Monday, September 6, 2010

A Record Fourth Street Festival!

Wow, what I weekend I just had! Last week was a blur, with my efforts focused on getting ready for the big Fourth Street Festival of Art and Craft in Bloomington. I stopped weaving and started to focus on getting my card stocks in order and doing my part to make the show run smoothly. Friday evening was the show set-up, so I packed up bluebell (my trusty electric blue Matrix) and headed downtown to help mark the streets and get the 121 artists settled in. Jim unpacked the car and had everything staged by the curb while I worked and the boys played. Set-up went smoothly, and all was ready for Saturday morning. The day dawned very cool and clear, with a temperature somewhere in the mid forties (~7 degrees C). I set up my merino scarf display, which turned out to be a good idea, since I ended up selling a bunch of scarves before the temperatures climbed. Fall only lasted until around noon. When summer came back the scarf sales plummeted. On the bright side, the show drew an estimated 48 thousand visitors this year, an all time record! We bested last year’s number by six thousand. I’m sure pleasant temperatures and sunny days played a big part in the success.

This was a year when everything just went swimmingly! I owe a big thanks to people such as Officer Jeff Aldwine from the Bloomington police department and his cohort of badged wonders. They kept away the non-juried hawkers and unsanctioned buskers and were such a joy to work with. Jean Kautt did a great job again as show manager, sorting out the problems when the porta-potties overflowed and ran short of toilet paper (not in that order). I don’t know if it was the cool weather or the big turnout, but a lot of people did their business at the show.

As always, my support crew came through this year, bringing me a wonderful lunches from the area restaurants. Yum! But the food highlight was the fresh-baked peach pie that greeted me Sunday morning before the show. It was built from eight cups of blemished peaches from the farmer’s market, with several different varieties mixed together, and it was scrumptious.

Of course the show was about art! Several of my pieces found new and happy homes, which always makes me feel good. My new abstract pieces were well received. I was amazed at how many artists recognized that the abstract tiles represented a new body of work for me, and they gave me lots of compliments. Of all the shows I do, the Fourth Street Festival is my favorite for personal reasons too. I get to catch up and chitty-chat with all my friends, fellow parents, other artists and acquaintances from all my Bloomington circles. My husband thinks it’s funny to keep asking me if I had any nice conversations or got any compliments at the show, but it never gets old. Maybe I should be trying to sell more, but the chitty-chat and catch-up aspect of the show is the most important part to me. What’s funny is that while I’m talking to one person, another person I know want to talk to will be waiting in the wings or outside the booth. While that’s happening I usually see other people I know walk by and wave. I just feel so connected here, and that’s what makes the show so wonderful. Or maybe it’s the peach pie! Did I say I like pie?

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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