Background – this show is hosted by InLiquid, a Philadelphia organization devoted to the interests of artists. The event features art costing $199 and below and runs the whole weekend, but I did only Saturday’s session.
The show is held in the Crane Arts Building, a renovated warehouse from 1905. The building now houses art organizations, artist studios, art exhibition space, and offices for businesses, including architects.
It’s located in a section of town that was formerly industrial, fell into disuse, and now is being reborn as a residential section. It’s a coming place to live, especially for young people. I visited this part of town quite a bit when I worked for a bank 35 years ago, when it was already in decline, seeing customers in the factories and warehouses around here. I considered it an area in which to be cautious and aware at all times then. It is changing fast now – the new and the old are side by side. Decrepit warehouses, razor-wired lots, remodeled industrial buildings, and brand new (and expensive) houses stand side-by-side. If you see a vacant lot now, you can be sure it’s got an owner waiting for development.
I noticed several bikes chained up in front of the building, on the street. You would not have left your bike in the open out here, years ago.
One more thing, and then I’ll get back to discussing the show. About ten years ago, I visited this same location for a show, and I took a picture of a building across the street. I did the same, this year, and now I see it’s a craft beer brewing location. So, I’m telling you, things are changing here and I’m glad to see it.
My space was in the Ice Box Room, a section of the warehouse that was used for cold storage of seafood in the past and is now an exhibit space. We each got a booth area of 6 feet deep by 7 feet wide. Perfect for my table and two chairs. I planned my setup for simplicity because of the small space but it worked out great.
The show was crowded, lots of shoppers all day. True to the changing neighborhood demographics, there were a lot of young people. Sales were good and the people-watching opportunities were first-class.
There was an outside section to the show and the music stage was there – but we could hear the performances through the door opened to the outside. I was intrigued by one band, Kitty Rotten, who did the whole set (in 85 degree weather) in kitty outfits.
You know, I’ve done shows for a long time, and most of them are pretty similar. This one was out of my usual routine and I had a great time. I met some artists new to me and saw a lot of interesting work. I also got some nice attention for my work. Looking forward to next year.
The second half of next weekend, Sunday, June 5, I’ll be participating in a plein air event just a few minutes from home – in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.
I did this event last summer – you can read about it here. And I’ll let you in on something – though I said the painting was finished after the event – a few days later I took it out and did some more to it. It looked pretty similar, and yet – not! So that goes to show you that everything is subject to revision. Here’s the finished painting, and if you like, you can compare it to what I did on the plein air day.
Anyway, I had a great time, and I’m glad to be going back. I have a different location to paint this year – I’m at the top of the hill on Germantown Avenue, the 8600 block (last year I was in the 8300 block). If you are around, stop and say hello. I’ll be there (unless it rains, in which case there is a rain date of the next Sunday, June 12) from about 8 am to early afternoon.
I’ve got a busy weekend next week – two separate events.
The first one occurs on Saturday, June 4 – an event called “Art for the Cash Poor”.
In this show, every piece of artwork is $199 or less. A nice thing, this price level – there can be something to fit a lot of budgets. I’ll be taking my paintings here and though the show goes all weekend, I chose the option of exhibiting on Saturday only.
I’ve never done this show before, so – I’m looking forward to it.
I spent the weekend at the Tile Festival at the Moravian Tile Works in Doylestown, PA. The weather was blustery with rain passing through at times – we were wearing our winter coats. But the show was as pleasant to attend as always. Here are the tents set up next to the tile works.
And here is a view of the interior of my tent, before the show started.
A few pictures of my work on my display.
And the show with shoppers!
I so enjoy seeing the other vendors in this show. Many of them I have gotten to know over the years, and I always like to catch up. And, I always see new work and new faces as well. It’s really easy to become inspired in this atmosphere.
There is also a regular set of customers who attend the show each year. I enjoy showing them my new work and seeing what they think of it. Plus, once again, in many cases, I have gotten to know these repeat buyers a little and we have some nice conversations, about art and a lot of other things. It’s the kind of show where the artist really feels supported.
I also took some pictures of the Moravian Tile Works and Fonthill, two of the buildings created by Henry Chapman Mercer. I will not go too far into the history of them, since there are plenty of sources, but it’s worth reading up on this interesting man and his ideas. In looking at this pictures, what you need to know is that he wanted to protect and preserve processes or information about processes that were dying away as things became more industrialized – and that he didn’t mind trying things out for himself.
At the tile works, he developed clays and molds to make tiles that continues to this day; the same designs are available and being produced. Mercer tiles are in all kinds of buildings – one of the most notable collections being the Pennsylvania State Capitol building.
I walked over to the Tile Works building – a couple of doors were propped open and here’s what I saw:
The Tile Works building as well as Fonthill, Mercer’s home, are concrete buildings, poured in place. The Tile Works is a pretty straightforward looking place.
Fonthill is another matter. It is a short walk away from the Tile Works and looks out over a lovely green meadow.
And here is the building itself.
Quite a place, right? Tours are given; I’ve been several times. It’s impossible to describe. All I’ll say is, if you are in Doylestown, PA, it would be a shame to miss this complex. And if you are here in May, maybe you’ll happen upon the Tile Festival, too?
Next Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, I’ll be exhibiting at the Tile Festival at the Moravian Tile Works, Doylestown, PA.
I’ve done the show for several years and if you like tiles, this is the place to go – the show is totally devoted to tiles. Just tiles.
I’ll have my relief tile work on view as well as what I’ve been doing lately, colorful images on 6″ x 6″ tiles.
Another thing – the entire show is held under large tents. Weather is of no consequence – you’ll be comfortable no matter what the skies bring us.
In addition to the Moravian Tile Works, Fonthill, the home of tiles works founder Henry Chapman Mercer, is only a few steps away and a tour of that building is worth doing. Doylestown is also home to the Mercer Museum, another of Henry Chapman’s contributions; the Michener Museum; and a lot of good restaurants and shops. It’s easy to make a day or two outing here.