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.
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.
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.
Hello everybody – due to the threatening weather, I’ve decided not to set up at the festival today.
I hate cancelling out on a show, but I’ve got a new philosophy this year – I’m only doing shows that I like and that are comfortable for me. This show I certainly like, but not while sitting in a series of chilly showers or outright rain all day. I’ve done that for many years! and not any more.
Plus, I have my husband to think of, and I think he’s not in shape to deal with this kind of weather. All in all, it just seems the best thing to do today.
So, next show – Tile Festival at the Moravian Tile Works – in May. I’ll set my sights on that one.
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.