Paying to Work (my most recent Weekend Art Festival )

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Here's my booth at the Midtown Festival of the Arts • September 25-26, 2010 • Atlanta, GA

Our van is all packed and ready to go. It's normally filled to the roof, but I'm trying to pack lighter this year to make room for our son to fit too, so he can come along with us in the future. I think I did a pretty good job of consolidating things!

We spent the weekend near downtown Atlanta at the Midtown Festival of the Arts. Here’s just a few thoughts and photos from the weekend.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

  • This was by far the coolest city we’ve exhibited my work at. Atlanta is such a beautiful city, and there were people everywhere.
  • The attendance was probably the best of any show we’ve been a part of.
  • The music was fun, varied, and a great caliber.
  • The artist next door to me was a great cheerleader who kept us laughing all weekend.
  • The restaurants near the show were so fun… I had the best Mexican dinner of my life on Friday.
  • There were tens of thousands of people filling the street on Saturday from 10am – 7pm.
  • The volunteers were helpful and greeted us with their Southern hospitality and charm.
  • I got countless positive comments about my paintings. Bait Stand seemed to be the favorite piece of the show.

So that was the fun and games of art show life. Here’s the other side of the story….

  • Our “load-in time” was not until 8pm on Friday evening. I think it was 8:25 before we even began our 3-hour set up process.
  • Got back to the hotel at 11pm, and were then back at the show working from about 9am until 7:30pm.
  • At least 30 or 40 people looked through my flip bin of prints, but only one person actually bought a set of two matted prints.
  • Then I sold a pack of notecards to a 10-year-old girl.
  • That was it for my sales for the day. Hoping Sunday is when everyone will come back and buy the paintings they said they loved.
  • Along with Sunday came the rain at noon.
  • Bye-bye people. Bye-bye customers. Bye-bye to my booth fee, hotel, food, gas, etc.

Despite this sad list of disappointments, I can honestly say it was still a GREAT weekend. The only downside was that I’m poorer now than before I “left to go to work for the weekend.”

I don’t know why I didn’t sell any paintings this weekend. On Saturday, there were enough “lookers” in my booth, that statistically, at least one or two should have bought something of significance. Maybe a few of the people who took my cards will become customers down the road.

What I do know is this: all I can do is keep painting and looking for places to show my work. I’m hoping that if I follow my dream and keep working my tail off, someday it’s going to pay off.

Would I go back and do it all next year? Probably! We LOVED Midtown Atlanta…

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2 thoughts on “Paying to Work (my most recent Weekend Art Festival )

  1. Marie Scott,

    Thanks for your constructive and insightful comments about the inaugural Midtown Festival of the Arts. We really appreciate your perspective and are going to do everything we can to make this an annual event that is successful for everyone! I feel I owe you a debt of gratitude for helping us open Peachtree Street up to pedestrians and the arts! This was a dream come true for a lot of folks!

    Jeff Keesee
    Secretary, Board of Directors, MFOTA

    • Jeff–your board and volunteers did an amazing job running the show. Most people we talked to didn’t even realize it was the first year. We could not believe how well attended it was. All your advertising and marketing sure paid off. Sorry about the rain! Thanks for letting me be part of such a well-run show… we will definitely be back.

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