Art Fair Insiders

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Mystic Show-Meet the Artisans, July 30 & 31

This is one of several shows in Mystic, and this one is put on by Denise Morris Curt.  It’s a small show, about 60 artists, and I prefer the intimate atmosphere of a smaller show.  It’s on the village green next to the Old Mystic Village Shops, which provides a lot of foot traffic, and next to a restaurant, which provides the waiting for a table folks around 5 or 6. 

Denise had me set up right next to her, in a great spot where my work hanging on the back wall was clearly visible to crowds in the Village Shops.  Load in was probably one of the easiest we’ve ever done- 11:30 am set up time, pull up to the curb, and fortunately my spot was right on the entrance road into the shops, so we didn’t even have to use our dolly.  The weather gave us a break on Friday-overcast and much cooler than last weekend at Old Saybrook.  I actually made a sale during set up, which filled us with a lot of hope for the show.

Denise has a faithful following among the artists that do her shows, and she does good advertising.  The crowds were slow to start out on both Saturday and Sunday, and didn’t really get too big either day, perhaps because it was pretty warm both days-high 80’s.  The shoes were there, but not by a whole lot.  The whole mess with the vote on the national debt was weighing on people’s minds.  The artist next to me said several people mentioned it and blamed their buying hesitancy on that.   A couple of artists noted that this was the slowest they’ve seen this show, and I’ll take their word, as this is my first time here. Several artists mentioned the Mystic show that takes place August 14 as being the Mystic show to do, right on the Seaport, but I think that’s a one-day show.   Perhaps the footwear is better at that show; there were a lot of looky-loos at this one.

Our one big concern was security.  It seems that theft has increased, at least I’ve heard about more theft in the past couple of months than I ever have before.  Framer Dude always does a few late night walk throughs the show to make sure security is out there, and gets buddy buddy with them, but he didn’t see a single guard on Friday night, and he was there almost an hour wandering through the show.   Saturday night we encountered one guard who was patrolling all of the shoppes in Ye Olde Mistick as well as the show, so I was not thrilled with the quality of security.

This is my first time back home to the Northeast with my artwork, and I am thrilled with the response here to my work.  Living in Florida and doing the Florida circuit, I had begun to accept a 5x booth fee as a good show for me.  I have a subject matter that New England coastal show goers can relate to- stones, shells, and shoreline scenes- and it’s a whole new ballgame for me now.  Too bad the economy is in such shaky shape or I think I would have experienced the five figure show that all the veterans talk about by now.  I’m traveling further north to Maine, where the Canadians are out in full force for their summer vacations, so hopefully I can even out the balance book up there.


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Comment by Jeanne Steck on August 10, 2011 at 11:42am

Maybe the church parking lot...


Comment by Caroline Kwas on August 10, 2011 at 11:37am
I haven't nailed anything down yet.  Possibly dry dock it at a marina?  Framer Dude is awesome at schmoozing, making friends, and finding little spaces for an aircraft carrier.  Bill also has been great with artist parking.   I hope you get in-I'll keep my fingers crossed!
Comment by Jeanne Steck on August 10, 2011 at 11:30am
I'm on the wait list - but will definitely stop by if I don't get in.  I'll see if I can drag the husband over. Where are you parking the "bus" that weekend?
Comment by Caroline Kwas on August 10, 2011 at 11:13am
Jeanne, I'll be at the Paragon Westhampton show Sep 3 &4.  Love to meet up!
Comment by Jeanne Steck on August 10, 2011 at 11:05am

Thanks for the review Caroline! Something to think about for next year. At least I have relatives in CT I could crash with.

Good luck in Maine!

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