The most striking thing about this year's art show was the weather. Not exactly front page news at an outdoor show. With snow being predicted for Sunday, all serious buyers came down on Friday and buy they did! Many artist claimed to have had record sales Friday, earning more in one day than they usually did all weekend.
On Third Street, sweatshirt sales were up, beer sales were down. Most critical - artist satisfaction was very high! I was able to personally meet about 95% of our artists, and the complaints I got this time were "more cake doughnuts - less frosted" rather than the usual parking, port-o-pot and general mad-at-the-world type. Even those that weren't selling (there are always some, even at a good show in a good year) were positive about the show.
The little negativity I got was from the section at the Sunoco station. As you may know, we rented this from Ben Handy and sold spaces to juried artists to recover our costs. While some artists had a good show, a majority would prefer to be back on Third. It's a problem changing public perception having had junk there for so long. Some artists overheard favorable comments from patrons about the improvement on the comer, but they also saw many pass around the perimeter without going in. My fervent hope is that the building is turned into something viable SOON. [We do, too. Please contact Ben Handy with your suggestions. - Ed.]
Unfortunately, I don't really have any observations about the show at large (didn't get out much) or any amusing anecdotes (was mostly working). At the post mortem consortium meeting, comments were generally the same - good sales, weird weather, fewer logistical problems than usual, and the same headache of scab vendors setting up on lawns. A little boring I guess, but that's how we like it!
From a Show Shopper I enjoy giving "art objects" for Christmas presents, and searching through all the unique vendors provided a wonderful opportunity to get a head start. The cold seemed to keep some people away, but others like myself just grabbed some hot chocolate and kept on shopping. The selection was once again quite varied and there seemed to be something for everyone. Visiting with the vendors and volunteers made the occasion even more enjoyable.
From a Show Volunteer
I just moved to Louisville and downtown seemed like the right place to be. I found this to be true after I volunteered at the St. James Art Fair. Between pouring beer and coffee, I saw and met so many interesting people, I hardly noticed the cold temperature! I was quickly reminded, however, as people passed up the souvenir beer cup for some more hot Joe! I love that I have moved to a city with such friendly, diverse people, and so much going on!Jessica Mason, Louisville
And Finally, From the Old
Our heartfelt thanks to Peggy Cummins, Sam Dorr, Jim Trousdale, and all our volunteers for a near record year at the Food Booth. With better weather, we probably could have removed the word "near." Look forward to seeing all of you, plus many new volunteers, next year.
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