed. During the hour & a half drive home, water dripped down my back, my hair was soaked, I kept picking grass out of my hair that the minivan spit up... Oh what fun! For as hot as I've been the past week or more, I couldn't believe I was cranking the heat all the way home!
I would like to thank everyone who came out this past weekend to support local artists. I'd especially like to thank those who braved the weather and made the extra effort to come out when the conditions were less favorable, to say the least.
I've recently been informed by the "Friends of Belfast Park", who organize the event, that I was selected as their "2011 ARTIST OF THE YEAR". When they first told me, I was flattered, but had no idea what that meant. They have chosen my work as the artwork that will be used next year to promote the 2011 art show. Selected images of mine will be used on post cards, posters and bookmarks as well as in some press releases and yes, my name will accompany my images. Its very flattering, especially since there are so many quality artisans at this show. I will keep you posted as the new publicity falls into place. I must say, I'm honored to be associated with such a fine show. Let's hope that the weather next year will cooperate better next year!