The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s State Show at Tyler State Park was a great success. Despite some tough weather Friday during the show and especially that night, the attendance overall seemed very good. I was pleased to have pieces go to both new and repeat collectors of my work. The show results represented a personal best for a 3-day show, which was very exciting. The weather was still rather warm for mid-October, but no complaints. It was sunny both Saturday and Sunday and otherwise very pleasant.

One of the goals of this blog is to give a feeling for what goes into actively offering and selling art works at shows. Outdoor shows are especially involved and demanding, both physically and emotionally. Not having control of the weather of course means trying to take precautions in case of wind and rain. I remove my art works each night, others do not.

The physical task of setting up a solid canopy and all of the other display that would normally be at an indoor show, is a lot of work. It requires an organized routine and some physical conditioning. There is some significant weight involved and a lot of bending. I always appreciate being able to set up the canopy and display the day before a show starts. This way, I can come in early the first show day, put up my work and be set to greet the first customer with my eyes open and in a state of some reasonable appearance.

Tear-down is a different story. At a show like Tyler, I will have been on my feet for three days and break down can be tough. At Tyler we had the added challenge of early darkness. I rolled up my ground cover with the aid of a neighbor craftsmen holding a flashlight for me.

I leave Tyler with my work to go home each night to my own bed. Others will spend their nights in trailers or camping, living the whole show right on site. For them especially, these shows are a way of life. I get to be a part of that in part and while there are struggles, it can also be a lot of fun.

This show at Tyler was the last the Guild will hold there as it will no longer serve as headquarters next year. The show will move to the Bucks County Community College in ’08 and a new tradition will begin.

The Mad Bluebird has a new companion in my Wicked Wren, a print that found a few new owners this past weekend at Tyler State Park.

Wicked Wren - (c) Paul Grecian

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3 thoughts on “Show Life

  1. Pingback: mooxa » Show Life
  2. I admire you guys that keep at it with the shows. It is a lot of work, and no doubt very rewarding at times. Probably the thing that would scare me the most is a sudden storm coming in – rain, wind, etc!

  3. You’re right Mark, weather is a concern for outdoor shows. I have had a couple bad experiences but without any real losses. A 70mph gust knocked me out of this same show last year. However, if properly weighted and staked, good canopies can survive most weather. Low attendance due to poor weather is actually a bigger concern. Oh, and mud can be really hard to deal with. I know many artists who won’t do outdoor shows. Ultimately, it is a tradeoff, but a nice weather outdoor show can be a pleasure, even with the extra work.

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