I participated in the Saucon Creek Arts Festival back in early June, and I won an Honorable Mention. Included in the entry fee was a membership to the association for this historic homestead; I received a newsletter the other day and look… there I was, along with other winners, in living color.
I will show you. I think it’s nice they did this recognition.
We participated in this show on Saturday, August 26. I’ve done this show for two decades and it has been held in Memorial Park under the trees for the past 29 years. It’s a short drive, about 25 minutes, from our house.
I feel at home in this show. It was one of the first ones I did when I started in my art career. The same people run it as did back then; they are unfailingly pleasant, helpful, and genuinely love the show and their work.
The event is naturally popular, then, and they get a nice group of artists showing 2D and 3D art.
Plus, it’s a Lansdale tradition to have free doughnuts and coffee for the artists, to keep us going as we set up. Here is a photo. It is dedicated to my friend Diane, who has moved out of state but did the show with me in the past.
We arrived a little before 8 AM. Now, this show has a different way of assigning spaces – the cars line up and are given a space in the order they arrive; the park fills up in an orderly way. We used to worry about getting a “good” spot and arriving very early. Now, we have realized every spot in the park is “good” and we just show up when we show up.
Here, we’ve dropped off the equipment and art at the spot, #79. The green cone (you can barely see ours peeking over the stack of wrapped art) goes in the middle of the space. You can see we get a lot of room. Another great thing about this show.
We did our usual routine and got the booth put together. The pink tags designate the pieces that I have chosen for the judge to view. No prize this year, but I did get nice comments and encouragement. That matters, believe me.
Set-up time is focused and not social.
Once everything is done, there is time to talk. My husband is the man in the pale blue shirt, talking to a neighbor artist.
Then, things get started. It’s quiet at first:
Later in the day, it was crowded. We had a nice number of people in the park.
Sales were decent and the weather was superlative. I also had the chance to catch up with some art friends, including one man I haven’t seen in a couple of years – our schedules just haven’t coincided.
All in all, it was a perfect festival day. Thank you, Lansdale Festival of the Arts!
The event poster tells you all you need to know, but I’ll add my bit – the festival is one of my favorites, I’ve been going to it for a couple of decades, and the same nice people at the Lansdale Borough parks and rec department who were running it in the 1990’s are still doing so. (The poster image was done by one of them.)
The show is held in a shady park and it’s easy to navigate, and it always attracts a lot of good art and craft. If you are around, it is a great late-summer event to attend and I will welcome you.
You saw the photos of our set-up at this show. That was on Friday, July 7. Saturday, the first day of the show, and Sunday, the final day, were pretty similar days. Except for the downpour right before closing time on Saturday!
Well, we got things closed up and everything stayed dry, and that is what counts.
The show turned out well. I’ve got a whole list of thank-you’s to people who bought from me – I appreciate it.
There are the art friends I caught up with – Pam, Aiden, Carol from Easton. We also had great neighbors at this show who I enjoyed talking with.
My sister- and brother-in-law (my husband’s sister and her husband, I guess would make things clearer) came by on Saturday, which I really appreciated. I also received visits from Missy and from John G (and his new little dog, Winnie…he brought her up to the snow fence behind our booth, since no dogs were allowed in the park, even a tiny little puppy).
Well, this is a very social show every year, and I enjoyed it.
OK. Some pictures from Sunday. A beautiful day…
And some shots of the look of things, from our end of the show.
You might enjoy a walk-through behind the scenes of this festival. I can give you a good picture, at least as far as my role in the production goes. There is a routine we go through at each show to get ready for our performance. This show is a good one to examine – we have a set-up afternoon the day before the event, plenty of time for me to take some pictures.
We always shop for food before a show. We take our own. Fair food is not easy to survive on for two hot July days. Although I do have a soft spot for a nice hamburger right off the grill, or maybe a hot dog… Still, it is better to have our own food and drinks.
Shopping done, we have to load the car.
Loading the car is my husband’s specialty. He decides and I put things where he tells me when we are packing up after the show; before the show – he does it all. For which I am really thankful. The car awaits:
We are taking only the tent, racks, table, and miscellaneous items today. We will take the artwork tomorrow and hang it in the morning. I don’t like leaving it overnight. So, the car is not that full.
Loading up done, we drove out to Tinicum Park and arrived about 1 PM. Most shows assign a specific space, but this one puts you in an area, and you choose your location. We have been in this section for years and know it pretty well, so we don’t have trouble deciding on a space.
Lots of room. We park the car right in front. It’s not always possible to be this close to the booth, as many shows don’t have so much room.
Another person’s setting up across the way. Otherwise, it is really pretty quiet around our area.
We get to work. First the tent gets set up. Then we attach the sides. Then we set up the racks. I have covers for them but I’ll put them on tomorrow.
Finally, we zip up the front. The tent is all ready for the night.
Since we were not in a hurry, we decided to take a walk around. Tomorrow this field will be full of people but right now it’s quiet.
The music stage is ready to be opened for tomorrow’s performances. We can hear the music from our tent. I like that.
Next to it is the food vendor area.
A cheesesteak is a Philadelphia tradition. Thin-chopped beef fried with onions on a grill, put on a long soft roll with melted cheese. Yum.
The local garden club has always had a plant sale in the picnic shelter. I like the cactus gardens a lot.
We stopped to talk to a friend putting up her tent over on the other side of the park. Then we walked back to our car, completing a big circle around the show.
We will be back tomorrow morning.
Shout-out #1 to my husband: it is his birthday!
Shout-out #2 to my friend Diane: she has moved out of state and so is not here, but we did this show together for years and years. Good memories.
We participated in this show on Saturday, June 17. Normally held in the park, the anticipated weather problems necessitated a move indoors, to the Masonic Temple right across the street.
Glad we were inside, as it did rain hard in the morning and off and on all day. I hate being out in the rain at a show. I do hate it.
Nonetheless, things were chaotic in getting set up, with everyone having to figure out the new layout, find their space, and haul items up and down stairs. Additionally, this is the first year for a new set of show organizers – the previous ones (30 years) having passed the baton. It all turned out fine and I give everyone compliments for adapting and making things really nice.
OK. So we had a spot in the lobby, right at the front door. Couldn’t have asked for a better one.
I stepped outside during setup for a minute. Setup is a time when everyone is focused on their own booth, and each artist has a routine for getting things put together. Not a lot of talking or socializing during this part of the show, just a lot of activity.
Once we were set up, I took a look around. The Masonic Temple, built in the 1920’s, is a registered historic site, and what a wonderful building it is. It houses the meeting rooms for Masonic functions as well as some office space. The whole place is solid, well-built, enduring – tile floor in the lobby, much wood trim, marble stairs. Just wonderful.
Artists and crafters were set up in the main meeting space:
and in the less formal room below it:
Once we got in and were settled, the day went well. The venue worked just perfectly and I think the indoor location encouraged people to stay and wander around (always good for sales), since they did not have to worry about the weather. There was a good vibe – the closer quarters encouraged more conversation, a nice hum of activity.
I caught up with some art friends – when you do shows, there is a fellow-feeling among the exhibitors and you make friends, staying in touch from show to show. This year, the show was bittersweet for me. There have been losses in the last year for people I know here; illness and death, sadness and grief. I reflected on how many years I have been doing shows, and once again I understand that now I’m one of the people whose memories encompass events that seem from another world, almost, and involve people who are no longer with us.
For me, this show was different from how it had been in the past, and I don’t mean the temporary location disruption, but the feel of it, and it made me sad. But, as I watched the new group of organizers coping with the unexpected and feeling good about putting on a successful show, well, I remember that life is a flow and it always goes on. I will adapt, too.