Last weekend I participated in my first art fair type of event here in Virginia. The development I live in had a 30-year anniversary celebration of its founding. Part of it was the marketplace I signed up for. I had no idea what to expect of it, but thought it would be a good way to meet some of the neighbors and start getting my work out there. The venue is only a couple of miles down the road from my house and the table fee wasn't very much, so it was an easy decision. I brought pillows, dyed silk scarves and art cards so the set-up would be easy too.
I am very glad it did it. If I'd measured my results based on sales, I would have been very disappointed. But I'd gone into it with no real expectation of selling anything, my hope was to make connections. On that score I was successful.
My neighbor at fair also made art-to-wear. She was impressed with my work and she came up with a couple of recommendations of places for me to go after. One place she told me about was a small gallery in Yorktown that sponsors an annual Art Stroll right down on the waterfront. As it turned out, we were planning to meet our son for lunch at a restaurant right there the very next day. I was able to check out the gallery and on a whim asked about participating in the stroll--which takes place in just two weeks. To my surprise I was able to get a spot. I couldn't get a space in the building - my first choice, but they did have a space in their big tent. So I jumped on the opportunity - might as well go into this with both feet. I'll need a bigger, more elaborate display for this one. So I've got some work to do, but I'm excited.
My neighbor was very inspirational as well as giving me concrete advice. She told me early on that she is 83 years old...and still doing lots of fairs and events. She had her daughter with her on Saturday, but usually she said she does it all on her own. So with good luck, I've got quite a few years yet and it'll be worth my time investment to check out these venues.
On with my plans...