I'm back at home and a little shell-shocked from the success of the Krasl and Ann Arbor Art Fairs, both in Michigan. I have finally dowloaded my pictures, so first I will write about my Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff experience in St. Joseph, MI.
This is only the second year I have been to Krasl, and this year was even more pleasant than last year. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the setting didn't hurt either - a view of Lake Michigan from my booth. This year I requested a corner spot, and they gave me a corner with a large paved walk-way next to it, which was VERY nice. First let me say that this show rocks for many reasons, but one being their booth spaces are about 14x12 (as opposed to the barely 10x10 spots most shows try to squeeze you into). So even if I didn't have a corner, I would have had plenty of space.
My good friend, Marie (pictured above working the booth), went with me this time because Mike stayed home to attend a librarian's conference at McCormick place. It was great to catch up with her because we never seem to spend enough time together due to busy schedules, so although the show was work, it was also kind of like a girlfriend getaway too. We stayed at the Silver Beach Hotel (which I stayed at last year with my intern, Erin), that was within walking distance - so nice! We left the car parked in the hotel parking lot the whole time. This is huge.
Patrons of the Krasl art fair come out in abundance, and are there to spend. Some are St. Joe residents, and many are Chicagoans on vacation at their summer homes. The Krasl Art Center runs the show, and they do a FANTASTIC job. They say they are here for the artists, and they want to be every artist's favorite show, and they seriously deliver on that (not like some other shows that will remain anonymous, ahem). Coffee and pastry stations in the morning, a great artist break room with food and water, an artist party (which I missed due to setting up late), and a nice artist round-table on Sunday morning with breakfast. Besides all that great stuff, they have a ton of friendly helpers, great promotion (billboard on I-94), great communication, and just sweet and concerned all around.
I had a great day for sales on Saturday, and we went to dinner at Schu's (where we also went last year), and I met my art fair friends Judy and Mimi at an outdoor table. During dinner, I checked my voicemail and had a message from someone at the art fair saying that they hoped I could come to the artist breakfast for the awards ceremony (hint, hint) - so needless to say I was ecstatic, and nervous, to be receiving an award the next day! We also took a walk after dinner through quaint, dowtown St. Joseph, where there are a lot of cute chocolate and coffee shops. We found a guy making fudge in a window.....
I got up Sunday earlier than usual, which is already way too early for me, but was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as they would say, and hopped on down to the artist breakfast and round-table discussion. They had a large tent set up outside on the front patio of the art center, with a nice breakfast. The director of the show took the microphone and began the "round-table discussion," where she introduced all the helpers, did an overview of the show, and addressed any concerns. Then the artists where invited to pass the mic around and voice any questions/comments, which was very nice. Then they gave away the awards, which were by category, and I got a nice big ribbon for best of jewelry, non-precious, (and also a cash award, which was great)!
Sunday's sales ended up being good too, the weather was great again, and I also have to mention that my booth neighbor was super nice as well - Josh, a painter from Indianapolis - I forgot to get all his info, but his paintings were great. Can you tell yet by this post how I can't say one bad thing about this show? Anyhow, Marie and I packed up the booth, and were on our way home! Looked forward to seeing Mike, the new kitten, and had to get ready to leave in a day and a half for a 4-day show in Ann Arbor.......