Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I just found out yesterday that Gary San Pietro passed away on June 27th. A smoker for as long as I can remember, he had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago and had survived an operation but in the past year or so had started smoking again.
Gary San Pietro taken about 1997 - finishing packing up at the Gracie Square Art Show in NYC
Gary's booth from Manayunk
I can't go into too much detail as I'm still reacting to the news, but Gary and I were close friends since we met almost 40 years ago at my first art show. The last time we spoke was about a month before he passed. He was one of the most giving and loving people I've ever met and almost everyone who met him considered him to be a friend.
For at least the next year or so, I'm going to leave his web site up so people can appreciate his award winning graphical design photography.
I knew Gary as the guy with exceptional and large color photographs displayed in a self-constructed booth arrangement,...that seemed to work well in any weather conditions. We were both Philadelphians though I can't remember running into him anywhere in town, probably because he actually lived in a nearby suburb and I lived in the First Ward. He was a regular exhibitor at Armonk where we would share a few words every year. I also remember having a bar stool conversation with him on the Monday morning after Old Town, in a greasy spoon frequented by the show artists. I was charging my batteries for the roster of home visits scheduled after the show, which is how I marketed back then, often ending a show with no sales until going onsite in the following days. Gary and I had a wide ranging and eclectic conversation, the exact contents I no longer recall, but it was a chat I still remember for the deep sense of artists' camaraderie we shared and still hold dear. I no longer use many of the mainstream art shows, choosing instead to experiment with various alt-marketing approaches, so the possibility of running into Gary at a show ended years ago. But his face is one amongst a list of people I have missed as I wondered off, and with news of his passing I'm left with wishing him a peaceful rest after what I am certain was a fulfilling yet challenging life.
Thanks for that sweet photo, Larry. What a loss ... a wonderful man, always cheerful but philosophical. So caring and sweet and kind and fun to be around. Peter has it right, Gary was the epitome of the artist network and caring for one another, the bond that helps us in this business.
Now I'm hoping he has joined those photographers in the sky Michael Craven, Bill Coleman and Norm Darwish. What a motley group of fine men!
I'm sorry for your loss, Larry, and thank you for this notice.
I last talked to him about a year ago when he found out that Norm had died and we had the usual long ranging conversation about life and love. Norm and I were friends with one of his lost loves and we reminisced about her as I'd seen her recently.
He took his work seriously, but not so seriously. Each image reflected his sense of humanity, his closeness to people.
Three of my close family members are under treatment for lung cancer and one in hospice. It is a killer.
I met Gary in the late seventies. We were set up outside of the WBAI Christmas Crafts Fair at Columbia University on Broadway. It was freezing. He had the most amazing photography. I'd never seen anything like it before or since. He could take a picture of some mundane object or scene, give it a title, and it would take on a whole other meaning.