Monday, September 14, 2009

We Art the People Show yesterday

photos by Elaine A. Russell

The festival yesterday was awesome. Sometimes I really want to kick myself. I have lived her since 1995, and there are things that I just never got around to seeing or hearing about. Probably because I was working so much, so hard, for so long.
Now -- I seem to have (or is it make) more time for things like this.

The premise behind Offcenter Arts is a noble one. Providing a place to make and create art for little or no money.. to take classes in art and techniques .... to provide an art community if you will, to everyone regardless of race, orientation, income, etc.
The festival is a celebration. The music was fantastic... the parade of HUGE handmade puppets was extraordinary .. the food and variety of vendor booths -- fantastic.

As a vendor, I was thrilled that so many people took the time to look and really see... touch... and talk about my art. That was awesome. I enjoyed the comraderie from several other booth vendors... as well as customers. During a couple of "breaks" away from my booth ...I was able to leisurely wander about. There was alot of jewelry (which I make.. so I wanted to see what else was out there ). However, I was surprised --especially considering the audience and local economics... that things were priced as high as they were. Don't misunderstand.. I think that art (generally speaking) can be horribly under-priced and under-valued. But I was surprised that people weren't providing a variety or items at all price points. I heard several vendors chatting about how they weren't selling as much as they had hoped to be. ... and yet, were primarily offering items over $50.

I was impressed by the shear vastness of the variety of items shown. Everything from handmade purses, to hats, to birdhouses, to paintings, to wood carvings, to glass mosaics, to silk scarves, to hand woven rugs, to handmade paper arts and recycle arts.
I wish that I had taken photos of some of the vaiety of crafts.... but alas... I did not.

I was also impressed by how nice people were. Just ... genuinely nice. Taking the time to talk to people.. to enjoy the music... to take in all the art.
Another great day.