Thursday, March 7, 2013

THE OUTDOOR ART SHOW, AN ADVENTURE



Gasparilla        Art            Festival(click)
Largest Outdoor Art Festival


Photography booth
I admire anyone who does outdoor festivals.  I did shows for many years. I did them for  years on top of a full teaching career.  I remember it very well.  On Wednesday nights after working all day at school I would come home and start the loading of my fan.  The process took two evenings, then I would be ready to head out on Saturday morning to where ever the show was to set up early before the judges came around.  Usually I arrived at 7am because the booth set up took two hours.  Then you wait for the judges to come around and view your work.  You are already tired before the show starts.  Once the booth is set up and the public comes, you are on stage talking about your work, answering questions of all kinds, and pretending not to listen to criticism or remarks that could have been made out of your presence.  Next your job is to sit with your work all day and be a meeter greeter and translator of your work.  It is not for the thin skinned, people will say anything and oddly enough that is a good thing.  Once you learn to know the remarks people make come from their level of understanding of art, and that not everyone is going to like everything then you learn not to take the criticism personally.  It builds a strength and self confidence in you as an artist that is hard to get anywhere else. 


I think the  statue is  Balancing, but I just love the whole photo,
like she is on a runway taking off and the man to left is so unaware.

Showing your work whether at outdoor shows, galleries, or other venues is an important step in being an artist.  You can paint or sculpt your heart out, but only when you take the risk to show to others that you truly gain self confidence in your self and your work.   for several years on top of a full teaching career.
  I remember the process very well.  On Wednesday nights after working all day at school, I would come home and start the loading of my fan.  The process took two to three evenings, then I would be ready to head out on Saturday morning to what ever town the show was in to set up early before the judges came around.  Usually I arrived at 7am because the booth set up took two hours and judges walked around before 9am.
  Then you wait for the judges to come around and view your work.  You are already tired before the show starts.  Once the booth is set up and the public comes, you are on stage talking about your work, answering questions of all kinds, and pretending not to listen to criticism or remarks that could have been made out of your presence.  Next your job is to sit with your work all day and be a meeter greeter and translator of your work.  It is not for the thin skinned, people will say anything and oddly enough that is a good thing. 
 Once you learn to know the remarks people make come from their level of understanding of art, and that not everyone is going to like everything then you learn not to take the criticism personally.  It builds a strength and self confidence in you as an artist that is hard to get anywhere else. Showing your work whether at outdoor shows, galleries, or other venues is an important step in being an artist.  You can paint or sculpt your heart out, but only when you take the risk to show to others that you truly gain self confidence in your self and your work.  
Another element in showing outdoors is the elements, the weather.  It can be cold and windy, hot and still, it can be raining and wind gusts that blow your work and tent down.  The sun can beat down and humidity can make a small atrium out of your glass framed work.  
Lover looking the minarets of Tampa University the art show is packed.

So, when I did outdoor shows, after the set up, I sat with my work until closing on Saturday, then came the securing of the tent before you could leave and go stay in your hotel.  On Sunday up again, off to the show to sit to closing.  I would then take it down, pack it in the van, drive home and unload.  About 9pm I was finished and ready for bed, and up at 5:45am the next day for school.  It was quite a routine, so I lasted about 3 years and then decided it was indoor shows from then on for me.  
I enjoyed meeting other artists and sharing.  I enjoyed meeting people who truly loved art and talking with interest and curiosity about my work. I also knew I was growing as an artist to show and take criticism in stride.
But it was not easy, so I truly admire people who do this for a living.



Mary Proctor (click for more information) is what we call an Outsider Artist.  She is self taught and her works her truly her own unique vision and expression of her creativity.  She is in several books on folk artist in America.  She is a charming, bubbly, smiling person who works hard to show her work, no matter great personal challenges in her life.  I love her work and you will too.  She lives in Tallahassee, the capital of Florida, so close to Alabama it is oft called lower Alabama. 
Mary Proctor is an Outsider artist of some renown.

Lyn Whipple(click) is a delightful person who is very engaging and a very creative artist.  Her husband John Whipple is a wonderful painter!  John's Mother is a jeweler and artist.  It is all in the family!
Lyn Whipple tries out a banjo while I buy a piece of her work
A cool windy day, storm clouds gathering, but the show is still packed with people.  The arts win today!


Large hand thrown and hand built piece.df    
Gasparilla Art Show is one of the South Largest Outdoor
Art Shows, packed even on stormy days.
Even Dogs become works of art.
I hope when you go to outdoor shows this has given you an appreciation of the hard work the artists go through to be able to share their work with you.  And if you wonder why art cost as much as it does then it helps to know fees for booths and judging are high, that hotels and gas are part of the artist cost, as well as materials, time in the studio, advertising of work, and many other hidden fees.  And if you still think it is too much, look in where the artist park their cars and see what they are driving.  There are no Mercedes or Jaguars there, usually old vans that bump along and carry lots of art!

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