Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Art in the Park- Part 2: The Vendors

The best part of participating in an art show is meeting so many different people. ..not just the "shoppers," but the other vendors. I have gained so much useful information from them, such as, how to attach my banner to the front of the tent (use a bungee cord), how to keep the top of the tent from flying off in heavy winds if you don't have weights (use big-time clips), how to zip up the sides when you leave so the street people won't use your tent as a hotel room (still can't get the front zipped) and on and on.

The first new vendor who I met was Milan. Milan is a hat-maker. Before she got serious with her hats, she was a psychotherapist.. Really. Her frustration began when a local police department decided that jail was the best therapy for some of her clients. After being slapped in the face over and over, not by the police or her clients, but the "system," she turned to hats. Very cute. Milan told me about several art and craft shows in our area that are, in her opinion, worth entering.

Across from my tent and down two, was who I would describe as an "elite artist." Her paintings were breath-taking. Okay, I exaggerate, but she was major league talented. Being a bit pricey, her work was tad overpriced for the tourists just out for a leisurely stroll on a pretty weekend at the beach. I just think that people need to think seriously about making a major purchase like a painting. I bet she won't be back.

Then there was a couple from east Tennessee to my right. Usually Mr. Henry is in the corner spot, but June is too hot for him. He'll be back in October. So on Sunday while I was tapping my foot with my hand on my hip patiently waiting for the throngs of tourists and locals to appear with cash, lots of cash, I started talking to my new friend. He was an absolute hoot. This is what he does. Art and Craft shows are his life. He makes cute wooden sculptures with solar lights for people to strategically place in their yards. He decorates them with various and sundry animals and uses moss as an added touch. Some folks call it YARD ART. It sells. He said he won't be back.

Don is a photographer who lives near the beach. He can shoot from Charleston to Ocean Isle whenever he wants. He does every Art in the Park and many other shows in the area. Most all of the photographers who I've met are willing to share their knowledge of photography and many of their experiences. Don is one of them. He shoots digital like I do, so when he talks shutter speed or aperture, or even point and shoot, I listen.

Finally, there was a newcomer from the Charleston area. He doesn't shoot digital, only film. Another thing, only black and white, and trees, only trees. That's great if everyone likes pictures of trees. He displayed a HUGE picture of a tree and priced it at $1000. Didn't sell. Interesting point- didn't use glass, used plexiglas. Said it was more expensive but lighter in weight and discouraged fading. Don't think he'll be back either.

"Tent professionals," this is what Tom, my guru calls them, are an interesting group. Not only are most of them artists, but to sell their art they need to know a little merchandising and marketing, with a touch of PR thrown in. Do you know how hard it is to engage a tourist in a conversation who has tattoos and piercings all over his body, and at the same time really, really, hope that he won't want to buy an 8 X 10 of my sister's Western Flyer that I shot at 8:00 in the morning on a cold fall day on the beach?

1 comment:

Bren said...

So when are you going to join the vendors at Scott's? You would keep them all in line! At least, I'd be able to see your work (second or third hint since you told me about your new adventure). Seriouly, I do want to see it!