Here’s where I’ll be next weekend! I’ll be showing my acrylic paintings.
I participated in this show yesterday, held in West Park, Allentown, PA. It’s a favorite of mine, for the lovely location, the appreciative crowd, and the volunteers who run the event. I have done this show for almost 20 years, missing a year here or there (such as last summer, with my cataract operations) but I will keep doing this show until either it or I give up. I really feel at home here, both in this city and this show.
OK, I’ll get to the 2016 experience. First thing, we located our spot. I have been in this same location since I began coming here, so – this part was not hard at all.
Next, after saying hello to my booth neighbor, a long-time art friend who has been located next to me at this show for several years, my husband and I got to work setting things up. Here we’ve put up our tent and we’re starting on the racks:
Here’s the end result:
Now things got underway. We had perfect weather and the park got crowded quickly.
Besides the art, there was music at the band shell all day.
And I can’t leave out a photo of the fountain, the centerpiece of the park.
In the afternoon, I took some time to stretch my legs, walking around the block. West Park is a substantial piece of ground, set in a grid of streets that were built up about a hundred years ago. The surrounding area is filled with tall, ornate rowhomes. This neighborhood and Allentown itself are undergoing a rebirth, and it can be seen in how many houses are being renovated and in their upkeep. In fact, there is a popular tour of houses in this neighborhood held the day after this art show – you could buy tickets at the information table.
I took pictures of streets surrounding West Park. All of these buildings are located on the streets directly abutting the park.
The Masonic Temple is right across the street on Linden.
The Episcopal Church of the Mediator, located at the corner of the park on Turner Street, always holds a rummage sale (entitled “Tossed and Found”). I also noticed they have a Little Free Library now, too.
Back at the show. This event features judges and prizes. I like the competition and I always hope for recognition, just like everybody else! This year I got my wish. Thank you, judges!
At five o’clock it was time to pack up.
The park looks so peaceful now, back to its regular self with all the show activities pretty much packed up and gone home.
I’ll tell you. Right here.
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.
Heads up, everybody. Next Saturday, April 30, I’ll be participating in this festival with my paintings. I’m in Booth #25, near the center of the fair, if you want to look for me. Show hours are Noon to 6 PM and the fair will be set up along Easton Road.
This show is very local for me – I live about 2 miles away and I come to Glenside pretty much every day. I’ve also depicted the area in lots of paintings over time (you can look for them on my art blog – I think some will come up if you search under the word Glenside), so if the name seems familiar to you, that may be why.
Keeping my fingers crossed for good weather! It’s not too early to start…
And, if you take a look at the postcard, you can see one of my paintings featured on it – in the upper right-hand corner.