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Under the Oaks ArtShow—A Rough Camel Ride Home a Year Ago—Read On

Well, this show marked a special one year anniversary for most of us in the biz.

It was the last show, we almost got to do, due to Covid.

Last year, Friday the 13th, The Vero Fire Dept. showed up and declared the show done and over at 4:15 due to Covid.

They told the artists to pack up their tents and get the hell out of Vero with their camels.

Well, my camels did not take this well.

They were expecting a leisurely night of munching on oats, figs, yogurt and emaciated mangos.

Needlessly to say it was a bumpy road home to NSB.

Disgruntled camels will pull a One ton Ford van over every bump they can find on the interstate.

Well, it was like old home week when I checked in on Thursday to setup.  This is a three day show.

For many of us this was their first show since the shutdown last March.

I saw a lot of old friends, pretty near a hundred.  Everybody was glad to be out again.

The Show is produced by the Vero Beach Art Center.  This year they had to jump thru hoops to be able to have the show.  They had over 20 meetings with the city council and the park service.

The City allowed for six foot spacing between booths,  but, they made artists negatively have their outside walls covered with a tarp and no art could hang on them.  Go figure.  Normally you want good air flow for safety.

That was the only negative about the show.

The Show is laid out in a large circle in a tree shaded park.  We are all on grass.  About 220 exhibitors were there. You can park behind your booth in most spots.

They fed us a free breakfest every morn, even had scrambled eggs and bacon.

Plus, in our packets were two $5 tickets we could use for food and drink with the concessions.

Demographic-wise Vero is a very affluent community. Most are on the older side of 50, and they love the Bs (birds and beach imagery).

Traditional sells well here. In the past this has always been a $5000 show for most.

This year was much of the same, but there were lots more Lowend sales.  I did not see a lot of big pieces going out like I saw in Naples and Bonita.

Friday is always the slowest day, lots of retirees out for a walk.  The ones with disposable income are at work.

The crowds were thin, probably due to Covid. Almost 99 percent were wearing masks.

I saw a few big pieces go out, but it was mostly small sales out of the bins.

Most artists are happy if they sell $500-$1000 on Friday.

Saturday is always the big day and it was a great one.  People were selling everywhere.

BTW, the weather was perfect.  Cooling breezes all day with no humidity.

It stayed in the high seventies all three days.

Crowds were heavy in the morn, but thinned out by 1pm.

Again, mostly Lowend sales.  Did not see many big pieces go out.

By 2pm it was pretty quiet, but I still ended up real happy.

One of my new pieces that I created last summer was selling like hot cakes.

The Potter next to me and the one across from me were wrapping pieces steadily all day long.

At day’s end we were all happy campers.

I found a great new seafood restaurant near my hotel called the Green Marlin.

They had nightly specials with fresh fish. Friday I had Seabass, and Saturday I had the grouper. They had reasonable prices and poured ample amounts for cocktails.

Sunday was a repeat with great weather. Crowds were slow to come, never got busy until around noon. Sales were not as big as Saturday, about one half, but they were steady.

Overall, most artists were very happy to be doing a show again.

The committee did a great job keeping everybody safe.

I sanitized my hands after every sale.  I wore my mask. Oddly, Sunday was the one day when we saw more maskless patrons. About 20 percent were not wearing masks.

This Show is a winner, it is not easy to get in.

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