Monday, October 02, 2006

Will it play in Peoria?

I will answer this with a resounding NO! Yeesh, what is it with the shows! The Art Fair Gods giveth and the Art Fair Gods taketh away.

After such an amazingly stellar weekend at Plaza, I barely scraped together enough money to cover my expenses at Peoria. OUCH!!! It will go down in history as my worst show of all time, the weekend John and I worked our asses off in Peoria for no apparent reason. As an aside, those of you wondering why I went - this is a highly rated show that was recommended to me by other artists - very competitive to enter, etc. So that is why I was there. I won't return though; there simply was not enough interest in my work. Despite a picture of my art featured in a newspaper article (a huge image of Real Deal, what a rush it was to see); despite the fact my art was shown a a TV commercial; despite the fact 2 of my pieces were in a Gallery Preview show.

In fact, the Gallery wanted me to sign a contract and leave some art with them, an offer I would normally have jumped all over. But I declined. I mean what's the point? Honestly I have better venues. So I said no which is something new for me as I am very very bad at saying no.

The one good thing, I saw my friend Ann Cianciolo, who I haven't seen all year long. We ended up giving each other gifts. I bestowed 2 of my collages for her to add to her collection. And she is making me a ring. I already have her absolutely fabulous "leg" earrings, silver ones with 18k gold accents.

The weather was also good, the kind of perfect fall days that are so special here in the Midwest. And the Mark Twain Hotel (if you ever find yourself in Peoria) is really a lovely reasonably priced boutique hotel. Great beds, linens, bath supplies. Plus free internet.

It also helped that there were many many artists not selling, it wasn't just me. I know that is horrible to say, but misery(after all) does love company. So sad though when the majority of us don't even make our expense money. There was an incredible ceramic artist from Florida, Patricia Mullins, who makes the most gorgeous intricate high end ceramics. One patron actually said to her, "thank you so much for coming all this way to show us your work." And that is sort of what it was like, an exhibition where people didn't realize they could buy, or they didn't have the money, or who knows? I had heard perhaps Caterpillar (the main employer in town) had recently made lay-offs. And that could have been part of the reason. I'm not sure what went wrong as the promoters did a wonderful job and threw a lovely show, covering absolutely all the bases from set-up to publicity to amenities. Very nice people, it's just too bad the clientele didn't buy.

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