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Images Art Festival—A perfect way to end the month

First off, after Images, I am 30% ahead of sales in 2017.

And 2017 was a killer year for me.

Let us just say “Nels-ism” is purring along.

Second.  Ellen and me are moving to NSB in October.

NSB stands for New Smyrna Beach, perched on the Atlantic just below Daytona.

Images Art Show is there.

I can hear the crying and wailing already, “OMG!, They are leaving Ybor.”


Our neighbor made us an offer we could not turn down. And, how many fricking pirate beads do you have to collect?

Enough, we are ought of here. The fricking chickens can ruin somebody else’s yard.  No more beer cans sitting in our bushes on the weekends from party-goers wanting to avoid a DUI.

OK, back to a review of Images.

The locals now refer to their town as NSB rather then its Christian name.

I lived there 1980-1987. We called it Smyrna-burner land.  Do not ask why, we just did.

I have always done this show since 1980.

It has never been a killer show.  I have never grossed more than 3K here, yet.  This year included.

But it has always been a mellow show to do.  You get to set up on a cool beach town with your booths facing the inter coastal. The people are gracious, well behaved, but also very conservative in what they buy.

Florida Drek rules here.  Out of the box art shrivels away.  Just the way it is.

It is a three day show with setup on Friday, early on, because the show opens at 1pm.

In the 80-s the show was entirely in the Park by the inter coastal. Then in the late 90-s they started putting it on the street.

Now, the show is all on Riverside Drive (facing the water) and on Canal Street where all 

the shops and restaurants are. About 250 artists.  A very strong Patrons purchase program. Big award money, and everybody has storage behind their booths.

A little aside here.

This has always been a mellow beach town with yen to the surfing culture.

You can drive your car on the beach here. Right on the Atlantic Ocean.

There are only four places in Florida you can do that.

In the 80-s when I lived here, my favorite pastime was to drive my van onto the beach.

I would cruise on down, find a spot with Tony and Joes Restaurant behind, cocktails and food there later.

Then I would pull the KD canopy out and set her up. I would plunk down a couple of recliner chairs on a woven mat.  Haul out a cooler fully stocked. Then I would roll a big hooter and take a puff.

I would wonder what the rich people were doing because I was having extreme Simple Pleasures.

Next, I would troll out to the waves and bodysurf a number of them, then I would come back in for a libation from the cooler. Maybe I would chill and read a book or just have a mellow snooze.

At day’s end I packed it up and went home pleasantly recharged ready for whatever tomorrow would present.

Well, guess what? I am almost 73 and I am looking forward to doing it all over again, I cannot wait.

OK, back to the show.

The weather forecast for the weekend was edgy.

It was going to be cool every day with a high percentage of rain on Sunday.

Friday setup was mellow.

It was very cloudy and cool. People were out early on.  Trouble was, most of them were retirees.

The Florida State species, bobcats and gators move over.

The money people work on Friday. So we put up with lots of praise and watched them parade their yelping

dogs. If you made $500 you were lucky, and some did.  Lucky guys, and girls.

Me, I made $247 and blew most of that on sushi at Sasaki out on the beach.

Another Little aside about NSB.

When I lived here in the 80s there were about four restaurants to choose from.  Me and the Napolies were the only artists on the circuit living here.  Sorry, no sushi, no Thai no eclectic fusion bistros.

Today they got it all.  NSB made a big lunge into the future just like St. Petersburg. Also, there are more than a dozen circuit artists living here.

Sasaki is this cool little sushi restaurant out off Flagler Avenue beachside.

The bar sits six and there’s are about four tables, get there early or be prepared to wait.

Head chef Jimmy makes the best Uzuzukuri I have had (this is thinly sliced pieces of Yellowtail, think as thin as rose petals which he then piles on fish roe and dots the plate with fish eggs and ponzu, for $12, it is a steal and very yummy) and they offer a simple and inexpensive menu of many delights.

I will be eating here three times a week,

OK, Nels will you please tells us about how the rest of the show went.

Thought you would never ask.

Saturday was warmer but you still needed a vest.

Crowds were out early on the Canal Street but not so where I was,

I did not see many large 2-D packages go by me, but most people were selling small things.

I love Bill Sargent’s Definition of small purchases, “Precious little pieces of paper.”

It was a very boring, slow day for me.  These people did not appreciate my humerous images, they did not even look at my architectural.  The only thing that sold were my potty shots.

At day’s end I was up to a whopping $750 total for two days.

So I had dinner with a good buddy from Saugatuck and inbibed delicious Knob Creek Manhattens

 Chilled up, not shaken.

I left my van in Position A on Saturday, prepared to teardown early on Sunday if the proposed forecast

proved true.

Reports said it would start raining by 11am and get really nasty by 2pm.

Thank God this never happened. We tore down at 4pm and it never rained til 7pm.

So Sunday ended up being the primo day for me and lots of others.

Their are serious amounts of awards here. Two booths down from me were two artists, who are serious award winners, whose booths suddenly disappeared from the show. I guess they got blanked on the judging and took their toys home early.  Hmmmm, I wonder if us mere mortals could get away doing that.

OK. Sunday. It was a real art show, finally.

I trebled my sales from the previous two days.

Also, I saw numerous big packages go by me all day.  Thank the Lord!

At teardown I was out in a hour flat, something to be said for Position A.

Back to Ybor.

Our neighbor is buying our almost century-old historic home.

They gave us a very generous offer for buying the house as is. Plus the closing is at March 1 and they are going to let us live in it til we go north for the summer, around May 8.

Both of us are excited about coming back from Saugatuck and moving to NSB, I can already hear the gentle humming of the ocean waves lulling me to wonderful sleep.

Later Gators.

This weekend I do Fort Myers. Will give ya a good report.

Views: 602

Comment by Joan Glover on January 31, 2018 at 3:13pm

This was my first show, ever, in Florida due in part my girlfriend just lives 3 miles from the festival. I had no idea what to expect but worked my butt off getting ready. My 1st sale was 5 minutes after the opening, and the sales kept coming! The best 4 hours ever. Saturday was better yet, which topped my best ever one day sales. Sunday was ok, but it was mainly due that I had only 10 pieces left to sale. I had a record breakdown of 20 minutes, and an empty trailer going back to Western North Carolina!  My customers were great and many came back on Saturday and Sunday to purchase more! I'm so happy that the weather cooperated and would love to try another Florida show! But next time I'll double my inventory!  Btw the local restaurants were incredible, if you got a chance to eat.

Comment by Brenda Flynn on February 2, 2018 at 6:37am

Love this review, Nels. Right on point. I never get into Images. I'm not considered a "real" artist at many shows because I have the audacity to use a ModPodge paper glue (mixed with clear gesso)'s mixed media and everyone in mixed media either uses a welding torch or Modpodge, but go figure.

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on February 2, 2018 at 12:33pm

Greetings, Moe Pho.

Great review, and I'm so sorry we cannot come back to Florida to do this show. When we were able to make Florida our market, we only did Images once because we didn't usually make that 2200 mile drive from our home on the Wyoming range until mid-March. But the one time we did do it proved to be good. We had our best first-half-day selling until the rain hit at 3:00 that afternoon. Then the temps dropped to zero-point-shit-below-rock-level. Patrons on Sunday didn't even want to stop and look at anything despite the sunny day. It was in low 40's and breezy.

HERE ARE THE AWARD WINNERS! I see many friends faces on this list and on the master list of artists. I sure miss you folks! Jewelers can revel that Best of Show went to Marilyn Villancourt and another big award went to Christian Nevin. I bought my wife an early Nevin crown ring about 10 years ago before gold went through the roof. WOOHOO!

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on February 2, 2018 at 12:35pm

I forgot to mentione eating trigger fish for my first time here. Victor Edwards steered me in the direction of that little place on the beach. I had to call and order for pick up four hours later! Just awesome food, y'all! WOOHOO!

Comment by Joel Lockridge on February 3, 2018 at 7:48pm

I was incredibly excited to be accepted into this show. I was looking forward to it! I had reservations to stay, old friends were coming out to see me, and the whole package! But on Wednesday before the festival, my Father died. I hope to get in next year, but I am glad to see it went well!

Comment by Joan Glover on February 3, 2018 at 8:02pm
Joel, I'm so sorry for your loss! If I should get accepted next year, I'll give you my space! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!


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