Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Working the Shows Wednesday

I told y’all we went to the Patuxent River Appreciation Days event on Sunday and, while it was not a huge show - only about 35 artists and crafters, it did have some fantastic work available!!

As this event is definitely associated with life along the Maryland waterways, the dominant theme of the artwork is related to the sea. Dozens of crabs were featured (yes, pun was intended!), great blue herons which abound along our waterways, fish images, marshland critters and artwork reflecting the life of working watermen. I can’t say that I noted some unique new trend in artwork or predominant “new” colors or techniques. There was such an abundance of high quality work in so many mediums and techniques I can just stress that this was top-notch work all the way. These folks weren’t even made to compete with any buy/sell trinkets! I was so impressed by so many of the artists and fine craftsmen that it is hard to pinpoint just a few of interest.

One of the few mediums I have not worked with over the years (besides art class) is pottery. For this reason, I am often drawn to and fascinated by this work. The work of Sarah Houde drew me like a magnet, especially a large Raku jellyfish wall hanging. Much of her work is functional in nature, flounder shaped platters, large coffee mugs, and various shaped urns. The earthy tones with watery blue highlights of so much of her work struck me as not only beautiful but also soothing. See Sarah’s work for yourself here.

Then there were the realistic sculptures of Mary Ida Rolape‘s Creek Side Art. She learned woodcarving as a teen from an uncle and has worked at developing her talents ever since. She also does castings of her original carvings. Mary also began a wildlife habitat in 2002 and some proceeds from her art go toward developing and supporting that habitat. You can read more about the habitat and see her work here on her site.

About a third of the exhibitors were two-dimensional artists using various mediums Rose M. Beitzell of Studio R is one of those folks. Rose paints and draws, carves, wood burns, and more. What a talented lady!! Again, the marshland theme is predominant. Take a gander at her work here.
Finally, there was Tammy Vitale. Another multi-talented artist and crafter, Tammy creates some absolutely tantalizing jewelry but what attracts people most is her personality. This gal has it going on! When I come in from visiting a show, I always sit down and go over my notes. I take time to pull up a website or two and when I pulled up Tammy’s site, I fell in love with her blog. The 9/21/09 post was entitled 3 things to remember after the art show. I found myself smiling and nodding my head. Check it out here!! I’m sure you’ll be nodding along with us. (Oh, yeah, take time to check out her work, too.)

One thing I do want to call your attention to -

Do your business cards really get your customers back to you? Are you sure?

Once again, I gathered a number of cards while walking the show. Late Sunday night, I sat down and attempted to pull up the various websites noted on the cards. A full 20% listed bad or totally inactive sites. In one case, I wasn’t just browsing, I wanted to make a purchase. (I couldn’t buy it at the show as the person I wanted to gift with it was with me.) It was frustrating to have to resort to e-mailing the crafter who, incidentally, had proudly announced that she had a website. This is Wednesday and I haven’t heard back from her , yet.

This is a problem I’ve found after visiting many a craft show this year. Please pick up your card and try it out. Be sure your customers can find you using it. Otherwise, why waste the paper the card is printed on?


LynnAnne said...

While not an "artist" I sure do appreciate the work of those who are! Glad you had a successful event.

Tammy Vitale said...

googled myself on this rainy cool SoMD day and found you! Thanks for the shout out! (I'm revamping my website, which as you found, does work. =]. Would love to quote you on it - with your picture. What do you think?)