I know I know, I should have written it sooner but oh well. School can get in the way too as does life.
Let me start out by saying that I teach Talented and Gifted Elem. and a few art classes too. My girlfriend who also accompanied me on this trip also teaches but up in St. Paul MN. After finding out that a booth space was won in the pledge drive raffle I was very excited. I called her and we both decided to take two personal days from school to therefore make a long weekend vacation out of this sale. We not only geocached along the way but had friends in TN so the drive was fine. Some info about the spaces: We decided to camp in the local camp ground of the state park instead of getting a hotel room in a town maybe fifteen minutes away. It was a little chilly but we like adventure so it worked out great. The ranger was nice when someone accidentally took over our spot from the first day. Although he camp sites are fairly expensive they do have lots of other "amenities" for campers AND we both agree those were some of the cleanest camp ground bathrooms ever which is a bonus.
Weather- First day was pretty much all rain. That plus the somewhat cooler temps did not help anybody. everyone had very very little sales that day. I think I sold one one dollar clay pig ( I sell ceramics mugs, bowls, cups, vases, and acrylic paintings). Second day weather was ok. a little drizzley but it held off and foot traffic did increase but not greatly.
Space- This camp ground was in the middle of a state park so the trees and back drop were beautiful. However the somewhat constricted roads then lead to longer set up times. We had decided to drive to Nashville on Friday night. Then leave Sat morn and cut our drive down a bit. We arrived on time and in a perfect world would have been ready to go quickly. but rain, cars ahead of us etc... slowed us down. On their forms they stress that if you are not set up by a certain time then you won't be asked back. I don't think many people "made the dead line". Either way we unloaded and my girlfriend was nice enough to go park the car for me and take their provided hay ride type shuttle back. Totally understandable that you want artist cars out of the way for more attendees. there was a little bit of disorganization when we were in line in our car in the beginning. One lady told us to wait at a corner so she could get another guy who had been waiting to go through...she walks away...another volunteer organizer guy comes and tells us to move please...We explain what the first lady said...He still tells us to move...So we move...first lady then comes back after a few minutes with a somewhat funny look on her face. We told her we were just following directions and to go talk to that other guy. Neither was rude or angry but I felt a lot of stuff was tricky that day for them.
Sales- I once had done a small town art fair where one lady cleaned house and everyone else sold nothing. She had no tent and totally set up form the back of her car last minute. Her stuff was also super less expensive than those around her. We all sold barely anything that day. I say this because this time a man selling crafty bird houses cleaned house. BUT his work was actually very nicely made and he sold at a fair price. It was clearly what people wanted. That's totally fine so I am not salty about this one. There were other sales too. I had a handmade furniture couple to my right and a wooden sign slogan lady to my left. Funny enough another tent was the wooden signs across the way. (They kind of battled each other. On Sunday one put out a 50% off sign and very soon the other one did too) Again with the weather sales were very small.To be honest I didn't make very much money at all. I kind of suspected this going in and therefore treated it as a mini vacation in the first place. Ps I also traded cars with a friend to use his suv to transport metal grid walls and such instead of renting a van. so really it only cost me travel expenses and food and such on our way. Was it worth it? Probably not. But it was still a fun four day weekend adventure.
Philosophies- I have hinted at the disconnect between what makes a craft show a craft show and an art show art etc... I also understood that even though this had submitted images for entry it was still even titled a arts and craft show. I once did another craft show and quickly learned that my art does not fit there. Ok this time I had some smaller priced cups and things around 5, 10, 15, and mugs for 20 dollars. I figured that if someone wanted a 65 dollar painting they would get it. If not, I had small stuff just in case. I must say that the differing styles and craft were well represented. I know my post is probably negative sounding but they did do a good job of having different artists there. One lady took plastic grocery bags and turned them into jackets. Or painted cigar boxes talking about die-ing off species of bugs like bees and butterfly. That's cool. there was your typical wooden cutting boards, glass blown pieces, no buy and sell tents which was nice. all in all even though they were art and craft I still felt ok being there. However it was more of a crafty crowd I would say.
One final thing- We had heard from patrons that it had taken them at least forty minutes to be able to park. Then, they were finally able to get one of the shuttles into the sale area. A combination of weather and parking closed out this show for me. I am glad I had the experience and the four day vacation so to speak but I would not return.