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Hitting The Art Fair Trail

October 6, 2008

Now that I’ve been doing some new work over the last nearly two years, we’re going to take the show on the road again.  It’s been 18 years since we did our last art festival.  All of the show booth stuff was lost in a fire several years ago, so we’ve had to start from scratch.  We’ve replaced the old heavy, cumbersone pegboard panels with ProPanels, and have a tent being delivered in a few days.  We’re going to start out small, with some of the local fundraising stuff, church bazaars, high school art festivals, etc., just to get our feet wet again.  I don’t know if we’ll sell much at those, but we need to work out the kinks, and they’re cheap shows within an hour’s drive.

Show booth setup – dry run

I did a dry run, setting the booth up in the garage.  Smart move.  Putting the ProPanels up will be a quick setup next time, but I took my time and made a few false starts on the dry run.  That took a while.  Tear down, start to finish, ready to load, took about twenty minutes.  The only problem is going to be fitting everything into the Trailblazer.  We did a dry run of that as well, and it all went in, but we’ll have to try it again with the tent.  We may need a small enclosed trailer, which is going to kill the budget.  Aside from the purchase, we’ll have to store it in a storage yard, because there’s no driveway at our townhouse.  Two cars plus a trailer is one parking space too many.

The gouache paintings

The framed gouache paintings look good hanging on the walls.  I understand the horror some feel about varnishing gouache, but it’s my preference, and I will quietly go my own way.  I’ve had the joy of handling, transporting and breaking glass, and besides, I prefer the way the paintings look placed directly into the frame.  My gallery, Woods At Mission Timber in Sanger, Texas, like them that way as well.

I’ve attached some photos of the booth.  There are still some adjustments and tweaking to do, but the basics are there, and we’re getting excited.  We do remember the hot Texas summer days outdoors, and the rain, and the hours spent watching people pass by without stopping.  But there was something adventurous about it all, and we’ve missed that.  I’ve still got a lot of framing and other things to do, but hopefully we’ll get out there sometime in the next few weeks.  Hopefully, we’ll at least sell enough to pay for the shows.  I figure if we can sell a little in this economy, it can only get better when things improve.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Chuck permalink
    October 7, 2008 2:09 pm

    Very nice setup, the paintings look great and with your recent success I know bigger things are to come. maybe trade the trailblazer in for something bigger? It might make more since rather than buying a trailer and paying for storage space.

  2. October 7, 2008 2:40 pm

    Wow, the gray fabric panels look great! Can’t wait to see this at a show, keep us posted when you set out so we can try to show up and say hello!!

  3. Nell permalink
    October 8, 2008 12:06 pm

    Exciting to be back doing these again. The panels and set up really looks good here! Not to mention, the art!

  4. October 10, 2008 12:33 am

    Thanks, Chuck! Good point about getting something bigger. I’m not sure Nell’s going to buy that, though. Unless I can find a cheap van in great condition…

  5. October 10, 2008 12:34 am

    Carol, I think it’s going to work pretty nicely. I suppose I’ll need to set up “Show Schedule” page. Thanks!

  6. November 22, 2008 10:16 pm

    Very nice, Ralph. I have only done inside shows with my eggs but I have those glass cubes you put together with clips and they take a while. I would never do it without my husband-he is better than a right hand man.
    I notice some matted pictures. Given your preference for varnishing (which I really like the idea of) why are these matted? just curious!

    • December 6, 2008 6:34 am

      Barbara, thanks for all your comments. The matted pieces are a sheer, unashamed mercenary attempt on my part to generate income from my art. While the intent is to sell originals, the economy is going to dictate that many people spend less for awhile. Those are inexpensive (but very nice quality) reproductions of my paintings that I will sell at smaller fairs and festivals. There are people who think that’s just awful, but those people don’t pay my bills. I told a fellow artist several months ago that I am not above selling cheap prints on the town square in order to be able to paint fulltime. When the originals begin to sell at an acceptable level, the reproductions will go away. At a time when the average person couldn’t afford original paintings, Frederick Remington made much of his income from cheap prints sold by Collier’s, his publisher. I’m not a Remington, but these are tough times, and I’m not going to let pride stand in the way of generating a little income.

  7. October 14, 2012 5:23 pm

    Reblogged this on In Thi Image and commented:
    I’ve been searching for inspiration on an Artist Show Booth, this blog showcases one that I thought was really nice! It’s clean, simple, and has great style! some day I hope to emulate this look for my own Art. Check it out!

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