Next up – one of my favorite shows, and one I’ve been participating in since the 1990’s – Art-in-the-Park at West Park.
The show is held in an arboretum/city park in a historic district. It’s a beautiful location with a bandshell and elaborate fountain, plus many shade-producing trees, of course! If you are in the area this Saturday, I hope you might stop by. I’ll be showing my acrylic paintings.
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.
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 be showing my paintings at this great show in Allentown this Saturday. It’s a well-established show held in an arboretum/park in the middle of the city – a lovely green space created about one hundred years ago and well-cherished today. The event is organized by the West Park Civic Association.
I really love going to this show – I would say it is one of my two favorite events. I’ve come here for almost two decades, I think. I didn’t make it here last summer – my second cataract operation interfered. So I’m extra-ready to be back in my space (#108, if you are interested, and I have occupied this location since the first year I did the show!).
The park is located between Linden and Turner, 15th and 16th, Allentown, PA, 10 AM to 5 PM, and the weather looks just perfect for a show.