Friday, January 27, 2017
The Winter Show
Tonight, as I reflect on the past three days and prepare to leave in the afternoon tomorrow (early as it turns out), I remember why I did the winter wholesale craft shows for so long. It wasn't for the sales--though that's what we artist/business folk would like to tell ourselves--it was for the friendships and the art. I don't remember the big orders from the shows (not that there were all that many of them). I remember the Reading Market for lunches, the cherried chicken livers from I-Can't-Remember-Where (but Dee will know), and the annual dinners at Maggiano's. The days may have been exhausting, the sales crappy, the expenses excruciating, but seeing old friends from around the country over dinner was always wonderful.
As we artists are solitary cats in our studios, it was the only time in a year for us to get together with both other artists and with the store owners who carry our work and who have become our friends. At the show, we'd hug and laugh and be all giddy to see each other again. But nothing stands still. Some of my friends have retired. Some have died. Some have had to go on to other things because they just couldn't make a living at art--got to have a regular job with a big company for the insurance, doncha know. Some (like me) are still in the business, but looking for a way other than shows to make the annual sales numbers--shows are just too expensive for the return.
These past few days of happy, artistic camaraderie here at the Spin-In, actually have made me a bit sad that I'm not doing the Philly show this year. Don't get me wrong--I won't miss the exhaustion of show set-up, the fear of crappy sales, or the eternally excruciating expenses. But I will miss my friends, the art, and another giddy get-together.