Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oklahoma City Gamble

Last week I spent six days outside, eating flying dirt from gusty winds, in the heart of Oklahoma City during the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts.  This was my fifth year in the show, and I feel very lucky to have participated even once, let alone five times in this massive, marathon of a festival.  I didn't know I was going to be in, though, until right before the show, twelve hours before it started.

Alright, so, if you don't know, nearly all art shows are juried.  This means that an artist submits an application with images of their work, info about their process, and a small(ish) fee.  The organizers keep this fee regardless of acceptance into the show.  A person will be informed if they are in, waitlisted, or rejected.  For this show, I was put on the waitlist, as I was last year.  In 2013, however, I was called the Friday before the show began (so, three days before the show began) off the "limbo list" and asked to participate.  Luckily, I was plugging away all winter with the hopes that this would happen.  Some people are called months before the show, some right at the end.

This year, I wasn't called on Friday...or Saturday...or Sunday.  This made me very sad.  I decided to just pack my truck (because I have a new camper shell!) and go down to OKC the day of set up and wait for artists to drop out.  Normally, I am highly risk-averse and would never do this kind of thing.  But a fellow artist friend of mine encouraged me, as did my lovely husband, and I bit the bullet and drove five-and-a-half hours south on I-35.  I arrived at the festival grounds around 3:30, checked in with the volunteers who were coordinating to let them know I was there and ready to go, and had myself a margarita down the block.  As usual, Oklahoma weather is unpredictable, and as I was going back to the truck to plug the meter, a shower popped up.

Lovely view of Reno Ave. during a deluge

By this time I just knew I wasn't going to be in the show and had started thinking about what I'd do for the  next couple days as a tourist.  I had friends in the show and in town, so I knew I would have some fun if Plan B was my fate. 

After the shower stopped, I walked back to the festival to sit in the group of stand-bys.  That's when I got the call.  I was in!  I had mixed emotions at this point, and the margarita didn't help.  It was 7 p.m.  The show officially opened at 7: 30 a.m. the next day.  I threw my stuff up on the walls, tried to get my space in decent shape, and headed to my hotel (I was staying with my encouraging friend) by 10 p.m.

On with the show!
Bright and early Tuesday morning, I managed to get my clocks up and organized.

I had been working on new sizes for the season between small and large
 (let's call them medium, okay?) and seeing them all together the first time was pretty cool.

I also added some small art blocks of anatomical hearts made from
 wood, paint, paper, and vinyl.  I used this opportunity to
focus group this new line of work, and I was pleased with the way my audience
responded to them, and the fun things they said about them I never would have thought of.
My old (new) friend, The Devon Tower, keeping watch over the show.

Last minute large clock I made before heading down, this is 24" x 24".
Many people loved it, but no one adopted this one.  I'll make some
smaller versions for future shows.

 My neighbors, who endured wind and heat and sun and wind and dirt and wind:
Holly Sue Foss, serigraphy artist and one of the happiest women I've never met.

Darren Olson, photographer, ice cream enthusiast (like me!) and stand up guy.

Steve Palmer, glass artist with a great tolerance for my late-in-show salty language and
general good-time-haver.
Doesn't hurt that they're all from the Minneapolis area, either.  Nice folks!
That's me on Day 6 of the show.  You can see my superior engineering skills in
rigging a way to keep my work from flying off the wall during the extensive
wind happenings.  "Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain," FOR REALZ.

 I packed it all up on Sunday, got some delightful Braum's ice cream, and made it home to Kansas City by Monday at 4.  I'm still exhausted, but excited to make more work to replace what sold. 

This festival pulled me not only because it is generally a good business opportunity, but also because I have made real friends surrounding the event, including volunteers, artists, and buyers.  I had a great time and hopefully will get in again next year, just a little sooner!

I get to head back down to Oklahoma for Tulsa International Mayfest, May 15-18.  This is my first year in the show and first time ever in Tulsa, so it will be fun to see the difference a few miles makes between crowds.  

In the meantime, I'll be trying to fluff my Etsy shop and update my website, along with making work and doing all the things a normal human does.  I'm a lucky gal.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Making It: Really Big Clock

Alright, I skipped March.  BUT!  I was working, so it's okay.  I've been trying to nail down some shows and have been dealing with the logistics of that (hotel rooms! inventory! tent rentals! insurance! business things!).  But I did manage to take some pictures while I was making a 24" x 24" clock in the random multicolored orzo burst pattern that has stuck a chord with customers.

GO BIG OR GO HOME, or whatever.

Naked except for my reflection.  Notice the sanded-with-love background.

All full!  Once I get the mechanism in and hands on for testing purposes I'll be sure to
share the final product.
 This took me several days and I took lots of breaks going back and forth between projects so that I didn't go completely burst-crazy.  But I couldn't stop!  So I made more!
5 x 5 inches
8 x 8 inches

6 x 18 inches, stacked orzo

8 x 8 inches on black background
 And just for fun, and because I already have them ready, I'll throw in some of my other orzos.

12 x 12, blue with silver, grey, blue, yellow, black, white, and green

12 x 12, sanded aluminum with orange, yellow, blue, white, and green

9 x 12, yellow with blues and greens

6 x 18, orange with blues

8 x 8, sanded aluminum with green, turquoise, and purple

8 x 8, cream with neutral browns and greys

5 x 5, black and white

5 x 5, periwinkle with greys, pink, and peach

5 x 5, mustard with red, brown, black, and white

5 x 5, reflective silver with black and shimmery grey

5 x 5, peacock blue with gold

5 x 5, white with blues and black

5 x 5, white with light blue

5 x 5, yellow with blues and orange

 Most of these are ready for sale at my Etsy shop, and if they don't sell by the time I hit the road, they'll make a real world debut either in late April or early May (still waiting to hear from one show...).

I have more!  But I thought I'd stop procrastinating and throw these up here since it's been a ridiculously long time.

ETA: I just realized I doubled up on some of these clocks from last time, but...whatever.  Twice as nice!