I’ll be participating in this annual event once more – coming up this Saturday.
The way it works is – artists are assigned spots along Germantown Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. We create our artworks over the course of the day and there is a group showing in the afternoon. Passersby can go along the avenue and take a peek into the creative processes of artists working in all kinds of styles.
I’ll be located in the 8500 block, east side. The event starts at about 10 AM and goes until 3 PM. Look here for more info.
Yesterday, Saturday, June 3, I participated in this festival, held on the grounds of the Heller Homestead and put on by the Saucon Valley Conservancy. The event was held in Hellertown, south of Bethlehem, PA, about an hour from my house.
The show featured about 50 artists with booths set in the grassy area surrounding the house and in the gravel parking lot. I did this show two years ago but did not attend last year. It’s a new show – 2015 was its first year.
We drove to the show in rain. I was not happy. I’ve vowed to avoid doing shows in the rain any more, but the weather forecast was for clearing later in the morning. I crossed my fingers.
We arrived. It was pouring.
We were directed to our spot. Knowing the site from my earlier attendance, I asked for a space up near the front. Here is a show tip – you don’t want a space that is hard to access with the car. Setting up is not usually the problem – many shows, like this one, assign arrival times to keep congestion down. But when the show is over, and you want to go home, being able to bring the car in close to your space, when you want to, becomes important.
There is nothing good about having your booth all taken down but being unable to get your car nearby to pack up because – your neighbors’ cars are already in the way or you are blocked by the displays of people who take down more slowly than you do. Hard feelings can erupt when people are tired…
My space was right up front, on the gravel. In this kind of weather, the thing to do is get the tent set up and put everything else underneath it. Anything not water-proof has to stay off the ground.
It’s not easy to set up in these conditions. The things you want are always stacked underneath everything else. Trying to keep things dry is a challenge. The ground itself can be a hazard. Our neighbors’ spot was muddy and sloppy. The show organizers were ready, though – they had bales of straw on hand to scatter around. I am allergic to straw, so I didn’t ask for any in my space. At shows, you just have to take what comes as it comes.
Well, we got things set up and without too much ill-temper. Having a corner space, I had extra display room. I appreciated that as I could hang two large paintings I recently did. There is not always enough room for paintings this size. They take up a lot of sales space.
Then, around 10 AM, the weather started to improve.
By the afternoon, well, we were in a different world, it seemed.
To top it off, I received an Honorable Mention for my work.
Packing up was a breeze and we were on our way home 45 minutes after the show ended.
This show had it all as far as weather experiences. But we got through it.
And I’ll take this time to say the volunteers were unfailingly cheerful and helpful, the show was very nicely run, there was a good selection of artists, and my show neighbors were pleasant to be with. (I traded a small painting for some tiny clay bowls with my neighbor across from me.) Sales were also good and the crowd appreciative. So, maybe a rough start but a good end to things. That’s a the way for it to be.
All right, everyone, first show of the 2017 season! This one is held along Easton Road in Glenside, PA (the Cheltenham Township section). I’ll be located in Booth 25 and I’ll be exhibiting my paintings.
Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, if you could…
The postcard gives you all the details – take a look.
My husband and I attended this event yesterday, and here I’ll tell you a little about it. It’s a fundraiser for art at the high school – all small works, affordable and appealing, done by students, alums, and interested artists for this Allentown high school.
You might ask why I contribute to this event when I don’t live in Allentown and have no connection to the school. I will answer you by saying that I’ve done a lot of shows and exhibits in the area, and people in this city have been very good to me. I’ve always gotten a lot of appreciation for my work here and I’ve built up relationships and friends over the years. I’m grateful and so I wanted to give back.
OK. So, the event was held on the 8th floor of a just-constructed office building in downtown Allentown. It’s so new that this floor hasn’t been finished out yet. It made a great space for an event like this one. Take a look at these views outside the windows, before I show you the art itself. Notice the helipad on the adjacent building. I would love to see a helicopter land on it from this close vantage point.
Now, here is the art itself. I took photos of the overall room view and some closer ones of tables with my contributions on them.
The William Allen HS Jazz band provided music – seasonal songs and jazz. I really enjoyed listening to them as well, since I played in the band myself in high school.
The event hopes to raise enough to match a grant. I did my part – we bought a set of three ceramic pears done by a 2016 graduate who happened to be in attendance – so we got to meet the artist! He is in college now, majoring in ceramic arts (having fallen in love with it in high school) and hoping to become a teacher himself. I was touched by his obvious enthusiasm for his art and his future, not to mention being impressed with the professionalism of his work after less than two years in the field.
I also talked to several other art people I know from the area. Lots of nice refreshments, too, including hot chocolate, something you get only in the winter, and so appropriate for the blustery November afternoon. While drinking it I listened to the band play and watched a small girl get out on the floor and dance to the music.
Yesterday we spent the day at the Community Arts Center’s Fine Arts and Crafts Festival in Swarthmore, PA. It was the last outdoor show of my season for 2016, and the last time I will be showing paintings, unless I schedule something else later on this fall.
The show was held along Park Avenue in downtown Swarthmore. Swarthmore is a small borough located south of Philadelphia, about 45 minutes from my house. The town is centered on the commuter rail station and has a downtown full of shops and restaurants. Surrounding it is a neighborhood of large old homes on tree-lined streets. Swarthmore College is right on the other side of the train station and downtown from where we were located for the fair.
We arrived about 7:30 AM on a gray and cloudy morning and went to our spot. The show takes place in front of the Borough Hall/Library building, and we were in the middle of the lineup, right in front of the building. With the aid of some young volunteers, we unloaded the car. The kids went off to help others, and we put the display together.
As is usual, the street slowly filled up with vendors.
There were plenty of attractions associated with the event. A farmers’ market took place around the corner (it’s a regular weekly event.) The fair also had a raffle going and offered a children’s art tent.
There is a small amphitheater on the front lawn of Borough Hall, and it was the scene of musical performances all day. The first group included the mayor of Swarthmore, who played the ukulele.
The day brought plenty of shoppers and the weather cleared in the afternoon.
Once again I meant to take pictures of packing up, but – I forgot. Again. We are always thinking about getting things out of the way and getting ourselves on the road at the end of a show. Maybe next time…? Anyway, it was a nice day and a good way to end the outdoor season with this show.
All right, everyone, here’s my next stop. It’s my last outdoor show this year, and also my last one for displaying paintings.
This event is run by the Community Arts Center of Wallingford, PA, and it takes place on Park Avenue in Swarthmore, PA. The location is great – near the train station, Swarthmore College, and right in front of the borough hall/library.
I have a connection to the CAC – I taught classes there for some time. I also have an art connection to Swarthmore – I had a solo exhibit sponsored by the Friends of the Arts in Swarthmore about four years ago, held in the borough hall.
So I’m looking forward to this event! Here’s a link if you want more info.
Yesterday we spent the day in Sellersville, PA, for this festival.
Sellersville is located about 25 miles from home. It has a small downtown but is primarily residential and is surrounded by farms and some manufacturing. Suburban sprawl is approaching the area, but its location is distant enough from Philadelphia or Allentown/Bethlehem that it hasn’t been swallowed up.
The show is held along the main street going through town. Since it is narrow, there is an elaborate procedure for getting us artists in, unloading and setting up, and moving our cars out. This involves waiting in line at the fire station, going in in small groups, unloading on to the sidewalk very quickly, and taking the car out. We then set up at our own pace. I will say that this show has the best-organized set of volunteers I’ve ever seen who make this all happen, including the large number of teenagers who help unload. (I have wondered if the group conducts mock drills to practice, they are that good).
We got there pretty early and were located at one end of the show. Here’s the “tent’s up” shot:
And in mid-setup:
I took some shots of the street as it filled up, from early morning to crowded full of shoppers.
This show is a typical street fair. It is designed to promote the area businesses, build community spirit, and provide entertainment. I don’t usually expect to sell a lot at this kind of event, and as it turned out, my sales were only fair, but I enjoy going to this kind of event. If you walked along the street here, for instance, you can see Sellersville history on view: though it’s a small place, it has an interesting past, including being the site of a radium plant and an amusement park (the park is still in place but the rides long gone). There are some handsome buildings:
You could look over some new cars:
Music – these guys were just setting up themselves when I took their picture:
Food trucks – one featuring Egyptian food, it said on the side of the truck, and the other one calling itself the “Flying Deutschman”. I am telling you, show food has evolved – not too long ago, the fare was always hamburgers, hot dogs, or maybe sausages. Things have changed.
A kids’ area featured a place to do some art:
…and, you could meet this alpaca. He and a companion came to the fair from a local farm. My husband took this picture. I only saw them from a distance; by the time I went over to take a look, they had gone home. I love the look on the little girl’s face as she eyes the animals.
So, you can see that in this kind of event, you could keep busy all day! This type of show can be found in our area almost any weekend, spring, summer, and fall.
The show is held along Main Street, Sellersville, PA. Show hours are Noon-5 PM. I can’t tell you where I’ll be located, since booth assignments are made as we arrive, but walk along the street and you’ll find me. Unless – I warn you – it’s a rainy day. I exercise a privilege earned from my record of 20+ years of doing shows, when it rains – I stay home if I think it’s not going to be a pleasant day. I just do.
I mention this because the forecast is iffy (which means a beautiful sun will be beaming down on us all day, if history can be trusted!)
So if you are wondering, email me, but I’m thinking positive and looking forward to the day. Sellersville is a great spot to have a show, and I know from past experience there will be a lot to see and do.