madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

GFAA Winter Fine Arts Fair at Tioga

Short version: officially a fabulous show.

Friday evening, show hours scheduled from 17:00 to 21:00. Headed over about 13:30 or so (Where are my notes? There should be notes!) to start setup, in part because going through the e-mail trail I discovered I'd never received, and therefor submitted the application. Accepted into the show, yes, application no. That got straightened out fairly easily, actually, since there were still empty booth spaces.

Setup didn't take long, with the most aggravating part being the new E-Z Up® is still so new it is a bit stiff going up. I think this is primarily the canopy fabric, and it will stretch a bit with each use. Even so, up and the art walls hung, and art hung, and lights placed with extension cord to power (look at the hours; most of this day's event took place after sunset) done. Then I played a bit with the extension shade fly, to discover one of the two bars provided is a shade (pun intended) too big for the holes in the pavilion legs designed for them. The other one fits fine. Will play more with this at home later.

It seemed to me that people started to wander through earlier than the 17:00 start time, like between four and five o'clock, though they may have been other artists going back and forth between their vehicles and booths. In any event, people did start coming through by 17:00, a slow yet steady flow which also steadily increased in number. I don't know attendance numbers, I do know we saw a good number of people, even with our space being well and truly the Western Front out on the end of one part of the fair.

Booths were set up, looking at Tioga Town Centre as a map, in an H pattern, the short cross bar being the central road from the front to the bandstand area where the Tioga Town Centre Farmers Market is held every Monday evening. The front parking area, and the road on the south side of the Town Centre buildings (bisected by the roundabout which goes around the bandstand) comprised the two sides of the H, and we were at the base of the right-side leg. The Fair made good use of that bandstand, BTW, with a DJ kicking off the evening followed by live music through the night.

I really liked the ambiance as the sun set and twilight gathered into darkness and one looked down the road seeing pavilion booths lit from within. Lots of different variations on lighting, some using battery powered lanterns, most using clip-on portable lights, others using some type of directed lighting or a floor-standing pole lamp of some sort. Nearly all the pavilions were white fabric, and looked like white illuminated balloons sitting there. (This might actually be an unfortunate image, as you will learn.)

Saw a few people I know and who had seen the publicity I put up at Hospital, as well as some others who'd also seen or heard the publicity in local media. The first night of the show also contributed to it being, officially, a good show by making a sale to an acquaintance. She offered and I accepted keeping the piece in the booth on display, marked as Sold. Will deliver it tomorrow.

At closing time, most (nearly all) the artists simply closed up their pavilions with sidewalls and left everything there; we may progress to this at some point, but we did pack up the artwork back into the tote crates and loaded that into the Subaru. Then we dropped the pavilion to its lowest height, cynched the weight bags to the new height (we also used the provided metal feet weight platform add-ons) and left. Home and in bed by 21:30 what with a big day again on Saturday.

Slept later than normal for Saturday, because we'd notified the Haile Town Centre Farmers Market folks we wouldn't be there that day except Herself made arrangements for milk deliveries to our regulars who need their milk on Saturdays. So one whole hour extra sleep! Or sort of, with a later go to bed as it were. Any way, out the door by 7:45, fed Ms. Truffles and teh Horses on the way out, and back on site for setup by 08: oh, twenty-ish. Didn't not time exactly. Set up and ready to go by 09:30 (perhaps a bit earlier) and enjoying the last of my coffee as I watched other folk finishing their setup.

Live music started up the day at opening, 10:00, and the day started much like Friday evening with a slow, steady flow. Once again the crowd included some people I know and with whom I'd exchanged early info that I'd be here. Nice to see familiar faces! The morning also contributed to the weekend being, officially, a very good show with a second sale (more details on sales to come). I'm glad the sale took place in the morning.

The weather Saturday started chilly, with overcast, and around 11:00 the breeze picked up. We'd expected this, from watching the Weather Channel App, and is why we packed all four of our weight bags.

The weight bags are canvas totes we picked up at a garage sale, and we've filled a combination of 2-litre empty soda bottles and 6 litre empty laundry soap jugs. Each bag holds one jug and two bottles; gives each one around 10 kilograms (22 pounds for you metric challenged folks... friendly rude comments about go back to school, eh). One on each corner sitting on those metal add-on foot plates and cinched in place with a tie-down strap does a moderate good job. From our experience with the Farmers Market here, we know Tioga seems to attract breezes even if the forecast is for calm winds, so we always bring at least two of these.

Saturday's forecast projected winds up to 28 kph. Yes, that's nearly 18 mph O Metrically Challenged. I suspect we experienced some gusts a tad faster than those, as well, and for a couple hours (noon to 14:00) I played Interactive Art Display by standing in the centre of the pavilion and holding on to the frame when things started swaying a bit more than happy to me. With one of those gusts, our pavilion walked over 15-20 cm or so (Figure It Out, O Metrically Challenged, 2.54 cm per 1 inch), and that with me being the Art Pavilion Commuter holding onto the overhead rail.

The check-in booth just outside the barricades to my west (told you we were out there on the frontier) shed its four weight buckets (on those same foot-plates) and took a short ballistic flight bouncing off two automobiles in the Artist Parking behind me. I didn't see it happen, did hear it, and I figure that the gust walked that pavilion like mine only the weight buckets, being simply on the feet (which pivot) stayed behind so then the pavilion took off.

Nobody was injured other than the cars, and those fairly minor; dings and scratches. Though some of those dings and scratches are going to be moderately expensive dings because they were in a BMW sedan. Missed our Subaru.

Herself arrived a bit after 14:00 as the winds slacked off to mere breezes. The overcast started to break about the same time, yet never got any better than Partly Cloudy so not a lot of sun. She brought my duster coat with her, and I really appreciated the wind-break capabilities of that coat. I'd been adequately layered, and being inside the pavilion helped though not as much as you might think. So with the wind chill it was getting a bit on the cold side to me.

With both of us there, same as Friday evening, we could break for each other and go wander through the Fair. Lots of interesting pieces, interesting people. Some which stand out, the Englishman (based on accent) who did marquetry. Fabulous, exquisite marquetry. A local lady who does beaded / embroidered jewelry and items (hence the embroidered), which doesn't really give an adequate description. So go see her Etsy store: Wandering Fire Gallery to see. I may get an opportunity to work with her, we shall see.

Live music throughout the day, crowd thinned down dramatically right about 17:00 despite the Fair being open until 18:00, yet all the artists really did wait until 18:00 to start closing up for the night. We once again packed the artwork into the totes into the Subaru, dropped the pavilion, re-set the weights, and... Herself stayed to pick up the pizza we ordered from Blue Highway Pizzaria there in Tioga and I headed home to feed teh Horses and teh Truffles, then take the Bros on walkabout to feed the Cows. Herself arrived home about then, we all went in and fed the Bros then ourselves. The Bros enjoyed the Pizza Bones, we greatly enjoyed the pizza, and off to bed.

It froze Saturday night. No, seriously, this weekend our weather included a freeze. Temperatures still sat just below freezing when I arrived on site to set up for the last day of the Fair. Interestingly our water weights didn't freeze; then again, they were inside the pavilion.

Hmm... I should add. We never did put on the inclement weather walls. Three walls, the Art Walls, are made of mesh shade cloth. They will pass some breeze, will allow air movement, and yes will slow that down. That they pass air movement I believe is one reason we rode through the windy Saturday so well (that, the weights, and the Interactive Weight, me). We did put on the front wall for the night, and all the walls then folded up for the half-height overnight. So inside the temperature may have been just enough higher to keep those jugs from freezing.

Setup progressed quickly, I'd brought extra coffee this morning in a thermos albeit a small one, and that was all gone by opening time 10:00. This was Sunday in North Central Baja Jorja. Based on experience with other Sunday morning events (Hoggetown Medieval Faire, last year at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Spring Garden Festival) I expected a slow start to the day and proved not surprised by same. Still, a stead crowd trickled in, then gushed around 11:30 when the church crowd showed up after release from services. The cloud cover cleared off totally during the night, the breezes still wafted across though nowhere near as insistently as yesterday, the sky showed a Severe Clear Blue and the sun felt delightful where I set my chair, outside on the east face of the booth. People wandered in, I greeted them from the chair and bid them feel free to peruse the art, I'd stay in the sun here unless they asked questions.

Herself reported one hog water point burst on the Ranch, did so actually with her in near vicinity and with an audible report. This is... well, not so great but not bad. There is a spare in backup which will go into service today (Monday). Otherwise all the Ranch Critters survived the freeze well, including some new kids. I'd once again stopped to feed teh Ms Truffles Pig and teh
Horses on the way out. Ms Truffles actually didn't want to get out of her hay bed at first, did so when she heard the noms hit her bowl.

Anyway, back at the Fair. Live music again, crowd picked up, slowly warmed up, the Judge announced the award winners (not us, I'm quite OK with that as already a couple people awarded us with Money, eh!), and another Fair attendee came around the corner of the booth to where I sat in the Sun Spot and said, I want to buy two of your photographs. With this sale, the Fair officially became Great Event, with booth fee covered and some additional.

Why get so excited about this? Above and beyond the simple statement that some folks feel they've enough Fun Money to spend on art after taking care of their Daily Bread expenses, this is the second show we've made the booth fee to cover that expense. It's the first when we've covered travel costs. Still probably not making money to cover even the basic inventory replacement, and I'm OK with that woohoo! Why? Because of those five sales, four of them were framed pieces, and I've not sold framed pieces at shows at all yet. People come in to look at them, yes, then go through the matted bin to pull out the less expensive matted/mounted version.

And, in the last hour and a half of the Fair, sold one more piece. And the Fair Officially became a Fabulous Event.

My new acquaintance with the beaded / embroidered items? She received the First Place award. Neighbors across the road from us there at the Fair received an Honourable Mention. Best In Show went to a bloke from St. Augustine, and yes, his paintings deserved the award. One other Honourable Mention, three Awards of Merit, and a Second Place award also went out. Interesting to know. I didn't go for those awards, I went because this is something on the docket for a while; gain experience showing, hopefully make some sales.

We did, and we did, and the crowd thinned Way Down you guessed it right about on 17:00. By quarter after, there might have been two attendees up the street from us. Mostly it was Just Us Artists and pretty much everybody started breaking down. We didn't start, personally, until between 17:30-17:45, and still by 18:30 we stood there with the Subaru packed and shut. Said some good-byes to people met, and set off to join Herself at Las Avinas our local Mexican restaurant for dinner before getting back to the Ranch.

Fed teh Horses and teh Truffles on the way in. Cows have hay, OK. Fed the Bros, did a short walkabout with them to make sure all the Chooks were covered from the cold (another freeze Sunday night, last night), and glad we did as we heard Coyote shortly after, not far from the house. Herself offered me the 20 gauge as I went out but I shook my head. Heard them scurry away when I shined the torch around, knew I'd never of gotten a shot at them. They were close, yes, but close is measured here as 60-70 metres from the House.

Took a hot tub soak. Went to bed.

Will unpack the Subaru today, do inventory, wrap up that sold framed print for delivery tomorrow, and do that after feeding the Ranch this morning, along with attending to that one hog water point.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: art, business, life the universe and everything, photography, studio 318

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