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32nd Annual St. George Art Festival, St. George, UT.

Just got back from the St. George, UT Art Festival. Great weather, great crowds, low sales. Perhaps the fact that there was an overabundance of photographers had something to do with it? Of approximately 110 artists 15 were photographers. If you threw a stick you were bound to hit one of them! Many of the photographers were grouped around each other. Of the "bunch" two of us were "traditional" (not digital) photographers. I received a 2nd place award and the other traditional photographer received 1st place. As usual, there is always a lot of praise for our art but people seem to go for the glitz of the color work. Would I go too far out of my way for this show? Probably not but we weren't that far and I wanted to try something new. As with any show there are a few "misses" but overall the quality of the art was quite high, one of my favorites was the featured artist Steve Harmston a screen printer. I rarely see screen printed art at the shows and his was high quality.

The St. George Art Festival is produced by the City of St. George Leisure Services Department. Promoted as family friendly and has live music on three stages and a "kid's creation station" where the little ones can make things to take home, helps to keep them from being too fussy! The staff couldn't have been more friendly and accommodating of artists with snacks each day, water, coffee (yuk), tea, hot chocolate (yeah) and a breakfast! Set up was all of Thursday before the show in the historic town square, which by the way is quite nice with large sculptures and water features, making it easy with a leisurely pace if you got there early, they even had big wagons that you could borrow which really helped going over the grass. Parking was easy and plentiful near the fair.

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Comment by Connie Mettler on April 28, 2011 at 7:30pm

Thanks for this report, Brian. I'm sure many of us appreciate it a lot that you are stepping up and reporting on shows we don't know much about. Good job, all the info is there and congratulations on the award.

I don't think 15 photographers in a show of 110 is too many - usually 12-15% of the show is photographers. I think it is great that the judges did recognize the traditional photographers. Taking this road with black and white you already know you are not going to open as many pocketbooks as the color guys, but it sounds like someone(s) did notice your fine work.

Congratulations to the Harmston's also!

Comment by Stephen and Bonnie Harmston on April 27, 2011 at 1:55pm

Brian,

Thanks so much for the compliment! As you know , for us this was a surreal experience as not only were we the feature artist but  also were fortunate to receive the Best of Show award as well. As you mentioned this is a nice little show in an area of affluence and  as long as you weren't a photographer (you certainly were one of the best there!) sales were brisk and plentiful, at least for us. I think for anyone who is looking for a nice show to do on the way to shows in Arizona, New Mexico or Texas then this is perfect. The people are lovely. Both the staff and the show visitors are very nice here and set up and take down is a breeze.

We know next year will not provide us with nearly the same attention we got this year  but we do look forward to going back nonetheless. Hope to see you there or at another show along the way.

Steve and Bonnie Harmston

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