Monday, February 8, 2016

Festival bugs and wandering artists

One for the Calendar!

Words raining from heaven itself to the ear of the festival artist: 
Congratulations!
 You have been accepted to participate in the 70th annual Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair! We are honored to have you participate in this important community event! The jury was extremely competitive this year due to the overwhelming amount of national submissions from leading artists. In 2016, 840 talented artists applied to the BAM ARTSfair and only 315 artisans were accepted.
Word of congrats, a little flattery and...a precedent to a half-day of filling out paperwork, studying festival maps, making reservations (yes, this early) and a bunch of other work. They say that opportunity often comes in coveralls and in the festival world, this is certainly the case.
The Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair takes place July 29-31, which seems so far away at the moment but there is much to do before then.

Work Begins Right Now


For interested artists, an acceptance to a major festival often comes with a dozen or so "little" tasks to do. First and foremost, paying the booth fee (I think this is the reason for the flattery in the acceptance letter) which varies from $200s to $2000 depending on festival, desired location, special requests for my booth, parking (not always included) and a long and surprisingly varied etcetera.
This is a new festival for me so I have no idea where to place myself although the map helps. A little studying of the layout, imagining foot traffic patterns of viewers, making up theories about where the load in may be easier...oh how fun!
After a while of imagining stupid things, I randomly picked a booth or three and paid the 1K for a 10x15' space. Whoooosh, mailed right back along with the registration forms and other disclosures, sign the bottom line, I swear I read every word of the Artist's Guide and a trip to the post office.

Seriously, some considerations for me are space behind my booth and sometimes a corner, although not for an extra $200. 10 x 15 feet inline suits me just fine. I like to be "in the fray" not too close to an exit, not at the end of a row against the wall where people will turn before finishing the row. Long load in/out treks don't bother me too much as long as nobody rushes me or tries to "help."

Booth picked and reserved, now I Google the place in question and make reservations for a walking distance not-so-ritzy not-a-dump hotel. This festival will take me 1700 miles from home and days are long so I will accordingly require a good quiet place to rest. I like walking distance to the festival so I don't have to worry about my big ol' truck and parking every day. I pack a bike if needed. Luxury doesn't impress me but comfort, value and quiet does so that's how I choose.

That's it for now, the quest for the perfect hotel continues, I have a little time although I like to have things settled and out of my head well ahead of time. Head clutter really bothers me so I empty my brain on a daily basis by getting things done.

That's it for now...more as the date nears. Meanwhile, if you are anywhere near Tucson Arizona on April 1-3, drop by my booth and bring coffee or chocolate will ya?


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