Early morning at the Steamboat Springs, Colorado Art in the Park

The jeep is unpacked.  The tent and the artwork are all stored and the laundry is almost done.

Art shows are not for whimps.  It's physically and emotionally challenging.  It's expensive and a big gamble.  Each show is different and each day brings new challenges.  I am pleased with our adventures this summer bbbbbbbuuuuuuuutttttt - I'm going to examine what I do in the future.
The entrance to the Ogden Utah Arts Festival

I really enjoy meeting new people, exploring new places and the excitement of having customers discover and purchase my work.  I was amazed that I had people at each show rush in saying they had already seen my work online either through Pinterest or Etsy or in some cases, even were reading this blog.

I also enjoy being able to talk to followers and admirers.  You can't beat face to face contact with people who appreciate your artwork to make your day.

Another great part of doing festivals is meeting other artists from all over the country.  I've made some wonderful friends and discovered some fabulous artwork.  I've even found new ideas to use with my students when school starts.

Greeting customers at the NICFest in Casper, Wyoming
This is the third year my husband and I have loaded up and done a circuit of summer shows.  There are lots of artists and craftsfolks out there that do this weekend after weekend all year long.  I admire those determined folks.  I'm not sure living on the road and setting up what is basically a mobile store every weekend is my dream job.  It's hard work with no guarantee of making money.

The art show setting in Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Most summer shows are outdoors and that brings with it all sorts of challenges.  Wind, rain, bugs and heat visit upon you.  Sometimes you get all four at once!  And don't get me started on porta potties..... three or four days of those and I'm longing for indoor plumbing.

Shows also like to feature local musicians which can be a curse and a blessing.  It's glorious to sit in a beautiful mountain park and listen to a handsome young man play acoustic guitar and wail love songs.  It's another thing to be trapped in your tent while a newly formed band plays their special style of zydeco-reggae-polka-funk on a stadium size amplifier.

Smart vendors bring their own food/snacks and avoid eating or enjoying the beer and wine tents during working hours.  We were on the road so much we found ourselves often eating the carnival faire found in the food booths.  I'm so done with corn dogs, hotdogs, kettle corn and lemonade.

My snow dome collection from my summer art circuit
This post might seem a little negative - I'm tired and cranky. The truth is an artist has to get out of the studio and get their work in front of potential buyers.  Nobody is going to see and buy artwork you keep under the bed or stuffed in a closet.  Art shows provide established and up-and-coming artists a great way to promote their work.  Just don't be mislead.  It's work....hard work.  


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